Northern Indian tribes are protesting pending delisting of the grizzly bear. Three tribal representatives spoke against delisting in Cody today. Penny Preston reports they claim the U.S. government is required by law to consult them and has not.
The grizzly bear is an icon of the Yellowstone ecosystem. It’s listed as threatened on the endangered species list.
A group of federal state, local, and tribal representatives meets to coordinate their plans and actions to help grizzly recovery. The group is called the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.
In spite of a 2009 court order that overturned earlier delisting, agency biologists say the bears are doing well, and the ecosystem is at carrying capacity. The group is recommending delisting the bear.
“All the scientific evidence has proven ten ways to one that the bear is surviving very well.” Loren Grosskopf said.
After the reports, the public was asked to comment. That’s when the tribal leaders spoke up.
“All we ask is that we be part of a formal consultation with all of you federal agencies.” said James Walks Along
Northern Cheyenne Representative James Walks Along brought a resolution against delisting from his own tribe, and others.
“I have allied with eighteen tribes of the northern plains.” said Walks Along.
The Wyoming tribal leaders followed suit, withdrawing their former support for delisting.
“The Shoshone Bannock tribes denounce the federal government’s desire to delist the grizzly bear from the endangered species act protection.” said Leander Watson
“We respect the grizzly and we don’t want him hunted or taking his life.” said Norman Willow
The grizzly’s delisting was not announced at this meeting. Officials say the federal government is coordinating plans with Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.Video.