Update: (Sep 25, 2018)
U.S. Senator John Barrasso is criticizing a Montana Judge’s ruling to block grizzly bear hunts around the Yellowstone area. The Wyoming republican is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He released this following statement as a response:
“This judge’s decision is wrong and unsupported by the facts. Yet again, the courts are replacing science–based recovery measures with personal political preference. The grizzly is recovered in Wyoming. Period. Even the Obama administration determined that the grizzly should be delisted. The state has a strong, science-based plan in place for the management of the bear. That plan should have a chance to demonstrate its success.”
Idaho Fish and Game appears to be in agreement with Sen. Barrasso. Regional Biologist and Grizzly Expert, Jeremey Nicholson claims the Gem State was ready for this hunt when the ruling to protect the bears was made. Nicholson says years went into monitoring the bears and that safety nets were put in place to help their recovery. In the statement, Sen. Barrasso goes onto say:
“This is a prime example why Congress should modernize the Endangered Species Act. We should elevate the role of states and local experts who are on the ground working with the grizzly – and other endangered species – on a daily basis. They should have the opportunity to put the strong management principles they developed in place.”
Original Story: (Sep 24, 2018)
A U.S. judge has restored federal protections to grizzly bears in the Northern Rocky Mountains and blocked the first hunts planned for the animals in the Lower 48 states in almost three decades.
U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen’s order Monday came after he had twice delayed hunts in Wyoming and Idaho just as they were set to begin.
Federal officials say the hunts would have been the first in the Lower 48 states since 1991.
The ruling marks a victory for wildlife advocates and Native American tribes that sued when the Interior Department last year revoked federal protections for more than 700 grizzly bears living in and around Yellowstone National Park.
Wildlife advocates say the animals face continued threats from climate change and loss of habitat.