The Latest News in Conservation

Feds to Consider Grizzly Bear Delisting

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has accepted petitions from the governors of Montana and Wyoming to consider removing the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) from the endangered species list in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem.


Now, the Service will initiate a comprehensive, 12-month status review to determine whether the bears in these two distinct population segments are distinct and recovered. However, this status review will not explicitly consider delisting grizzly bears in the Cabinet Yaak, Northern Cascades, Bitterroot, or Selkirk recovery zones.

“The Boone and Crockett Club celebrates the recovery of iconic large carnivores like grizzly bears,” said James Cummins, Boone and Crockett Club President. “We are dedicated to scientific wildlife management and have known for years that populations of these bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem have exceeded recovery goals. It is time for the law to acknowledge that, using whatever tools we have. Understanding the length of these processes, we look forward to working with state leaders in Helena, Cheyenne, and Boise to ensure a smooth transition to state management of these animals.”

Grizzly bear recovery has been a decades-long, complex issue and has required coordination among federal agencies, states, Tribes, and other stakeholders. Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming have made historical commitments and partnerships to bring grizzly bear populations to this point, particularly by funding and implementing conflict prevention efforts to reduce human-carnivore conflict. However, the FWS will consider recent state laws regarding grizzly bear management in their delisting decision.

Per the Boone and Crockett Club position statement on the Endangered Species Act: “The Boone and Crockett Club supports the fundamental concept and intent of the ESA to conserve endangered and threatened species. The Club believes the ESA, now almost 50 years old, should be modernized to clear a path for effective wildlife conservation to take place and move away from technical wildlife management decisions having to be interpreted by the courts, or made by Congress.”

The Boone and Crockett Club will continue its work to recover rare species, as well as reforming the laws under which they are governed.

“This announcement is particularly appropriate in 2023 as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act this year,” added Cummins. “We look forward to ensuring that the ESA is improved for the next 50 years.”

More About the Boone and Crockett Club

Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes guardianship and visionary management of big game and associated wildlife in North America. The Club maintains the highest standards of fair chase sportsmanship and habitat stewardship. Member accomplishments include enlarging and protecting Yellowstone and establishing Glacier and Denali national parks, founding the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, fostering the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the Federal Duck Stamp program, and developing the cornerstones of modern game laws. The Boone and Crockett Club is headquartered in Missoula, Montana. Click here to learn more about the Boone and Crockett Club.