MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation today (8/30/2018) spoke in favor of keeping grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park under state management while addressing a Montana federal court. Plaintiffs want to place the population back under federal protection.
“We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and state wildlife agencies in maintaining that the grizzly population in the Greater Yellowstone Area met all delisting criteria as determined by scientists and should remain subject to state management,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “State agencies manage elk, mountain lions, deer and other wildlife as per the North American Conservation Wildlife Model, and the same should hold for grizzly bears.”
Numbering more than 700, the Yellowstone grizzly population meets all delisting criteria. These factors include not only the number and distribution of bears throughout the ecosystem, but also the quantity and quality of the habitat available and the states’ commitments to manage the population in a manner that maintains its healthy and secure status.
“These bears have recovered and are thriving. The time has come for them to be managed according to each state’s individual management plan in accordance with the North American model,” said Evan Heusinkveld, Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation president and CEO. “Unfortunately, animal rights extremists cannot accept that hunting is a foundational pillar of our system of wildlife management, and has been a driving force for recovering wildlife species all across the country.”
Though the judge is yet to rule in the case, plaintiffs already filed a restraining order to halt planned grizzly management hunts in Idaho and Wyoming.
“Yellowstone-area grizzlies are recovered and we need to celebrate that milestone and not allow environmental groups to file more unnecessary lawsuits that gum up the process,” added Weaver.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 235,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.6 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at www.rmef.org, elknetwork.com or 800-CALL ELK.
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance and its Foundation protect and defend America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.