Monday afternoon a federal district court judge placed the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear back under federal protection. This means Wyoming’s planned grizzly hunt will not happen and management will be returned to the federal government.
For Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, this decision means no grizzly will die just for the conquest.
“We are just happy that the court agrees with us and a hunter is not going to be able to go out tomorrow and shoot a bear to put a head on his wall,” she said.
Now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must reexamine the threats the grizzlies are facing. For conservation and Native American groups these threats include loss of food sources and the evaluation of ALL historical ranges.
Santasarie said she acknowledges there are historic ranges where grizzlies will not be successfully reintroduced.
“They should be recovered in historic ranges that is still suitable for grizzly occupancy and for the very least in the six recovery areas outlined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” she said.
The grizzly bear was under state management for just a little over a year. In a news release, Governor Matt Mead said he’s disappointed with the decision. The state of Wyoming believes an approximate population of more than 700 grizzlies is a recovered population. The Wyoming Attorney General’s office is reviewing the ruling.