Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wyoming approves hunting of grizzlies near Yellowstone

A grizzly roams in Yellowstone National Park.
(Reuters photo by Jim Urquhart)
"State wildlife officials approved plans on Wednesday for Wyoming’s first season of grizzly bear hunting in 43 years, a move cheered by sportsmen but decried by Native Americans and conservation groups fighting to restore Endangered Species Act protections to the bears," Laura Zuckerman reports for Reuters.

Last June the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that grizzlies would no longer be listed as a threatened species around Yellowstone National Park, which left management of the bears to the governments of the three states bordering Yellowstone: Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. 

Hunters in Wyoming will be allowed to shoot and kill as many as 22 grizzly bears during hunting season, which begins Sept. 1. Two weeks ago, Idaho approved a more conservative plan that allows hunters to take only one grizzly during its hunting season, which also opens Sept. 1. Montana decided not to open a grizzly season because of worries about the long-term recovery of the bear population, which brings in money in ecotourism.  

"Grizzlies also are at the heart of a cultural divide between Native Americans, who revere the bears, and ranchers and others who see the creatures as potential threats to livestock and impediments to more mining, logging and fossil energy development," Zuckerman reports.

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