Judge orders Yellowstone grizzlies re-listed under ESA, citing climate change factors

Grizzly bears in eastern Idaho were returned to federal protection under the Endangered Species Act by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy -- in part because of climate change factors.

The ruling reverses a decision made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2007 that transferred control of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem from the federal government to the states of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana outside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Molloy said the conservation strategy on which the Fish and Wildlife Service based its delisting, was not enforceable and did not meet the requirement of the act to ensure rules were in place to protect bears after delisting.

"Because the service admits that the conservation strategy is unenforceable, the strategy was not properly considered in the service's evaluation of existing regulatory mechanisms," Molloy wrote.

Molloy also said the service did not adequately consider the impacts of global warming and other factors on whitebark pine nuts, a key grizzly bear food source.

full story (Idaho Statesman)

full story (New York Times)

Read the court order