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Montana news about the environment, natural resources, wildlife, climate change and more.

Court upholds decision to temporarily shorten wolf trapping season to protect grizzlies

A gray wolf walking in the snow.
Holly Kuchera
A gray wolf walking in the snow.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld much of a decision to temporarily shorten Montana’s wolf trapping and snaring seasons to protect grizzly bears. The appeals court has ordered the lower court to reconsider areas where those seasons are reduced.

A federal district court in Montana last year found the state’s wolf trapping season put grizzly bears at risk because it overlapped with their non-denning time. The court reduced the wolf trapping season by a month to avoid bears accidentally getting caught in traps.

The area where seasons were shortened remains in place until the district court’s reconsideration.

The appeals court also removed date restrictions on when state biologists can trap and snare wolves as part of their research, which had been included in the prior order. The court's order is in place while arguments on the full case play out.

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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