As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks to give management to the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, grizzly bear range in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem continues to grow beyond both Yellowstone Park and the even larger grizzly bear recovery zone.
“We’ve seen an 11 percent change in increasing range in just a couple of years,” said Frank van Manen, head scientist of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, and as quoted in the Jackson Hole News & Guide. “Since listing, there’s no doubt that we are now at a point that we have the largest population size.”
In Wyoming alone, documented grizzly territory now stretches from the east slope of the Wyoming Range to the southern parts of the Wind River Range to the Snake River Range near Pine Creek Pass. It also continues to push deeper into both Idaho and Montana.
Citing grizzlies met delisting criteria, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation previously commented in favor of delisting grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and transferring management to state wildlife agencies.