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bad news for the environment
May 24, 2018

On Wednesday, wildlife officials in Wyoming approved plans for the state's first season of grizzly bear hunting in 43 years, scheduled to begin on Sept. 1.

Hunters will be able to kill as many as 22 grizzlies during the season, Reuters reports. There are now fewer than 2,000 grizzly bears in the 48 contiguous United States. There were once more than 100,000. By 1975, after decades of shooting, trapping, and poisoning, there were only a few hundred bears left, and they were placed under federal protection.

Last June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced there were now enough grizzly bears in the region that the species no longer needed to be listed as threatened; conservationists disagree, arguing that the grizzly bear population is vulnerable to climate change and that poaching remains an issue. Native Americans are also outraged. Brian Jackson of the Blackfoot Confederacy told Reuters the grizzly bear is "a sacred being that is central to our religious and life ways. This is not a hunting issue; this is a killing issue."

Earlier this month, Idaho approved a plan that allows for just one grizzly to be hunted when the season opens Sept. 1, while Montana has decided against permitting grizzly hunting, because the state is still concerned about the long-term recovery of the population. Catherine Garcia

January 25, 2017

More than 52,800 gallons of oil have leaked onto the Ocean Man First Nation reserve in Saskatchewan, and investigators are trying to determine the source of the spill.

"We need to, obviously, as part of that investigation make that determination of when exactly the leak did take place and whether the monitoring system that the company employs is adequate enough," Dustin Duncan, the province's energy minister, said Tuesday. After smelling the scent of oil for a week, a resident notified the tribal chief on Friday, and they contacted Tundra Energy Marketing Ltd., which has a line adjacent to the spill. Several different energy companies have assets in the area, and while Tundra is leading cleanup efforts, the company has not confirmed that its pipeline is the one leaking. There are no homes near the spill, but it is close to a cemetery on what is is considered sacred land.

"It just raises the issue yet again, that if you are going to build these pipelines, you're going to be placing communities and water and land at risk," Gretchen Fitzgerald, national program director at the Sierra Club Canada Foundation, told Reuters. In the United States last year, former President Barack Obama rejected the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota because it involved drilling through land sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux and under their water supply, but on Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order allowing it to advance. Catherine Garcia

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