by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
January 8, 2019
Members of the Wyoming Legislature have proposed a joint resolution requesting congressional action to swiftly remove grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region from federal protection and to return management of grizzlies over to state and tribal authority. The resolution also requests that until delisting occurs, the federal government fully fund the cost of managing the species.
The resolution provides information regarding the impacts of grizzlies in Wyoming:
• Wyoming contributes more than $2 million for grizzly bear monitoring, research and management.
• Wyoming has spent more than $45 million on the grizzly bear management.
• Wyoming has received about $1 million in federal funding for grizzly bear management since 2009, while the State spent $19.6 million for the same purpose.
In 2016, Wyoming citizens lost 136 head of cattle to grizzly bear depredations, in addition to 29 sheep, and numerous farm birds, pigs, and a dog, with Wyoming providing nearly half-a-million dollars to compensate for these damages.
In 2017, Wyoming citizens lost 115 cattle, 23 sheep, and 78 chickens killed by grizzlies, with the state providing $270,000 for damage related to grizzlies. In 2018, Wyoming citizens lost 142 cattle to grizzly bear depredation, with Wyoming providing $380,000 in compensation.
The resolution also notes that in 2018, three people were injured in grizzly bear attacks, and one person was killed by a grizzly, in addition to an overall increase in human interactions with grizzly bears. Since 2009, three people were killed by grizzlies in Wyoming, with another 31 people injured.
The resolution notes that grizzly bear population recovery and conservation success "can be directly attributed to the support and efforts of the state of Wyoming and its citizens."
House Joint Resolution 0001 can be tracked on the Wyoming Legislature’s website, which is linked below.