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Action timeline

March 29, 2007 – Despite the concurrent declines of several different grizzly foods, habitat loss, and genetic problems, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed Yellowstone-area grizzlies from the protected list of threatened and endangered species. The Center had submitted comments urging the Service not to remove these bears from the threatened species list, outlining their still-precarious situation — but to no avail.

June 4, 2007 – The Center joined six other conservation groups in filing suit to restore the threatened status to the Yellowstone grizzlies. The Center also submitted comments requesting that the Fish and Wildlife Service revise the 1993 grizzly bear recovery plan, identify new recovery areas, designate critical habitat, and uplist the entire species from threatened to endangered.

June 25, 2007 – The Center filed suit against illegal sheep grazing in the Yellowstone ecosystem that jeopardizes grizzly bears and other imperiled carnivores.

April 6, 2010 – In response to a lawsuit and comments submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project, the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in eastern Idaho, run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, issued a decision to halt the grazing of sheep on about 7,500 acres of vital grizzly-bear habitat in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

April 15, 2013 – The Center announced an upcoming opening of a northern Rockies office to be headed by renowned conservationist Louisa Willcox, who has been working for bears and other wildlife in the region for 30 years.

June 20, 2013 – The Center and seven other conservation organizations submitted comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service arguing that a recently proposed recovery plan for Yellowstone grizzly bears puts the animals’ population at greater risk of extinction, by allowing the removal of protections despite lack of connectivity with other populations and ongoing threats to the bears.

November 7, 2013  Brushing aside mounting evidence that Yellowstone’s grizzly bears face increased threats from genetic isolation, loss of key foods, and increased human conflicts and mortalities, federal and state officials are recommending removal of Endangered Species Act protections for the bears as early as next year.

December 11, 2013   Ignoring mounting evidence that Yellowstone’s grizzly bears face increased threats from loss of key foods and human-caused deaths, federal and state officials unanimously recommended that Endangered Species Act protections be stripped from the region’s iconic bears. The Center filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act for all documents and interagency correspondence used in developing the study behind the delisting.

Photo © Robin Silver