In a controversial decision in June 2017, the USFWS designated a “distinct population segment” (DPS) for grizzly bears within Yellowstone National Park, removing ESA protections for the species within the Park. In a very rare move, the Services have reopened the decision for further consideration due to a recent decision by the D.C. Circuit. The decision overturned the Services’ designation of the gray wolf – another listed species – because the Services failed to consider the designation’s impact on the species throughout its entire range and the effect of removing protections within the DPS area.
Significance of the Case:
The Services must now incorporate the rationale of the D.C. Circuit decision into future DPS designations. Reopening consideration for the grizzly bear designation will provide insight on the Services’ plans to incorporate the Court’s rationale.
- Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Population of Grizzly Bears from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, 82 Fed. Reg. 30502 (July 31, 2017).
- Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Possible Effects of Court Decision on Grizzly Bear Recovery in the Conterminous United States, 82 Fed. Reg. 57698 (Dec. 7, 2017).