Saturday, September 1, 2018

Federal Judge Temporarily Halts Grizzly Hunt

photo by Rick Lamplugh

On Thursday, August 30, federal judge Dana Christensen in Missoula, Montana, granted a 14-day restraining order that halts the upcoming grizzly bear hunt in Wyoming and Idaho. That trophy hunt of Yellowstone area grizzlies was scheduled to begin on Saturday, September 1. Attorneys for conservation groups and native American tribes immediately filed for the restraining order after Judge Christensen did not rule on the lawsuit intended to have Endangered Species protections restored for Yellowstone’s grizzlies. The restraining order keeps grizzlies from dying while the judge decides whether to restore ESA protection.

Even without added deaths from the trophy hunt that could have claimed up to 22 more grizzlies, grizzly mortality in 2018 is proceeding at a record pace, according to Western Environmental Law Center, one of the attorneys in the case. Thirty-four grizzlies are on the 2018 known and probable mortalities list for the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, outpacing the high rates of the previous three years. In 2017 at least 41 bears were killed—at least 32 of them killed by humans. 

Here's hoping that Judge Christensen puts a permanent halt to the trophy hunt.

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