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Committee Recommends Removing Grizzly Bear Endangered Species Act Protections

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Premature Decision Could Threaten Recovery
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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Bonnie Rice, 406-640-2857

Committee Recommends Removing Grizzly Bear Endangered Species Act Protections

Premature Decision Could Threaten Recovery

Missoula, MT-- The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee today recommended that Yellowstone grizzly bears be removed from the Endangered Species list. The recommendation is the first step in the process to strip bears of needed protections under the Endangered Species Act.    

In response Bonnie Rice, Sierra Club Our Wild America Representative in Montana issued the following statement.

"The grizzly bear is arguably the most beautiful and powerful symbol of our wild heritage. Grizzlies are integral to the Yellowstone region, both to our natural systems and to our economy. Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, they are making a remarkable comeback, but are still vulnerable.

"The strong political pressure to remove Endangered Species Act protections from grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region should not overshadow outstanding questions about the science supporting such a decision.  Despite the committee's unwillingness to address them, there remain serious concerns about actual population numbers, the population trend over time, and the impacts of the loss of key grizzly food sources – as well as the continued isolation of Yellowstone bears from other grizzly populations.

"It is vital that grizzly bears make a full recovery so they don't slide back towards extinction.  Removing Endangered Species Act protections now could reverse decades of progress and erase the promise of full recovery. "

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About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.1 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org 

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