Republicans Aiming to Overhaul the ESA
Written by Andrew-Rossi on October 30, 2018
With the number and range of grizzly bears expanding, the Endangered Species Act is high on the minds of residents whose livelihoods are affected by the increasing number of human-bear interactions.
Despite the fact that the bears were de-listed and considered recovered in 2017, a federal judge restored protections for the animals in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in September. Now Republicans in Congress are pushing for sweeping changes in the Endangered Species Act.
Wyoming Senator John Barrasso says the Endangered Species Act focuses too much on protecting the animals, and doesn’t have clear direction once a species is considered recovered.
The Yellowstone population of grizzly bears was designated, or listed, as threatened with extinction in 1975. The population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has grown from 136 in 1975 to about 718 today. Scientists believe the Yellowstone area population is recovered and may have reached its capacity for resident grizzlies in many areas of the ecosystem.