grizzly bears

NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk held a virtual press conference on Thursday addressing his retirement on September 29, 2018.

Thomas D Mangelsen

Two individuals planning not to kill grizzly bears drew licenses for the historic grizzly bear hunt this fall. Up to 22 grizzly bears can be hunted this fall in the first hunt in Wyoming since the bear was listed as threatened 44 years ago.

Mark Elbroch

Wildlife management policies have contributed to a steep decline of mountain lions in northwest Wyoming, according to a new report published last week in the journal “Ecology and Evolution,” which found that population numbers have dropped by almost 50-percent in only 16 years.

CC0 Public Domain

Several conservation organizations sent a letter to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) saying it hasn’t accurately counted the total number of grizzly deaths for 2017, and the low number could change the number of bears available to hunt this fall.

Public Domain

Some wildlife activists see the grizzly bear hunting lottery as an opportunity to have a voice in Wyoming’s wildlife management. Opponents of this coming fall’s historic grizzly hunt say if they apply for and receive a tag, they won’t use it to hunt the bear, giving the animal that ten extra days to live. The grizzly bear hunt allows one hunter in the Yellowstone region at a time, each with a ten-day limit.

As more people move into the West, interactions between humans and bears have increased. Now Yellowstone National Park is asking visitors to help save bears by honking at them.

6:30 a.m. is one of the best times to watch wildlife in Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Valley.

Everything smells like sage. It’s really cold and there are a bunch of retirees staring through hire-powered telescopes at a lush, verdant hill.

National Digital Library of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

At a recent public hearing in Lander to decide whether to allow grizzly bear hunting, the Northern Arapaho elder society released a statement calling such hunting an act of genocide against the species. Elders Crawford White Sr. and Nelson White Sr. stated that, as a sovereign nation, they should have been consulted in the decision as required by law.

Bob Beck

Last week the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission voted to move forward with a plan that would lead to the hunting of up to 22 grizzly bears this fall and possibly more in the future. It would be the first grizzly bear hunt in Wyoming since the bear was listed as threatened in 1975. The hunt is part of the Game and Fish Department’s long-range plan for managing the grizzly. 

Public Domain / Jean Beaufort

Black bear attacks are extremely rare, but that could be changing. Wildlife officials say with more people coming into contact with wildlife, the chances for conflict will also increase. 

Wyoming Game and Fish Department logo
Wyoming Game and Fish Department

If a grizzly bear hunt does happen this fall, only one female bear will be up for grabs. This comes after the Wyoming Game and Fish Department made changes to its proposed regulations for the first grizzly bear hunting season since the animals were taken off the endangered species list.

Charles Preston

When federal protections were lifted for the Yellowstone-area grizzly bear last year, conservation groups quickly got to work to reverse that decision. One of those attempts was recently thwarted when U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced they would not restore protections after a months-long review.

CREDIT GRIZZLY BEAR ON SWAN LAKE FLATS, YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK; JIM PEACO

Wyoming is drafting a plan for its first grizzly bear hunt in decades. Conservation groups are accusing the state of not following agreed-upon quotas for how many Yellowstone Grizzly can be hunted.  

Dan Thompson, Wyoming Game and Fish large carnivore section specialist, speaks to Cody residents about the grizzly bear hunting draft regulations.
Kamila Kudelska

Tuesday night, Cody residents had an opportunity to comment on the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's grizzly bear hunting draft regulations for this fall.

Grizzly bear
Credit Grizzly bear on Swan Lake Flats, Yellowstone National Park; Jim Peaco

A federal district judge cited potential grizzly hunts when denying the federal government’s request to delay lawsuits that challenge the bear's delisting.

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An eleven-year-old male grizzly was the first bear sighting of 2018 in Yellowstone National Park. The male was seen in the east-central region of the park.

Charles Preston

A proposal for a historic grizzly bear hunt this fall has been released to the public. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department drafted it after a series of public meetings where, according to the agency, the majority of Wyomingites expressed support for a potential hunt. It would be the first hunt since 1975 when the bears were placed on the Endangered Species List.

Pexels

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department held a Facebook Live chat Tuesday to recap how public input will be used for grizzly bear management in the state.

During the Facebook live event Dan Thompson, the Large Carnivore Section Supervisor, covered the five major themes of public meetings throughout Wyoming in November. These included population monitoring, research, conflict management, education, and hunting. 

Thompson said overall the public expressed the need for a more accurate grizzly bear population estimate, which is currently very conservative. 

By Terry Tollefsbol, NATIONAL CONSERVATION TRAINING CENTER-PUBLICATIONS AND TRAINING MATERIALS (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Environmental groups continue to voice alarm after the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission recommended moving forward on a grizzly bear hunting season. At a January meeting, the commissioners instructed the Game and Fish Department to start writing rules for hunting regulations. The first season could open as early as this fall.

Nic Patrick

With grizzlies off of the endangered species list, many scientists view grizzlies as a success story. But the question is how does the bear successfully return to a heavily populated environment? Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska looks at the history of grizzly management to possibly learn some lessons for how to handle grizzlies in the future.

 

Charles Preston

The hunting of grizzly bears in Wyoming may start as early as this fall. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department's decision to pursue hunting comes after the department held a series of public meetings throughout the state on future management of grizzly bears. Chief Game Warden Brian Nesvik said the majority of the public seemed to support hunting, and the department welcomes this as a useful management tool.

Yellowstone National Park Emblem Sticker
National Park Service

A coalition of tribal and conservation groups is asking a judge to restore federal protections for Greater Yellowstone grizzly bears, as it also asks the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), to restore federal protections on their own.

Kamila Kudelska

More than 150 members of the public attended a Wyoming Game and Fish Department meeting in Cody on the future management of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The group broke out into ten discussion groups to address different areas of management and research.

Mainly, the public expressed concern on how to manage the increasing population of grizzly bears in the area and how to manage problem bears. A proposed solution throughout the groups was to allow the public to hunt problem grizzlies under the supervision of Game and Fish personnel.

(NPS Photo/ Tim Rains)

The National Rifle Association and the Safari Club International - a sport hunting group - joined forces this week to intervene in a lawsuit. The groups want to make sure their members are allowed to hunt grizzly bears in the three-state region around Yellowstone National Park but not within the park itself.

Grizzly bear
Credit Grizzly bear on Swan Lake Flats, Yellowstone National Park; Jim Peaco

As the Wyoming Fish and Game Department hosts public meetings statewide on grizzly bear management  — some organizations are citing economic detriment as a reason not to allow trophy hunting of grizzly bears.

Wyoming Wildlife Advocates, a Jackson Hole-based organization, released a statement last week urging the fish and game department to not allow trophy hunting of grizzly bears in Teton County and near any national parks. Roger Hayden, the executive director of Wyoming Wildlife Advocates, said trophy hunting of grizzly bears would cause economic detriment to the county.

Cooper McKim

  

Paul Miller just got back from a 12-day hunting trip outside of Cody with some friends. 

 

"Yeah, we went on a mountain goat and bighorn sheep hunt. One guy drew both tags and we archery hunted it for a couple of days, then we hunted sheep with a rifle,” Miller said.

 

(NPS Photo/ Tim Rains)

The Endangered Species Act has been the law of the land for more than 40 years. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website, the act was intended to highlight the “esthetic, ecological, educational, recreational, and scientific value to our Nation and its people.” But Wyoming Senator John Barrasso says it needs updating.

“The Endangered Species Act was written, created and adopted for all the right reasons and there’s just too much sand in the gears right now.”

Barrasso says the Act creates too many hoops and hurdles.

Photograph obtained by Wyoming Untrapped
Provided by Wyoming Untrapped

The Game and Fish Department continues to search for a grizzly bear with a steel trap caught on its right foot. Someone photographed the bear walking near the Bridger-Teton Forest on May 31. 

The day after the blurry photograph was taken, someone alerted the Game and Fish Department of the injured bear. Dan Thompson, large carnivore section supervisor at the Department, said they quickly jumped into action. 

"Since then, we’ve been monitoring on a daily base both on the ground and with some flights . . . I flew over the area directly last week,” Thompson said. 

Department of Interior Logo
U.S. Department of Interior

Grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone National Park have been removed from the endangered species list. The bear has been considered endangered since 1975 when there were only 150 of them remaining. Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke said, with a population now close to 700 in the area, the species has been sufficiently recovered. Governor Matt Mead agreed saying it's been true since 2003. 

The decision will put management into the hands of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and local tribes in about a month. 

Charles Preston

 

Grizzly bears may be taken off the Endangered Species list soon. And, hunts are part of Wyoming’s bear management plans. Those planned hunts are drawing fire from tribes, the Sierra Club, and comments from Yellowstone National Park.

For 40 plus years, the only people who have hunted grizzlies here are tourists and photographers. They come from around the world, hoping for a glimpse of the country’s largest and most powerful carnivore.

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