boone and crockett club position statement

Mammalian Top Predators

First Adopted September 23, 2011 - Updated August 23, 2012


Situational Overview

All wild animals in the United States and Canada, including the mammalian top predators of cougar, wolf, black bear, grizzly bear, and polar bear, “belong” to the people.  They are managed according to federal, state, provincial, territorial, or tribal laws in the public trust by appropriate government agencies.
When deemed to be endangered or threatened with extinction in the U.S., as determined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), the federal government assumes the public trust authority from the states until such time as the listed species is recovered.  In Canada, the Species at Risk Act of 2002 contains similar provisions.
Both the gray wolf and grizzly bear were listed under the ESA in 1974.  Despite the USFWS’s finding that recovery has been achieved for the gray wolf in most areas of the country, legal challenges over delisting procedures continue to threaten the permanent transfer of management authority back to the states.  Legal challenges to the state management of grizzlies persist, and the species currently remains under federal authority in the lower 48 states.


The Boone and Crockett Club supports the public trust management of all wildlife by state, provincial, territorial, or tribal management authority, including cougars, bears, and wolves, wherever sustainable populations exist, whether naturally occurring or initially reintroduced under federal law.

The Club further supports the informed management of all ecosystems and their components, including top predators, and that such management must balance the needs of humans and wildlife, in both shared and unshared landscapes.

This position supersedes the prior 2011 position of the Club on Northern Gray Wolves.

Click here to read more about the Club's position on the gray wolf.

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