For over 40 years there have been federal protections on Yellowstone grizzly bears. Trump’s new Interior secretary Ryan Zinke says that it’s been so successful it’s time we end that crap and let some shooting start!
Grizzlies in all continental U.S. states except Alaska have been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1975, when just 136 bears roamed in and around Yellowstone. There are now an estimated 700 grizzlies in the area that includes northwestern Wyoming, southwestern Montana and eastern Idaho, leading the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conclude that the population has recovered.
“This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement.
Let’s sell some grizzly hunting licenses!
The final ruling by the Fish and Wildlife Service to remove Yellowstone grizzlies from the list of endangered and threatened species will give jurisdiction over the bears to Montana, Idaho and Wyoming by late July.
That will allow those states to plan limited bear hunts outside the park’s boundaries as long as the overall bear population does not fall below 600 bears. Wyoming and Montana are unlikely to hold hunts this year, state officials said. Idaho officials said it is too early to discuss a possible hunting season.
Let’s put this into perspective. Before trapping and hunting decimated the grizzly populations in North America, there were around 50,000. Now we just want to make sure the population doesn’t get below 600 in a state. Some of the groups opposing grizzly trophy hunting are Native American tribes who hold the grizzly up as a sacred animal. The AP says this ruling should not affect populations that are still classified as “threatened.”