Jane Goodall and other prominent wildlife biologists have signed onto a letter asking President Obama to retain endangered species act protections for Yellowstone-area grizzly bears.
It comes as next week brings a deadline for public comment on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to delist Yellowstone grizzlies, which were put on the endangered species list in 1975.
Grizzly bear activist Doug Peacock, who lives in the Paradise Valley, wrote the letter, saying that the Fish and Wildlife Service is ignoring evidence that Yellowstone grizzly population are at significant risk from climate change. Besides Jane Goodall, signatories include Harvard Biologist E.O. Wilson, and George Schaller with the Wildlife Conservation Society.
"The people who have signed this letter have weight, and it’s their weight that I hope and expect to get to President Obama. I’m pulling out all the stops and all the people I know and their friends in Washington and elsewhere to stick it in front of the President and say, here’s a place where you need to personally pick up the reigns and shake them."
Biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said they have taken climate change into account in assessing whether Yellowstone area grizzlies are ready for delisting. They say the bears’ population has recovered and that it’s capable of sustaining itself into the future without Endangered Species Act protection.
The governors of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho all support delisting the Yellowstone grizzly.