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Groups sue Wildlife Services over policies for killing and moving grizzlies

A culvert trap set for a grizzly bear has a large warning printed on the side saying "Danger. Bear Trap. Keep Away."
Nick Mott
A culvert trap set for a grizzly bear.

Three conservation advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Missoula challenging the federal government's policies for killing and moving grizzly bears.

The suit, brought by Wild Earth Guardians, Trap Free Montana and Western Watersheds Project, argues that the U.S. Wildlife Services has not sufficiently looked at the broader effects of their policies with grizzly-human conflicts.

The suit is against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Grizzly bears are federally managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act.

The plaintiffs argue that the federal government hasn’t looked into how their policies for killing and dispersing the bears could impact the long-term connectivity and population of grizzlies in Montana.

The groups have requested an environmental analysis be done on the effects of the Wildlife Services’ program for grizzly bears in Montana.

USDA Wildlife Services told MTPR it does not comment on ongoing or filed lawsuits.

Ellis Juhlin is MTPR's Rocky Mountain Front reporter. Ellis previously worked as a science reporter at Utah Public Radio and a reporter at Yellowstone Public Radio. She has a Master's Degree in Ecology from Utah State University. She's an average birder and wants you to keep your cat indoors. She has two dogs, one of which is afraid of birds.
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