Russian scientists in conjunction with the World Wildlife Fund set up a meeting to discuss the problem of increased human-polar bear interactions. These have become more frequent and dangerous as the bears are forced out of their usual ranges due to the melting of arctic ice packs. A polar bear expert Craig Perham from the Fish and Wildlife Service was invited along by Margaret Williams of the WWF. Perham was told by the Interior Department in February 2007 that he could not talk about global warming at the meeting because it was not part of the agenda, even though the meeting had no agenda and global warming was the cause of the change in polar bear movements.
On May 14, 2008, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne placed the polar bear on the endangered species list but said that it would be wholly inappropriate to use this as an argument to reduce greenhouse gases or restrict oil and gas exploration and development in areas where they occur.