Federal safeguards for greater Yellowstone ecosystem grizzly bears were reinstated today after a judge ruled that the Trump administration’s decision to strip Endangered Species Act protections from the population was illegal.
The decision spares the grizzlies from a planned trophy hunt scheduled to begin this fall in Wyoming and Idaho. Earthjustice, representing the Northern Cheyenne tribe, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity and National Park Conservation Association, argued for restoring protections to Yellowstone grizzly bears.
This is great news. Facing ongoing threats and occupying a fraction of their historic range, grizzly bears are nowhere near recovery. These beautiful and beleaguered animals certainly shouldn’t be shot for cheap thrills or a bearskin rug.
In August 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the Yellowstone-region grizzly bear population from the federal endangered and threatened species list, even though the area’s grizzly population has suffered high levels of human-caused deaths in recent years.
This fall, for the first time in more than 40 years, the states of Wyoming and Idaho announced grizzly hunts that would have allowed for up to 23 bears to be killed outside of Yellowstone National Park. Today’s court ruling blocked the hunts.
© All rights reserved. Stop the Griz Hunt is a campaign of the Center for Biological Diversity.
Photo credits: Grizzly bear still wet from river by Princess Lodges [FlickrCC], Grizzly Bear with Cub (Yellowstone) by Frank van Manen / USGS [FlickrCC]. Grizzly bear on Swan Lake Flats by Jim Peaco [FlickrCC]