Judge reinstates federal protections for grizzly bears, blocks planned fall hunting season
Overruling Trump administration officials, a federal judge in Montana has reinstated legal protections for grizzly bears living in and around Yellowstone National Park and blocked planned hunts in Wyoming and Idaho.
The judge ruled U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials were “arbitrary and capricious” in their 2017 decision to remove the bears’ protections under the Endangered Species Act.
The ruling represents a major victory for animal-rights groups that argued in a lawsuit that the estimated 700 bears living in the Greater Yellowstone area should be protected from hunting because there are so few of them left alive. Advocates argued the bears are both a key part of the local ecosystem and a major tourist attraction.
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