Governor Matt Mead is asking Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, to work with Wyoming to remove the grizzly bear from the Endangered Species List sooner than currently anticipated. Delisting by the federal government appears to be at least two years away because an evaluation of data related to white bark pine is starting and is slated to take two years.
"The situation is severe and costly," Governor Mead wrote in a recent letter to Secretary Salazar. Governor Mead noted grizzly bears caused four human deaths over the past two years.
Wyoming does not have jurisdiction over the grizzly bears yet the state pays for the management of the bears. "Wyoming's investment in recovery over the past 28 years exceeds $35 million. The average annual cost to Wyoming for grizzly management approaches $2 million."
Governor Mead thanked the Secretary for his work on wolves and sage-grouse and said he hoped the two could continue their cooperative relationship. Governor Mead is specifically asking that they work together now to expedite the analysis related to white bark pine and how it may relate to grizzly bear populations. "Two years is too long and the cost is too great," Governor Mead wrote.