Feds Prepare to Remove Protections for Grizzly Bears
Laramie, Wy – Federal wildlife officials plan to propose that grizzly bears around Yellowstone National Park be removed from protection under the Endangered Species Act as early as next month.
Chris Servheen is grizzly bear recovery coordinator for the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service. He says officials believe there are adequate protections in place for both the bears and their habitat.
But some environmentalists say oil and gas development, and housing in more rural areas, are among the threats to the bears' habitat. Some argue that Fish and Wildlife is moving too fast to ensure the grizzlies' long-term future in the region.
It's estimated that more than 600 grizzlies live in the Yellowstone ecosystem. Servheen says the population has been growing at a rate of four to six percent a year, and will eventually stabilize.