U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

NEWS RELEASE


U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
134 UNION BOULEVARD
LAKEWOOD, COLORADO 80228

March 27, 1996

Michael Smith 303-236-7905
Sharon Rose 303-236-7905

U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE PROVIDES SCHEDULE FOR PROVIDING COURT-REQUESTED INFORMATION ON GRIZZLY BEAR RECOVERY PLAN

In response to a U.S. District Court's ruling on the adequacy of the recovery plan for grizzly bears in the lower 48 states and request for additional information, the Fish and Wildlife Service provided the Court with a schedule for delivery of requested information. The schedule provided to the court is dependent upon the necessary budgets and personnel needed to complete the tasks. Much of the information to be provided to the court will be supplied from sources other than the Fish and Wildlife Service . "Today, we provided the court with the necessary timeframes needed to complete the further explanation it requested," said Ralph Morgenweck, Regional Director of the Service's Mountain-Prairie Region. "Reduced budgets and downsized staffs will play a large part in accomplishing these tasks," Morgenweck added.

In addition to providing the Court with a schedule for delivery of requested information, the Service filed a notice of appeal to the court on its ruling. In this case, the Service believes that the Endangered Species Act (ESA) does not prohibit the Service from publishing a recovery plan that refers to documents that are to be completed as part of the recovery process. The recovery of a listed species is furthered more by releasing a recovery plan that may not be complete in all respects but nonetheless provides a substantial road map for recovery. A decision otherwise could force the Service to wait for years until all data is developed to issue a complete plan.

The second issue under appeal concerns the court's ruling that the parameters developed by the Service were inadequate because they did not assess all possible habitats outside the recovery zone. It is the Service's belief that the ESA contains no requirement that a species be recovered in ALL areas the species could possibly occupy in the future. The goal of the Service is aimed at bringing the grizzly bear to the point at which protection under the Act is no longer required.

The court's decision upheld the Plan's recommended management actions directed at the goal of recovering the grizzly bear; therefore, these management recommendations are unaffected by the court's ruling.

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