Grizzly bears run wild through Yellowstone National Park. They call the park home, enjoying one of the last great ecosystems in the country. Unfortunately, humans think they have to balance out the ecosystem by hunting these magnificent animals.
Hunting of grizzly bears led to them being on the endangered and threatened species list for 40 years. Slowly with added protection for the bears, they started to repopulate. Sadly, humans did not learn from this as they want to start hunting the bears in Yellowstone National Park this year.
Climate change has taken its toll on the bears making them change their diet to more meat-based, instead of relying on the fruits and plants in the wild. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed grizzlies from the endangered species list in August of 2017. This led Wyoming and Idaho to open hunting on grizzlies in Yellowstone, allowing up to 23 grizzles to be hunted and killed this year.
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Earthjustice, environmental law firm, are fighting the removal of the grizzlies from the endangered species list. The arguments were heard on August 30th by Judge Dana L. Christensen. Initially, the judge did not issue a decision. With only two days before open season on the bears, Earthjustice attorneys filed a request for a temporary restraining order “to halt the Sept. 1 trophy hunts, while the judge decides the merits of the case.”
Hours after receiving the request, a temporary restraining order was issued by the judge. “This Order shall remain in effect for fourteen days from this date.”
On Monday, Montana Judge Dana Christensen issued his decision in the case. He ruled to put Yellowstone’s grizzlies back on the endangered species list! National Geographic reports, ” A decision issued by Montana Judge Dana Christensen Monday stated that in delisting Yellowstone grizzlies from the endangered list, the Fish and Wildlife Service had acted “arbitrarily and capriciously,” disregarding the long-term health of grizzly bear populations.”
“Earthjustice takes very seriously our role as the last line of defense. And we intend to make sure the government takes seriously its role in that capacity as well,” states Timothy Preso, Earthjustice’s lead attorney on the case.
He goes on to say, “The Yellowstone region’s iconic grizzlies deserve better than to be subjected to trophy hunting based on half-baked government decision.”
Instead of trying to kill bears, we should marvel at their intelligence and ability to adapt. There is a way to coexist. The attorneys are not backing down and will continue to fight to protect the bears. The lawsuit that was filed worked and the bears can rest peacefully. No trophy hunters will be allowed to enter Yellowstone to hunt the majestic bears.
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.