But as more humans settled the Rockies, the great bear's numbers began to dwindle. By 1975, the Yellowstone grizzly was on the brink of extinction and was listed as endangered.
Under the Endangered Species Act, Yellowstone's bears have made a dramatic recovery - from just 200 bears in 1975 to roughly 600 today. But now the grizzly bear faces its biggest challenge ever: global warming.
One of the bear's primary food sources, the seed of whitebark pine trees, is disappearing. Scientists report that warmer temperatures are causing an explosion in the Yellowstone pine beetle population, leading to decimation of whitebark pine. In addition, more and more of the grizzly's range land is being opened to oil and gas development.
On May 1, the Bush Administration removed the Yellowstone grizzly from the Endangered Species List. Instead of undoing protections for grizzly bears, we should be guarding them more vigilantly than ever before, and taking decisive action to stop global warming.
Tell the Administration that you want to see grizzly bears protected and that they should re-list the bear today.
Dear Mr. Kempthorne,
The Yellowstone grizzly bear is a symbol of the wild spirit of the American West. Thanks to its protection by the Endangered Species Act, the bear has made a dramatic recovery in recent years. But its battle for survival is far from over. In fact, the grizzly bear now it faces its biggest challenge ever: global warming.
At a time when one of the grizzly's main food sources--the seed of the whitebark pine--is disappearing due to increasing temperatures, we should be taking decisive action to curb global warming and protect the forests where bears live and raise their young.
I urge you to re-list the Yellowstone grizzly bear under the Endangered Species Act and ensure that it has a fighting chance for survival well into the future.