On March 22, 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that the Yellowstone Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of grizzly bears was a recovered population no longer meeting the ESA's definition of threatened or endangered.

On September 21, 2009, the Federal District Court in Missoula issued an order enjoining and vacating the delisting of the Greater Yellowstone Area grizzly population. In compliance with this order, the Yellowstone grizzly population was once again a threatened population under the Endangered Species Act (75 FR 14496, March 26, 2010).


The US Fish & Wildlife Service, the US Department of Justice, and the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee (YES) have issued a release saying that they “all disagree with the ruling of Judge Molloy and believe that the delisting the Yellowstone grizzly population is appropriate and scientifically sound.” The USFWS has now appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court the decision of Judge Mallow overturning the delisting of the Yellowstone grizzly population.

According to USFWS Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator Chris Servheen, “The Yellowstone grizzly population is increasing at 4%-7 % per year and is recovered and the agencies are committed to spending more than $3 million per year to maintain this healthy, recovered population. ” The appeal process takes the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals where the September 21, 2009 decision by Molloy overturning the March 22, 2007 delisting will be reviewed. According to YES Chair Steve Schmidt, “The state, federal, county, and tribal members of the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee are united in their support for delisting and are committed to maintaining the long-term health of the Yellowstone grizzly population.” YES members believe that legal action to obstruct recovery efforts for grizzly bears only serves to erode public support for species conservation and also reduces public support for the Endangered Species Act.

The appeal process began on August 9, 2010 and is expected to take 12 to 18 months.