The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), among other tribal entities, have signed a treaty opposing the delisting of Yellowstone grizzlies.
According to the Flathead Beacon, the CSKT joins several other tribes in the Greater Yellowstone Area who oppose the measure, citing their longstanding association and affinity for the animal. Earlier this year, we reported that the CSKT was at odds with Montana legislators over whether to delist Yellowstone grizzlies from the Endangered Species Act.
The USFWS previously announced their intention to delist Yellowstone grizzlies in March. From the Flathead Beacon:
The local tribes signed the treaty on Oct. 18. Initiated by the Piikani Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy, the so-called grizzly treaty rejects post-delisting trophy hunting of the grizzly. Elected and traditional leaders of the Eastern Shoshone, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, and Northern Arapaho – the three tribes with seats on Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee-Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee — have all signed the treaty. All three tribes have previously issued or been party to resolutions opposing the delisting of the grizzly bear.
“The CSKT is in agreement with the aspirations and goals of the Grizzly Treaty particularly regarding the reverence that tribes have for the grizzly bear, and the spiritual, cultural and ceremonial role the grizzly plays in the life and history of each signatory tribe,” stated CSKT Chairman Vernon Finley.
The Beacon reports that USFWS officials are expected to make their announcement within the coming weeks or months. All three states with stakes in the decision (Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming) have drafted management plans in response to the USFWS’ actions.
Earlier this fall, the USFWS announced they would reopen public comment on the delisting proposal. According to the Beacon, the agency received over 278,000 comments during the scoping period.