On Monday, a federal judge reversed a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to lift protections for 700 grizzly bears living in and around Yellowstone National Park.
Wyoming and Idaho had already issued 23 hunting permits for this fall, setting up the first grizzly hunt to take place in the United States outside of Alaska in 27 years, but U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen's decision cancels the hunt. Christensen said this was "not about the ethics of hunting" but rather that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service "failed to make a reasoned decision" when it concluded grizzly bears are no longer a threatened species that needs federal protections.
Grizzly bears were listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1975, when there were only about 136 of the animals still in Yellowstone. Catherine Garcia