Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, April 4, 2017

Contact:  Andrea Santarsiere, (303) 854-7748,
Carleen Pickard, (415) 400-9301,

55,000-plus Postcards Urge Trump Administration Not to End Protections for Yellowstone Grizzlies

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity delivered more than 55,000 postcards from across the country today urging the Trump administration not to remove Endangered Species Act protections from Yellowstone's grizzly bears.

The Center had originally planned to deliver the postcards to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, but the Department of the Interior refused to accept them or communicate with the Center's organizers. Today they were delivered to the headquarters of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Americans across the country love Yellowstone's grizzlies, and the last thing they want is for these bears to lose federal protections and face cruel and senseless trophy hunts,” said Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney with the Center. “It's disappointing that Secretary Zinke's Interior Department refused to hear the public's voice on this issue — and it doesn't bode well for the future of grizzly bears.”

Grizzly bear numbers in and around Yellowstone have improved since the animals were protected in 1975. But they are still threatened by isolation from other grizzly populations, loss of key food sources, human-caused mortalities and, of most concern, proposed trophy hunting by the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming if protections are removed. Overall grizzly bears occupy less than 4 percent of their historic range in the lower 48 states.   

“It's more critical than ever to maintain endangered species protections for grizzly bears,” Santarsiere said. “There's so much more to be done to recover these magnificent animals.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to end endangered species protection for Yellowstone grizzly bears in March 2016. All three states where Yellowstone bears live — Idaho, Montana and Wyoming — have moved ahead with plans and regulations to permit trophy hunting of grizzly bears, anticipating removal of the bears' federal protection. 

Although the Service had originally planned to make a final determination by December 2016, the agency recently stated it had received over 650,000 comments on the proposed rule and therefore needed more time. A final rule could be issued as soon as this summer.

“Yellowstone's grizzly bears are loved by people around the world, and they deserve a real shot at survival,” said Santarsiere. “The job of fully recovering grizzly bears has a long way to go.”

Historically grizzly bears ranged from Alaska to Mexico, with an estimated 50,000 bears occupying the western half of the contiguous United States. With European settlement of the American West, they were shot, poisoned and trapped to near extinction. Today just 1,500 to 1,800 grizzlies are found in five isolated populations in the northern Rocky Mountains and North Cascades, including approximately 700 in the Yellowstone area.

Today's event was made possible by the Center and by Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, a global cosmetics company with 250 shops in North America. In partnership with the Center, Lush collected the postcards in-shop and online in November 2016 to oppose the trophy hunting and the delisting of grizzly bears in the United States. To accompany this campaign, Lush also produced a 30-minute documentary called Trophy featuring the work of the Center and other nonprofit organizations working to protect grizzly bears in the U.S. and Canada.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.2 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics are purveyors of good, clean fun. They offer luxurious and ethical skincare, haircare and bath indulgences, as well as unique gifts filled with fragrant and effective products. 2015 marked Lush's 20th anniversary of creating innovative cosmetics using fresh fruits and vegetables, the finest essential oils and ingredients that are ethically and sustainably sourced. Never tested on animals, every single Lush product is vegetarian, and about 85 % are vegan, 40% preservative-free and 35% unpackaged. Lush supports Fair Trade, Community Trade and charitable initiatives and follows the simple policy: have the least possible impact on the environment while still producing beautiful and effective products. Lush has more than 250 locations across North America. Learn more at

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