May 20, 2019

House Natural Resources Committee Holds Hearing on Grizzly Bear Legislation

On May 15, the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on H.R. 2532, the Tribal Heritage and Grizzly Bear Protection Act – a bill that the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has opposed.

The hearing included comments from several Members of Congress, including Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Member Congressman Tom McClintock (CA), who referenced a letter of opposition submitted by CSF prior to the hearing stating, “The grizzly bear population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has recovered from 136 bears in the early 1970s to more than 700 today. This is above the estimated carrying capacity in the conservation area and it meets or exceeds all of the ESA criteria for delisting.”

The letter submitted by CSF notes that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE)  grizzly has recovered to a level that federal listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is no longer necessary, and the primary management of the species should be returned to the states that have the expertise and resources to manage wildlife effectively. This letter also highlights the countless hours and financial resources state wildlife agencies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem have invested to conserve the grizzly.

CSF remains supportive of the ESA, but also recognizes the need to delist species once they have met their recovery goals. Once species are recovered and are not in danger of extinction now or in the foreseeable future, they should be removed from the list and management should be returned to the state agencies who are best suited to conserve our nation’s fish and wildlife populations. This legislation now awaits further action in the Committee.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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