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USFWS Won't Restore Endangered Species Protections For Yellowstone Grizzlies

Grizzly bear at Swan Lake Flats in Yellowstone National Park.
Jim Peaco (PD)
National Park Service
Grizzly bear at Swan Lake Flats in Yellowstone National Park.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not restore federal protections for Yellowstone-area grizzly bears. That despite a court ruling questioning the government’s rationale for placing the animals under state management.

Friday's announcement follows a months-long review of last year’s decision to lift protections for about 700 bears in and around Yellowstone National Park.

The Center for Biological Diversity opposed that decision as well as the analysis released Friday.

Andrea Santarsiere is that group’s senior attorney.

She says the "Fish and Wildlife Service has been taking this piecemeal approach to recovery of grizzly bears. They’re looking at one population in an isolated area and saying, ‘they’ve recovered and so we don’t have to protect the anymore.’ If they’re not connecting to any other populations, it’s not real recovery."

The government’s review was launched after a federal appeals court ruled wildlife officials needed to give more consideration to how a species’ loss of historical habitat affects its recovery.

Wyoming and Idaho plan to allow hunts for a small number of grizzlies this fall. Montana decided against a hunt this year.

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