Conserving the Nature of America

News Release

Public Meetings for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Proposal to Remove Yellowstone Area Population of Grizzly Bears from List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife

December 29, 2005


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to establish a distinct population segment of grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem and surrounding area. In addition, the Service proposes to remove this same Yellowstone population of grizzly bears from the list of threatened and endangered wildlife as it no longer needs the protection of the Endangered Species Act. Robust population growth, coupled with State and Federal cooperation to manage mortality and habitat, widespread public support for grizzly bear recovery, and the development of adequate regulatory mechanisms has brought about recovery for the grizzly bears in this area, necessitating a change in its status.

The proposed delisting of the Yellowstone area population of grizzly bears will not change the threatened status of the remaining grizzly bears in the lower 48 states, which remain protected under the Endangered Species Act.

An open house on January 9 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 5 Baxter Lane in Bozeman, Mont., will offer an opportunity for the public to obtain more information and ask questions on the Service's proposals to establish a distinct population segment and delisting of the Yellowstone population of grizzly bears.

In addition, a public hearing will be held on January 10, 2006, in Cody, Wyo., and an open house in Jackson, Wyo., on January 11, 2006 and Idaho Falls, Idaho on January 12.

Public comments are encouraged and will be accepted until close of business on February 15, 2006. Written comments may be sent to the Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, University Hall 309, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812. Comments may also be hand delivered to the same office. Comments may be sent by electronic mail (e-mail) to

The core of the proposed Yellowstone distinct population segment is the Yellowstone Recovery Zone, which is approximately 9,200 square miles. It includes Yellowstone National Park; a portion of Grand Teton National Park; John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway; sizable contiguous portions of the Shoshone, Bridger-Teton, Targhee, Gallatin, Beaverhead-Deerlodge and Custer National Forests; BLM lands; and surrounding State and private lands.

Grizzly bears are generally larger and more heavily built than other bears. They can also be distinguished from black bears, which also occur in the lower 48 states, by longer, curved claws, humped shoulders, and a face that appears to be concave. A wide range of coloration from light brown to nearly black is common. The average weight of grizzly bears is generally 400 to 600 pounds for males and 250 to 350 pounds for females. Grizzly bears are long-lived mammals, generally living around 25 years.

Information contained in older news items may be outdated. These materials are made available as historical archival information only. Individual contacts have been replaced with general External Affairs office information. No other updates have been made to the information and we do not guarantee current accuracy or completeness.

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