Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Statement on Grizzlies

Grizzly Bear Photo by Jean-Pierre Lavoie.
Bear Spray and Safety Message Offered to Blackfoot Hunters

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

WASHINGTON D.C. -( The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies strongly supports the formal delisting decision for grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

he announcement last month by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke brought to a close 41 years of research and restoration initiatives in keeping with the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

“We have reason to celebrate this conservation achievement,” stated Nick Wiley, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “Due to the collaborative efforts between state fish and wildlife agencies, federal agencies, and the conservation community, the conservation goals of the grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem have been achieved and surpassed.”

“State fish and wildlife agencies are on the cutting edge of conservation delivery all across the country with science-based restoration and management programs and this is a great example of state leadership with the recovery of an iconic keystone species,” noted Ron Regan, Executive Director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “The states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, in keeping with their missions, will ensure a heathy, sustainable grizzly population in the Yellowstone area through proven landscape-level management strategies.”

There are over 700 grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone population, which satisfies ESA recovery criteria, up from over 100 bears when grizzlies were listed in 1975.

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) consists of portions of northwestern Wyoming, southwestern Montana and eastern Idaho. These three states have spent millions of state dollars to recover the grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

The Association would like to acknowledge and thank these states for that significant investment to recover this species in the GYE DPS for their citizens and the citizens of our Nation. This success would not have been realized without that state investment and their collaborative efforts.

Other grizzly bear populations in the lower 48 states will continue to be listed under the ESA.


About The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies:

The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.

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The government did great job with the wolf and now the elk are going to be endangered very soon

Wild Bill

@H427, It is so strange that everything the various levels of government touch get fouled up.


Not even close to be endangered!!! I was in Yellowstone last June and I had to break few times for them to cross the road, and I saw many more when hiking, so….wolves and bears and maybe you have plenty of elk and deer to feed from!!!


Mid 90,”s park had 19000 elk, now just under 5 thousand. You tell me those are normal changes, the wolf just won’t stop tell they clean out the elk. They don’t eat grass.

Wild Bill

Even a small pack needs one elk per week. That is fifty-two per pack per week. Why do the fake environmentalists and the government hate elk so much. Our ancestors were not stupid, they worked hard to get rid of wolves, mountain lions, and locusts.


What ancestors are you talking about, the ones not even in England were welcomed and they were sent here to exterminated the native americans or anything else they could kill; or about those native americans whom were displaced from their lands but lived and still do in harmony with all the creatures, including wolves and bears and cougars?? I believe you’re talking about the first ones I assumed.


Keeping the population in check is important. The territory required for a bear is is immense and they will spread where they arent wanted if allowed to over populate the park. The wolves and bears are getting pretty thick in the park and prey animals, {deer, elk, buffalo] will get thinned out. Then the bear and wolves will leave the park for greener pastures, where they will be shot by man. Charge a trophy fee and allow a few to be harvested to the rich and famous and keep the population healthy. Do you know there are between 50 and… Read more »


Bad deal this one…for the bears. Even when I support the right of the state, any state, to make it own decisions regarding state’s issues, also it should exist a another way to control those decisions. Now we have a new Secretary of the Interior born and brewed in Montana, state (Beautiful state) where ranchers have the strong tendency to kill anything jeopardy their open range cattle, and we have this premature delisting deal. It is sad!!!


That’s an increase of 14 bears per year. How many bears will you permit hunters to kill every year?

Does conservation by a government/state agency ever work successfully?


Take a look at the populations of all game species between the 1930s and now. Then you’d be thankful state and federal wildlife agencies exist.