A star-studded coalition of scientists, authors, movie stars and conservationists has launched a media campaign and petition to convince President Barack Obama to take executive action, overruling an agency proposal to take the Yellowstone grizzly bear off the Endangered Species list.
Esteemed scientists Jane Goodall, George B. Schaller, Michael Soule, and Edward O. Wilson joined with actors Jeff Bridges, Harrison Ford and Michael Keaton, authors Carl Hiaasen, Scott Momaday, Terry Tempest Williams, Douglas Brinkley, and Thomas McGuane, along with businessman Yvon Chouinard and former Yellowstone park superintendent Michael Finley, sending a plea to the president following an announcement by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) last spring of its intention to remove federal protections of the bear.
Today, Save the Yellowstone Grizzly launches a petition to reverse the FWS action, along with a website featuring video testimony from Bridges, Chouinard, Goodall, Hiaasen, Tempest-Williams and myself, in which we make their case for the grizzly’s future.
Yellowstone’s grizzly bears are in grave danger and require continuing federal protection for their survival. It is imperative the great bears remain listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
The FWS has regrettably taken steps to remove these protections (an action called “delisting”), and allow a grizzly bear trophy hunt on the edges of Yellowstone National Park. Americans would never permit hunting of the American bald eagle; hunting Yellowstone’s grizzly bears is equally unacceptable.
Yellowstone’s bears are genetically and physically isolated from all other grizzly populations. Their long-term survival depends on their ability to wander safely outside of Yellowstone National Park, linking up with other grizzly populations in other ecosystems.
Grizzlies are one of the slowest reproducing land mammals in North America. Delisting triggers a trophy hunt that will put them on the path to extinction.
The Yellowstone grizzly’s major food sources are in decline: Cutthroat trout have been reduced by 90 percent, and most critically, global warming has decimated the grizzly’s most important food, nuts of the whitebark pine tree.
In its delisting proposal, the FWS makes the declaration that climate change will not affect the Yellowstone grizzly now or in the future. This myopic statement flies in the face of scientific study and reality on the ground, calling into question the agency’s competency and intentions.
You can help. Please join our continuing campaign by signing this petition asking President Obama to take executive action, keeping the Yellowstone grizzly bear on the Endangered Species list. Also, you may view the videos and get updates at our website:
Please help spread the word by sharing these links with your friends.