Description: Challenge to designation of a Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear distinct population segment (DPS) and a related determination that the DPS was recovered and did not qualify as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Northern Cheyenne Tribe v. Zinke
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 10/11/2017 Motion to Intervene Download Motion to intervene filed by Wyoming. Wyoming Asked to Intervene to Defend Delisting of Yellowstone Grizzlies. Wyoming filed a motion in Montana federal court to intervene in support of the defendants in the lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS’s) decision to remove the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear from the list of threatened and endangered species. The plaintiffs’ claims include that FWS failed to address climate change impacts on the grizzly bears’ food sources. Wyoming argued that it was entitled to intervene as of right because it had a significant protectable interest that could be impaired if the plaintiffs prevailed. Wyoming argued that the vast majority of the grizzly bear distinct population segment at issue was located within its boundaries and that it had long participated in the management of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem alongside the federal government, Montana, and Idaho. Wyoming asserted that it had a significant interest in exercising sovereign authority over wildlife in its borders and that its interests were different from those of the federal defendants. In the alternative, Wyoming argued that the court should grant permissive intervention. 08/30/2017 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Lawsuits Challenged Delisting of Yellowstone Grizzly Bears, Citing Climate Change Threats to Food Sources. Three lawsuits were filed in the federal district court for the District of Montana challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS's) decision to designate a Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear distinct population segment (DPS) and FWS’s related determination that the DPS was recovered and did not qualify as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The complaint filed by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, and National Parks Conservation Association also alleged that the FWS failed to address threats to Yellowstone grizzly bears, including their increasing reliance on a meat-based diet due in part to climate change impacts on food sources.