Federal Register

The best available scientific and commercial data indicate that the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) is a valid distinct population segment (DPS) and that this DPS has recovered and no longer meets the definition of an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, as amended (Act). Therefore, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), hereby revise the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, under the authority of the Act, by establishing a DPS and removing the GYE grizzly bear DPS. The Service has determined that the GYE grizzly bear population has increased in size and more than tripled its occupied range since being listed as threatened under the Act in 1975 and that threats to the population are sufficiently minimized. The participating States of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming and Federal agencies have adopted the necessary post-delisting plans and regulations, which adequately ensure that the GYE population of grizzly bears remains recovered.

Concurrent to this final rule, we are appending the Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan Supplement: Revised Demographic Criteria to the 1993 Recovery Plan. Moreover, prior to publication of this final rule, the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee finalized the 2016 Conservation Strategy that will guide post-delisting monitoring and management of the grizzly bear in the GYE. Additionally, the U.S. Forest Service finalized in 2006 the Forest Plan Amendment for Grizzly Bear Conservation for the GYE National Forests and made a decision to incorporate this Amendment into the affected National Forests' Land Management Plans. Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park appended the habitat standards to their Park Superintendent's Compendia, thereby ensuring that these national parks would manage habitat in accordance with the habitat standards. The States of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming have signed a Tri-State Memorandum of Agreement and enacted regulatory mechanisms to ensure that State management of mortality limits is consistent with the demographic recovery criteria.