Grizzly Bear Protection Act

Bill Introduced to Protect Grizzly Bears

WASHINGTON – To respond to the Department of the Interior’s controversial decision to remove endangered species protections for grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) introduced the Tribal Heritage and Grizzly Bear Protection Act (H.R. 3894) at a press conference today surrounded by Tribal leaders and environmentalists. This bill would ensure that grizzly bears are permanently protected for their ecological and cultural value and guarantees Tribes have a role in conserving and managing the species. Grizzly bears are considered sacred by many Tribes, but today only a small fraction of the historic grizzly populations exist in the lower 48 states.

grizzly bear protection act

 

The bill is strongly supported by a coalition of 50 Tribes and conservation groups. It would:

  • Ban trophy hunting and non-discriminatory predator control measures that may result in taking of grizzly bears on public lands
  • Permit take and possession of grizzly bears only for certain purposes
  • Require consultation with tribes before issuing permits and before any major federal action that could impact grizzly bears or their habitat
  • Add tribal members to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee
  • Create a process for reintroduction of grizzly bears to suitable land of wiling Tribes

The Trump administration announced in June that they’re lifting Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The decision received immediate backlash from Ranking Member Grijalva, the tribal community and environmentalists who said the decision ignored the objections of scientists and tribal leaders who expressed concerns over the irreparable harm to the grizzly bears long-term survival and Tribal sovereignty agreements. Shortly after the announcement, a coalition of tribal and conservation groups challenged the decision in court by stating that the delisting decision did not consider the best available science regarding ongoing threats to the grizzly population.

“It’s no surprise that the Trump administration ignored the voices of the scientists and tribal leaders who pleaded for continued protection for the Yellowstone grizzly bear,” Grijalva said. “My bill ensures those voices will no longer be silenced and puts an end to allowing political decisions to threaten the future of grizzly bears or their habitat. It is our duty to protect the grizzly bear for its ecological and cultural significance – regardless if it’s protected by the Endangered Species Act or not – and this bill makes sure that tribal voices and Tribal sovereignty agreements are respected in the process.”

Conservation groups and tribal leaders voiced their support for the Tribal Heritage and Grizzly Bear Protection Act (H.R. 3894).

Original Article HERE

Published October 4, 2017

Quinault Division of Natural Resources

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