Latest: Wyoming and Idaho to hold grizzly hunts

Lawsuits loom over the first hunting tags given in 44 years.

  • Scott Calleja/Flickr CC
 

BACKSTORY

In 1975, Lower 48 grizzlies were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and hunting was ended. When Greater Yellowstone’s bears rebounded, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed delisting them, which would allow Idaho, Wyoming and Montana to restore trophy hunts (“As delisting looms, grizzly advocates prepare for a final face-off”, HCN, 5/16/16). In 2017, delisting occurred and hunting quotas were left to the states.

FOLLOWUP

This fall, Wyoming and Idaho will hold their first grizzly hunts in 44 years. (Montana opted out.) Idaho will allow one bear to be killed. In Wyoming, however, more than 7,000 people applied for 22 permits. At least two tags went to critics of the hunt who shoot only with cameras, including wildlife photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen. He told The Washington Post, “We’ve petitioned the government, we’ve gone to the meetings. … We have a right to protest in whatever way we feel is necessary.” The hunt could still be called off: During an Aug. 30 hearing for lawsuits challenging the bear’s delisting, a federal judge delayed the start of the hunting season, originally set to begin on Saturday, Sept. 1. The hunt was postponed for 14 days to allow the lawsuit over restoring protections for the bears to proceed.

Note: An earlier version of this story, written before the Aug. 30 hearing, appeared in print.

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