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            Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is celebrating the Fish and Wildlife Service's announcement today that Wyoming grizzly bears in the Yellowstone area will soon become Wyoming bears again.    "At long last," said Enzi.  "Decades passed.  The bears increased in number.  The federal government stood immobile.  Today that is finally changing.  Grizzly management will shift to the state where it should be.  I'm confident in the ability of the Wyoming Game and Fish to manage the bear for both the benefit of the Wyoming people and the grizzly.

           "Just as the bears are coming out of hibernation we see the federal government is finally waking up to the realization that it's long past time to delist the grizzlies in Yellowstone ," Enzi said. 

           The U.S. Fish and Wildlife plans to issue a final rule on March 29 to delist the grizzly bears in the Yellowstone area of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho . The rule becomes effective 30 days after publication in the federal register.

           "I'm pleased the Fish and Wildlife Service is moving forward delisting, but this is an announcement we should have made 10 or 15 years ago when the population first met recovery goals," Enzi said.  "The wheels of the federal government turn at geologic speed when it comes to the Endangered Species Act.  Part of the problem is the act itself, which I've been working with the rest of the Wyoming and other western delegations to fix.

           "I hope I will be able to comment on the delisting of wolves in the not-so-distant future, but like the grizzly bear, the path to delisting wolves in Wyoming has been lined with obstacles. The news today shows it is actually possible," Enzi said. 

            According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service there are 500 grizzly bears in Yellowstone National park and the population is growing between 4 and 7 percent a year. The grizzly bear was listed as an endangered species 26 years ago.