Thursday, September 29, 2016

U.S., Canadian tribes to sign joint treaty to block hunting of grizzly bears in Yellowstone area

National Park Service map shows bear range
Tribal leaders from the U.S. and Canada will sign Friday a joint treaty "aimed at blocking the proposed hunting of grizzly bears in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming," Rob Hotakeainen reports for McClatchy Newspapers. Tribal leaders, who consider the grizzly bear a sacred animal, are angry that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in March proposed removing the grizzly bear from the federal endangered species list from the area in and around Yellowstone National Park, which would let the three states manage the bears and allow hunting.

"Tribal officials said the new treaty will be only the third cross-border treaty between U.S. and Canadian tribes to be signed in more than 150 years," Hotakeainen writes. "More than 50 federally recognized tribes have lobbied President Barack Obama to intervene. They’re backed by The Assembly of First Nations, a national advocacy organization representing the more than 900,000 First Nation citizens living in Canada."

Ranchers and state officials have argued for delisting of grizzly bears, saying numbers are up and "they constitute a threat to public safety," Hotakeainen writes. Numbers were estimated at as low as 136 in 1975, but are now estimated at more than 700. (Read more)

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