The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation have filed a joint summary brief in the delisting of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem population of grizzly bears on behalf of their members, guides and outfitters in three states and sportsmen everywhere.
When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife announced their decision to remove the distinct population of grizzly bears from protections of the Endangered Species Act in June 2017, more than a dozen animal-rights organizations, tribes and individuals rushed to file lawsuits to stop the action – including the world’s richest and most powerful anti-hunting organizations: the Humane Society of the United States, Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club.
The individual lawsuits were consolidated into a single case on Dec. 5, 2017, and it is this single case that the Sportsmen’s Alliance, through its foundation, and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation are intervening as defendants in.
“Everyone, hunter and animal-rights activist alike, should be celebrating the recovery of this population of grizzly bears as one of the greatest conservation success stories ever told,” said Evan Heusinkveld, president and CEO of the Sportsmen’s Alliance and Foundation. “But the reality is, animal-rights organizations don’t care about wildlife. They’d rather jeopardize the integrity of the Endangered Species Act and keep a recovered species arbitrarily listed to suit their own fundraising needs than admit all recovery goals warrant delisting.”
The result of a 30-year collaborative effort between federal and state agencies, and using the best available science and wildlife management principles, all evidence suggests Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear populations have surpassed recovery goals by 40 percent and have remained stable and above recovery goals for nearly a decade while also tripling their occupied range.
Not only has the grizzly bear population recovered and stabilized, threats to that population have been mitigated to the point that they no longer meet the definition of endangered, or even threatened.
“We stand alongside the Sportsmen’s Alliance and our fellow conservation organizations in supporting federal scientists and wildlife biologists who declared the grizzly population fully recovered,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “The next step is keeping grizzly management under the umbrella of state agencies that manage all wildlife in accordance with the North American Wildlife Conservation Model, which uses hunting as a management tool.”
Due to their members’ dedication to conservation, the two organizations have joined together to defend scientific wildlife management of prey and predator species. It’s not the first time the Sportsmen’s Alliance and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation have worked together to protect what’s right. The two organizations worked side by side in the 10-year legal battle to delist Western Great Lakes wolves; the legal points of which were upheld in that case will undoubtedly play a role in the delisting of the grizzly bear.
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.