A conservation group sent a petition this week to Governor Matt Mead’s office against the proposed grizzly bear hunt. The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) said hunting grizzly bears is too aggressive of a management tool. Especially given the bears have just been taken off the endangered species list.
Sharon Mader, the senior program manager for the Grand Teton Field Office of NCPA, said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not follow the process of delisting correctly. She mentioned steps were not adequately taken by the service to rush the process. She said there’s a big possibility that a federal court will overturn the delisting of the bears this coming August.
“It seems very premature for Wyoming to move ahead with a hunt that proposes to kill 23 grizzly bears considering that the delisting of the bears might very likely be illegal,” Mader said.
Mader said she hopes Governor Mead will at least delay the hunt until the court makes a decision.
The petition has over 33,000 signatures but only a little over 400 are from Wyoming. But she says grizzlies are a national concern so it’s still valuable.
“These bears are not just Wyoming bears. They are the national parks and the wildlife are in the ownership of people around the country. And we spent millions of dollars of recovering them,” said Mader.
Montana decided not to hold a hunt this year and Idaho approved a hunt for one male grizzly. Wyoming Game and Fish will decide on May 23 if a hunt will happen this fall.