BREAKING: Federal Judge Rules to Restore Grizzly Protections, Canceling Bear Hunt
OutdoorHub Reporters 09.25.18
The first public land grizzly bear hunt in nearly three decades has been canceled following a U.S. federal judge ruling to restore grizzly protections on Monday. The judge overruled Trump administration officials and rejected claims that the predator species had recovered after being placed under the Endangered Species Act in 1975.
Wyoming and Idaho were both teetering on the edge of allowing hunters to hunt NO MORE than 23 bears this fall, but U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen, who oversaw the case, ordered federal protections be restored this week.
In his ruling, Christensen wrote the case was “not about the ethics of hunting,” ABC News reports. He said it was instead about whether or not federal officials adequately considered threats to the longevity of the species after protections were lifted last year. He continued saying the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials were “arbitrary and capricious” in their 2017 decision to remove the bears’ protections under the Endangered Species Act.
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead said this ruling supports evidence of major flaws in the Endangered Species Act and the need for Congress to step in and make important changes.
“Grizzly bear recovery should be viewed as a conservation success story,” Mead stated.
The decision comes 10 days after a hunting guide came across a sow grizzly with her cub, was mauled and killed near Jackson, Wyoming – the area which bear hunting advocates suggested a need to reduce grizzly numbers.
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*All guides/hunters/hikers out there in grizzly country please be careful. I feel like this recent tragedy illustrates why grizzly bear need to be hunted in certain areas of the Lower-48. This guide and his client where attacked by a grizzly in country that is “full of bears”, where science says numbers are high enough to allow a handful of hunters the chance to kill a grizzly, yet a federal judge from Montana has put a hold on the hunt, which was slated to begin September 1st. I’ve hunted grizzly in Alaska and been in grizzly country many times in the Lower-48, and it’s common knowledge that grizzly in the Lower-48 are more aggressive than bear in Alaska. I believe one reason why is because they aren’t hunted down here so they are less fearful of man. I talked about this issue last week on @nratv with @dloesch and while I don’t know if this heartbreaking tragedy could have been avoided if the grizzly hunt would have started as planned, what I do know is emotion (sadness a handful of bears need to be killed in certain regions of the wild to keep order) should NEVER trump sound decisions state fish and game departments make based on carrying capacity, herd health, predator vs prey numbers, etc.. I hope the judge in Montana can let the grizzly hunt move forward as science says it should before anything else bad happens. I’m hearing about more bear/human conflicts daily it seems. I pray that grief passes gently for the family. So sad. 🙏 And, yes I know there are risks associated with being in grizzly country. For those interested I’ve read there is a Go Fund Me account set up for his wife and five kids.
Both bears involved in that particular attack were later tracked down and killed by state wildlife officials.