FUTURE MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR YELLOWSTONE GRIZZLIES BEING REVIEWED BY STATE AND FEDERAL LAND AND WILDLIFE MANAGERS
As part of the ongoing recovery process for grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone area, a management plan, called a conservation strategy, is being reviewed by state and federal managers. The working draft will go through its first review by the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee, one of the management groups of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC), a multi-agency organization that includes state, federal and Canadian representatives, working together to recover the grizzly bear.
This draft conservation strategy incorporates comments from the public received on an earlier public review draft released in March 2000. At this time, comments were also received from the governors of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
The conservation strategy will eventually serve as the management plan for grizzlies and much of their habitat in the greater Yellowstone area after they are recovered.
High level managers within Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, USDA-Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as members of the IGBC, will review the document after subcommittee members complete their review and edits. Approval of the conservation strategy is not expected for several months.
Development of a conservation strategy is a task in the grizzly bear recovery plan and is one of the significant steps in the recovery process for grizzlies. The strategy describes how grizzly bears, their habitat and conflicts involving grizzlies will be monitored and managed in the greater Yellowstone area. The states were integral in the development of this conservation strategy. Also, as part of the conservation strategy process, the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming each developed their own state management plan to address how to manage and monitor grizzlies in areas outside of the current grizzly recovery zone, as bears continue to expand in numbers and range in the greater Yellowstone area.
Also developed for the conservation strategy were habitat standards that will assure the maintenance of the habitat values necessary to maintain a recovered population in the greater Yellowstone area. The development of these habitat
criteria was another task in the grizzly bear recovery plan. These habitat standards will soon be formally included in forest plans and in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks’ land and resource management plans.
Further work involving the recovery and future conservation of grizzly bear is ongoing.