The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently received final arguments from the state of Montana, which is calling on the court to delist grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted grizzlies in 2007 and again in 2017, but grizzlies were returned to the Endangered Species List each time after litigation filed by environmentalists.
“The ESA isn’t supposed to be a permanent parking lot,” Bill Schenk, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks attorney, told Montana Public Radio.
Biologists estimate a grizzly population of more than 700 animals in the Yellowstone area. And grizzlies are expanding into areas where they have not been in more than 100 years.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains the grizzly bear population is recovered and should be subject to state management.