In an amazing victory for wildlife conservationists and bear lovers earlier this month, a U.S. court ruled that grizzly bears living in the Yellowstone ecosystem will remain federally protected and not be subjected to sport hunting.
The U.S. and Wildlife Service had sought to strip Yellowstone grizzlies of the protection provided by the Endangered Species Act — which would have opened the door to a limited number of people obtaining hunting licenses in the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.
States and sportsmen’s groups believe that there should be a state-regulated hunting season. They reason that the grizzly population has more than recovered and is getting in trouble with livestock and are even putting people at risk.
They contend that hunting is an effective solution to these problems.
Grizzlies in the Yellowstone region have become endangered after their numbers dipped to less than 150 in the 1970s … and scientists feared they would disappear altogether.
Thankfully, the grizzly population has rebounded to more than 700 today … but that’s not stopping environmental groups and tribal entities from fighting to have the highest level of species protection restored, on the basis that their recovery hasn’t been assured.
Conservationists argue that the federal government and states have been managing grizzlies effectively for more than four decades without needing to enlist hunters to remove bears that get into conflict with people.
At Karmagawa, we think this is great news and we love that these bears will continue to be protected so that they have a chance to live in peace.
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What do you think about the legal victory to continue protecting grizzlies in the Yellowstone region? Leave a comment below.
(Cover image: ArCaLu/Shutterstock)