On, Thursday, June 22, 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a decision to remove Yellowstone grizzly bears from protection under the Endangered Species Act. The Alliance has been and will continue working with our conservation partners to thoroughly analyze the consequences of this decision to ensure it promotes a healthy grizzly bear population in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem.
Specifically, we’ll be looking to ensure the future management as outlined in current plans protects important grizzly bear habitat, addresses human-grizzly conflicts, encourages increased habitat connectivity, and recognizes the economic value of grizzly bears to our community in Jackson.
The Alliance wants a healthy, fully recovered grizzly bear population in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem and views the expansion of grizzly bears into the southern reaches of our valley as a positive development and a conservation success we should celebrate.
We recognize that under State management of grizzly bears, sport hunting of grizzly bears will become a management tool. We oppose sport hunting of grizzly bears, especially in Jackson Hole, WY, and believe it is unnecessary for managing a stable bear population.
As an organization committed to protecting the wildlife, wild places, and community character of Jackson Hole, the Alliance will fight for a sustainable future for grizzly bears in our region by working on addressing the threats to bears, like reducing conflicts between people and bears.
The facts and data show that conflict with people is the biggest threat to maintaining sustainable grizzly populations. This is why the Alliance has been working with our partners to inform Teton County residents on ways they can reduce conflict with wildlife through our Wild Neighborhoods Program (Wildneighborhoods.org). This summer, as part of this program we initiated a research project to better understand patterns of human-bear conflict in Teton County and understand county residents’ attitudes and support of potential policy proposals to reduce conflicts between people and bears.
Please make sure to check out Wildneighborhoods.org for information and resources about how you can reduce the chances of a conflict with a bear (and other wildlife) on your property, visit the Bear Wise page on the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation’s website for more information about avoiding conflicts with bears, and please make sure to carry your bear spray when traveling in bear country.