Press Release
Service Reaffirms Recovery of Yellowstone Grizzly Bear under the Endangered Species Act

DENVER  – Strong partnerships involving the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, federal and state agencies, tribes and other partners continue to contribute to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) grizzly bear’s remarkable recovery. Today, the Service reaffirmed its final rule delisting the GYE population under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 

On December 7, 2017, the Service published a Notice of Regulatory Review in the Federal Registerrequesting public comment on any potential effects a recent D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling (Humane Society of the United States, et al. v. Zinke et al.) may have on the June 30, 2017, GYE grizzly bear delisting final rule. 

In the Notice of Regulatory Review, the Service requested public comments on whether the court ruling affects the GYE grizzly bear final delisting rule and what, if any, additional evaluation the Service should consider regarding the remaining grizzly bear populations in the lower 48 states and their lost historical range. After a thorough review of public comments, the Service affirms the decision that the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear population is recovered and should remain delisted under the ESA. 

The Service’s determination to designate a Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear population and delist it was consistent with the ESA, with Service policies, and with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s longstanding legal interpretation of the ESA. The Service will not initiate any further regulatory action for the population. The remainder of the grizzly bear population in the lower 48 states retains its designation as threatened under the ESA. 

To read more about how the Service’s determination addresses the court opinion, go to, and search for Docket No. FWS–R6–ES–2017–0089; FXES11130900000C6-178-FF09E42000

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.

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Story Tags

Endangered and/or Threatened species
Wildlife restoration