A welcomed judicial pushback on Trump assault on the environment, this time in the form of a judge overruling Trump’s efforts to remove grizzlies from the threatened species list.
Judges in the US ordered protections to be restored to grizzlies in and around Yellowstone National Park, halting plans for the first licensed trophy hunts of the bears in the region in more than 40 years.
US District Judge Dana Christensen in Missoula, Montana, sided with environmentalists and native American groups by overruling the President Donald Trump’s decision to strip the grizzlies of their status as a threatened species.
The outcome caps one of the most high-profile legal battles over the Endangered Species Act, rivaling previous disputes surrounding the gray wolf and northern spotted owl.
The ruling came as the Trump administration is seeking to rewrite regulations that scientists say would erode wildlife protection for the benefit of commercial interests.
While the decision only affects about 700 of the remaining 2,000 grizzlies in the ‘lower 48’, it’s a great step towards protecting the magnificent beast known as the grizzly!
The de-listing, welcomed by big-game hunters and cattlemen, had applied to about 700 Yellowstone-area grizzlies in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.
Grizzlies, which are slow to reproduce, number fewer than 2,000 bears across the Lower 48. That is far below an historic high of 100,000 before widespread shooting, poisoning and trapping reduced the bears’ population to just several hundred by 1975, when they were placed under federal protection.
Environmentalists have said that while grizzlies have made a comeback, their recovery could falter without continued federal safeguards. They point to, among other things, alterations in the bears’ food supply from climate change and high levels of human-caused mortality.
And a win for Native American tribes as well!!
Native American tribes, which revere the grizzly as sacred, sought reinstatement of its threatened status as essential to protecting their religious practices.
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