Judge’s Order Temporarily Suspends Grizzly Bear Hunting Season
Cheyenne, WY. – Last Thursday, a Federal District Court Judge in Montana issued a temporary restraining order suspending grizzly bear hunting in Wyoming. The order is in effect for two weeks. The delisting rule promulgated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Services that ended Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem remains in effect. Grizzly bears remain delisted, and Wyoming will continue to manage grizzly bears pending a final decision.
In response to a federal judge’s ruling, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has suspended the grizzly bear hunting season pending further direction. The Wyoming Game and Fish will continue to lead grizzly bear management, research, monitoring, conflict mitigation and education, but the planned 2018 grizzly bear hunting season scheduled to begin September 1 has been shut down.
Questions related to the review of the judge’s decision will be handled by the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office.
Game and Fish has already been notifying all of the people who have been issued a 2018 grizzly bear hunting license that the hunt is suspended at this time.
“This is unfortunate. Game and Fish has a robust grizzly bear management program with strong regulations, protections and population monitoring for grizzly bears. We believe in state-led management of wildlife and involving the public in decisions like the creation and implementation of a conservative hunting opportunity for those who want that experience,” said Scott Talbott, director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. “We will now await further information about whether the bears will remain under state management or if they go back to federal management.”
“I am disappointed by this temporary restraining order,” said Governor Matt Mead. “Grizzly bear recovery should be viewed as a conservation success story. Due to Wyoming’s investment of approximately $50 million for recovery and management, grizzly bears have exceeded every scientifically established recovery criteria in the GYE since 2003. Numbers have risen from as few as 136 bears when they were listed in 1975, to more than 700 today.”