Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. MDT, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) will hold a hearing titled “Successful State Stewardship: A Legislative Hearing to Examine S.614, the Grizzly Bear State Management Act.”
The committee is chaired by Wyoming Senator John Barrasso and will hear testimony on the bill that would turn management of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear back over to the states.
Montana Senator Steve Daines will be testifying before the EPW committee. “The science has long proven that the grizzly bear population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has fully recovered,” Daines said. “Delisting the grizzly bear is in the best interest of our communities, public safety, the ecosystem, wildlife, and the grizzly bear itself. Montana has proven they can conserve and manage the species and it’s time to return management to the state.”
Senator Daines will also be introducing another witness and fellow Montanan Chuck Roady, who is the Vice President and General Manager of F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Company of Columbia Falls and President of the Federal Forest Resource Coalition. Chuck is also on the Montana Grizzly Bear Advisory Council and has been working on grizzly bear related issues for 44 years.
“I look forward to speaking at tomorrow’s hearing on my bill to delist the grizzly and to introducing fellow Montanan Chuck Roady who will also be testifying. I am grateful for Chuck’s work over the years on this issue and I look forward to hearing more of his experience collaborating on grizzly bear conservation and how the unchecked population growth has impacted Montana,” said Daines.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has twice recommended that the Greater Yellowstone Grizzly be removed from the Endangered Species List, most recently in 2017. However, a District Court order blocked the delisting, after litigation was filed by environmental groups.
According to the USFWS in 2016, “The Yellowstone grizzly bear population has rebounded from as few as 136 bears in 1975 to an estimated 700 or more today. Grizzly bears have more than doubled their range since the mid-1970s and now occupy more than 22,500 square miles of the ecosystem. Stable population numbers for grizzly bears for more than a decade also indicate that the GYE is at or near its carrying capacity for the bears.”
Live streaming video of the hearing will be provided at http://epw.senate.gov