A ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2007 decision to remove the bears from the endangered species list.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lifted Endangered Species Act protections in 2007, arguing the grizzly had made a healthy comeback over the past three decades in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, surpassing the agency’s recovery goal of 500 bears in the region.
Conservationists challenging the de-listing successfully argued that the government discounted the impact of climate change on grizzlies in the Yellowstone area when assessing the health of the bear population.
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit unanimously sided with the Greater Yellowstone Coalition on the question of whitebark pines, finding that the trees’ decline was reason enough to keep the bears protected.