MTPR

Center For Biological Diversity

In a rugged canyon in southern Wyoming, a helicopter drops nets over a pair of coyotes. They're bound, blindfolded and flown to a landing station. There, University of Wyoming researchers place them on a mat. The animals stay calm and still while technicians figure out their weight, age, sex and other measurements. Graduate student Katey Huggler fits the coyotes with tracking collars.

Federal wildlife managers are gearing up to remove gray wolves from the Endangered Species List. But some environmentalists say the species isn’t ready and that the government is basing its decision on outdated science. A group of biologists in four western national parks are looking at the impacts of wolf deaths on their packs and how this could affect the greater population.

Groups Intend To Sue Over New Wyoming Grizzly Hunt Law

Feb 20, 2019
Grizzly bear, file photo.
(PD)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Environmental groups have filed notice they intend to sue over a new Wyoming law that could authorize grizzly bear hunting even though grizzlies are federally protected.

Northern Rockies fisher.
USFWS Region 5 (CC-BY-2)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates on Tuesday urged Montana officials to ban trapping along much of the state's border with Idaho to protect an isolated population of cat-sized predators living in old-growth forests.

Representatives of five environmental groups said in a petition to Montana wildlife commissioners that trapping is a serious threat to the Northern Rockies fisher, a fanged predator that feeds on porcupines and once ranged across at least five states.

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

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Friday filed notice to appeal restored Endangered Species Act protections for Yellowstone-area grizzly bears granted by a federal judge in Missoula in September.

MTPR's Nick Mott reports on the government’s challenge to a decision that blocked the first hunts of the animal in decades.

House Passes Bill To Drop Legal Protections For Gray Wolves

Nov 16, 2018
Gray wolf.
iStock

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House passed a bill Friday to drop legal protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states, reopening a lengthy battle over the predator species.

Long despised by farmers and ranchers, wolves were shot, trapped and poisoned out of existence in most of the U.S. by the mid-20th century. Since securing protection in the 1970s, wolves have bounced back in the western Great Lakes states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as in the Northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest.

Grizzly bear
iStock

The first grizzly bear hunt in Wyoming and Idaho in more than 40 years has been delayed until at least the end of the month while a federal judge in Missoula decides if Yellowstone-area grizzlies should be removed from the endangered species list.

Arctic grayling
Mark Conlin, USFWS

A federal appeals court says U.S. wildlife officials did not consider all environmental factors when it decided against designating a Montana fish as a threatened or endangered species.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Friday sent a lawsuit seeking federal protections for the Arctic grayling back to a lower court for further consideration.

Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Environmental groups sued the Trump administration on Monday for selling oil and gas leases on huge swaths of Western public lands while allegedly ignoring policies meant to protect an imperiled bird.

Attorneys for Western Watersheds Project and Center for Biological Diversity asked a federal judge in Idaho to reverse lease sales totaling 475 square miles (1,230 square kilometers) in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada.

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

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.

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