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Natural Resources & Energy

Wyoming Wants To Restore State Management Of Grizzly Bears

Grizzly bear amongst autumn turned grass
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Jean Beaufort

Wyoming is asking the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to restore state management of grizzly bears.

During a news conference, Gov. Mark Gordon said the state has hit all required benchmarks for recovery.

"Data shows the population numbers of more than one thousand bears - far beyond all scientific requirements for a recovered and viable population," said Gordon.

He added the state is preparing a management plan that will ensure the grizzly population will thrive into the future.

Andrea Zaccardi of the Center for Biological Diversity is not thrilled with the proposal, mainly because of how the state reacted when it last got control of grizzlies.

"Wyoming immediately implemented a pretty aggressive trophy hunting season. So I'm extremely concerned about Wyoming or any of the states in the region taking control over grizzly bears that are still in a recovery stage."

Wyoming Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik said hunting would likely be part of their management plan.

"The goal is to try to be more proactive with that management and to control those populations, especially in those areas where we don't think grizzly bears should be," said Nesvik.

He said they’d manage grizzlies like other large carnivore species in the state.

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