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Advocacy group sues over rule expanding hunting and fishing on national wildlife refuges

Man fishing in the Yellowstone River.
Flickr user: Mirrur Image (CC-BY-NC)

A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Missoula seeks to overturn a Trump-era rule expanding hunting and fishing within the National Wildlife Refuge system. The lawsuit argues the expansion will harm endangered species like grizzly bears.
The lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t properly assess the impact of a rule opening 2.3 million acres in the National Wildlife Refuge system to hunting and fishing. The rule includes the Swan River National Wildlife Refuge in northwest Montana.

The advocacy group in a press release says that the rule will increase the amount of lead in the ecosystem from ammunition and fishing tackle, harming endangered waterfowl and will pose a risk to threatened grizzly bears due to hunters mistaking them for black bears.

MTPR reached out to FWS for comment, but did not receive a response by deadline.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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