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Wyoming has asked federal court to rule on grizzly bear delisting

A grizzly mother and her cub in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park.
Karen Bleier
AFP/Getty Images
A grizzly mother and her cub in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park.

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon is asking the Wyoming Federal Court to force the Interior Department to rule on the state’s grizzly bear delisting. A news release from Gordon’s office says a petition Wyoming filed on May 24, 2023, alleges the Department of Interior failed to meet a 12-month deadline to review Wyoming’s delisting petition.

Wyoming along with Montana and Idaho submitted petitions to the USFWS in January 2022 to delist the grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystems. USFWS announced on February 6, 2023, that it determined Wyoming’s petition met the standard and would start a year-long status review of the grizzly population .

Wyoming alleges the Endangered Species Act requires USFWS to make a ruling on the petition within 12 months of its receipt of the petition. It’s asking the court to order DOI to issue a final determination on the grizzly bear delisting.

Wyoming Governor Gordon says, “Wyoming’s grizzly bear numbers have not only greatly increased but have exceeded population goals for years, and it’s time for the delisting process to move forward. The Fish and Wildlife Service has missed the required 12-month determination deadline, and it’s time for the agency to be held accountable.”

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.