Lummis, Senators to Interior Secretary Haaland: Follow the Science on Grizzly Bear Populations

April 28, 2021

WASHINGTON – Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), along with Members of Congress from the western states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, sent a letter to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland urging her to follow the science and support delisting grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) and Northern Continental Divide (NCDE). In both areas, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has noted that the grizzly bear populations are at carrying capacity and are no longer endangered.

“The facts don’t lie: The grizzly bear has recovered in significant areas in the west, including in Wyoming and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem,” Senator Lummis said. “In those areas the federal government needs to hand over population management to state wildlife managers who know the area and know best how to balance the needs of these ecosystems. At this point, the Fish and Wildlife Service, under both Democrat and Republican Administrations, has consistently said that the grizzly bear population in Yellowstone is recovered. The science is clear. It’s time for the Department of the Interior to follow it.”

In the letter, Senator Lummis and the other Members of Congress wrote, “Grizzly bears have nearly tripled the extent of their occupied range in the GYE since the 1980s and reporting a conservative estimate of NCDE has more than doubled its size in range and tripled its population count from as few as 300 bears in 1986 to 1,068 bears today.”

In addition to Senator Lummis, the letter sent to Secretary Haaland was signed by Senators John Barrasso (WY), Steve Daines (MT), Mike Crapo (ID), James Risch (ID) as well as U.S. Representatives Liz Cheney (WY), Matt Rosendale (MT), Russ Fulcher (ID) and Mike Simpson (ID). To read the full letter, click here.

Last month, Senator Lummisintroduced the Grizzly Bear State Management Act of 2021 to mandate that the Yellowstone-area grizzly bear population is managed based on scientific evidence, not the whims of federal bureaucrats. 

When she introduced that bill, Senator Lummis said, “Grizzly bears are an essential part of the ecosystem of Wyoming, but keeping them listed hurts their populations more than it helps them. Wildlife managers that live near the bears and study them closely have a better idea of population parameters than bureaucrats in Washington. It’s time to delist the grizzly in our area and let science dictate our wildlife policy.”

To read more about the Grizzly Bear State Management Act, click here.