USFWS Grizzly Delist Appeal

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The USFWS lost its appeal to delist the GYE grizz in 9th Circuit. I have also attached a court doc. This is disappointing news, we somewhat expected it but had held out hopes the efforts of all involved on the grizzly recovery would have their work deemed successful.

In essence the 3 judge panel upheld Judge Christensen’s opinion that grizzly bears in the GYE stay listed. This was a bunch of plaintiff’s against FWS but Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and others were intervenors as well and did put together a lot of information as to why grizzly bears should be delisted, there were 3 primary points of contention:

1 -You’ll remember district court found fault with 3 primary areas of contention:
Impacts to remnant populations from delisting GYE grizzly bears:
We thus vacate that portion of the district court’s order
calling for a “comprehensive review” of the remnant grizzly
population, and remand for the district court to order further
examination of the delisting’s effect on the remnant grizzly
population consistent with this opinion.

2 Long-term genetic viability:
Accordingly, because there are no concrete, enforceable
mechanisms in place to ensure long-term genetic health of the
Yellowstone grizzly, the district court correctly concluded
that the 2017 Rule is arbitrary and capricious in that regard.
Remand to the FWS is necessary for the inclusion of adequate
measures to ensure long term protection.

3 Recalibration – court determined recalibration is necessary if there is a new estimator:
The FWS violated the ESA’s directive to make listing
decisions “solely on the basis of the best scientific and
commercial data,” 16 U.S.C. § 1533(b)(1)(A), when it failed
to include a commitment to recalibration despite the FWS’s
acknowledgment that a failure to provide such provision
could threaten the Yellowstone grizzlies. Thus, the district
court properly ordered the FWS to include a commitment to
recalibration.

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