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Judge halts first grizzly hunts in decades two days before their start

All U.S. grizzlies outside Alaska were listed as threatened in 1975. The federal government removed protections from grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in 2017.

KARIN BRULLIARD: ‘A federal judge blocked grizzly bear hunts outside Yellowstone National Park two days before their start, postponing them for 14 days as he deliberates over lawsuits challenging the Trump administration’s removal of endangered species protections for the animals… “The threat of death to individual grizzly bears posed by the scheduled hunt is sufficient” to warrant a delay, he wrote…

The order amounted to a temporary reprieve for as many as 23 Yellowstone-area bears that could be killed in the first grizzly hunts in the Lower 48 since 1991. The majority are to be hunted outside Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in Wyoming, which approved the killing of up to 22 bears; Idaho set its quota at one male grizzly. “It’s a great relief for us, but also for all the people for whom these grizzly bears really are irreplaceable,” said Tim Preso, an attorney for Earthjustice, which represents several parties in one of a half-dozen lawsuits…

The federal government removed protections from grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in 2017, following what Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke called “one of America’s great conservation successes, the culmination of decades of hard work.” All U.S. grizzlies outside Alaska were listed as threatened in 1975, by which point more than a century of hunting and extermination had left as few as 136 in the Yellowstone area’. SOURCE…

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