Hearing Today on Grizzly Hunt
Written by andrew-rossi on August 30, 2018
A judge will decide whether the Lower 48 states’ first grizzly bear hunt in four decades will open as scheduled this weekend.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ruled in 2017 that the population of approximately 700 grizzly bears living in and around Yellowstone National Park has recovered and is no longer a threatened species. That decision allowed Idaho and Wyoming to plan grizzly hunts in areas outside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks starting Saturday.
Wildlife advocates and Native American tribes are urging U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen to reinstate federal protections, saying that grizzly bears living in the Yellowstone region face too many threats to their survival to add trophy hunting to the mix, and that the Fish and Wildlife Service’s ruling was based on faulty science.
Today’s decision is expected to affect the grizzly bear hunts scheduled to open this weekend in Wyoming and Idaho. Montana, the third state where Yellowstone grizzlies live, is not holding a hunt this year.
Department of Justice lawyers representing the Fish and Wildlife Service reject the plaintiffs’ claims and say the Yellowstone grizzlies are one of the most-studied and best-managed bear species in the world.