A study on the Yellowstone area’s grizzly bear population shows that the number of bears is steadily increasing and so far the animals have an adequate food supply.
The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee is responsible for coordinating grizzly bear recovery efforts across agencies in the continental U.S. and Canada. The organization’s Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee submitted the report.
Committee education chair Gregg Losinski says that if the I.G.B.C. accepts the report’s findings it will likely pass the report on to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which may then consider a rule change.
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will take under consideration the recommendations from these committees, and then decide whether they want to go forward and do public comment on a proposed rule change,” said Losinski “and that would be to de-list the grizzly bear in the Yellowstone ecosystem.”
Losinski says that cooperation among agencies has been key to the bears’ recovery thus far.
“Having county, tribal, state, federal, the parks and the national forests all working together. All these agencies have mission statements that are very specific,” said Losinski “but yet they all found a common ground of recovering the bear.”
Losinski also says that the number of fatal human-bear encounters has gone down since last year.