Montana Public Radio

Endangered Species Act

Grizzly bear.
Flickr user Nathan Rupert

Tribal leaders in Montana, the U.S. and Canada say Wyoming’s unanimous decision to hunt up to 22 grizzly bears outside Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks this year strikes a devastating blow to tribal communities.

On a press conference call Wednesday, tribal leaders said they were not adequately consulted about management of an animal they consider sacred.

A grizzly bear visiting a wire hair snag station near Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park (PD)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced yesterday it will propose to remove federal endangered species protections for grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem this September.

Bear Management Specialist Wesley Sarmento runs through basic bear identification during a community meeting in Fort Shaw, MT, April 4, 2018. Sarmento and other bear managers are preparing locals for more grizzlies moving into the area.
Corin Cates-Carney

This week on the Rocky Mountain Front, state wildlife officials trapped one grizzly bear and killed another when the bears, separately, killed a calf and attacked sheep. Wildlife managers expect more conflicts like this as the number of bears in the region grows.

Grizzly bears have started walking back into their historic territory on the eastern plains, and many farmers and ranchers who haven’t seen the bear in generations are scared for what this revival means for their own way of life.

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.

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

Conservation groups alleged yesterday that Wyoming used part of Montana's grizzly bear hunting quota to increase its own allocation for a proposed hunt this year, even though Montana wildlife regulators voted not to give away any part of its quota.

Montana Won't Allow Yellowstone-Area Grizzly Bear Hunts In 2018

Feb 15, 2018
Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana won't hold a grizzly bear hunt in 2018 after state officials said Thursday they want to avoid complicating lawsuits over the animal's legal status.

Federal officials last year lifted Endangered Species Act protections for about 700 bears in and around Yellowstone National Park, opening the door to potential hunting in the three-state region.

Bison in Yellowstone National Park.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2.0)

A federal judge says the government will need to take a second look at whether Yellowstone National Park bison should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

"This is the first step in what I think is going to be a long fight," says Ken Cole, is the director of the Buffalo Field Campaign, a group advocating for bison protection.

USFWS Says Canada Lynx Are Ready To Be Delisted

Jan 11, 2018
Canada lynx.
(PD)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the Canada lynx may have recovered to the point where it could be delisted as a threatened species.

The elusive cat was listed as threatened nearly 20 years ago. But since then, Jennifer Strickland with the Fish and Wildlife Service says the federal government has done a good job of protecting and expanding lynx-friendly habitat.

Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.
(PD)

The Northern Cheyenne tribe joined a coalition of environmental groups Monday in requesting a federal judge reinstate Endangered Species Act protections for the Yellowstone-area grizzly bear.

The animal was delisted last summer, but the coalition says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s recent reopening of public comment of that delisting is evidence the government didn’t finish its homework before removing protections.

Grizzly bears.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Wildlife managers in the Bitterroot Ecosystem are stepping up their efforts to document the presence of grizzly bears there. This, as bear populations around Yellowstone and Glacier National parks appear to be spreading to new areas.

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