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Ninth Circuit To Hear Arguments On Yellowstone Grizzly Delisting

Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.

Oral arguments over removing Yellowstone-area grizzly bears from the Endangered Species Act are set for Tuesday in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

The case over whether roughly 700 grizzly bears living in and around Yellowstone National Park should be delisted has been passed up the court system for nearly three years.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed federal protections for the bears in the summer of 2017. But a federal judge in Missoula returned ESA protections for those bears a year later, putting a stop to the first grizzly hunts in decades scheduled in Idaho and Wyoming. Those states, along with the federal government and Montana, appealed that decision.

It’s the second time delisting Yellowstone-area grizzlies has made its way to the Ninth Circuit. In 2011, the court upheld a lower court’s decision to overturn a previous federal government attempt at removing protections.

Nick Mott is a reporter and podcast producer based in Livingston, Montana.
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