September 1, 2018, marks the first day of grizzly bear management hunts in Idaho and Wyoming near Yellowstone Park. That is, unless a federal judge rules otherwise.
“I think the plaintiffs just don’t want to see a bear hunted,” Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer, told the Missoulian. “And our members want us to be more active in representing interests of hunters. The wildlife agencies in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana have spent a lot of money managing and studying bears for a lot of years, and hunters have contributed a lot of that state money. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has spent a lot of money on habitat conservation in the Yellowstone ecosystem. Let’s claim an ESA success and manage them like we do everything else.”
The Department of Interior announced the removal of Yellowstone area grizzlies from the endangered species list in 2017. Idaho and Wyoming later announced intentions to hold a hunt in the fall of 2018. Montana chose not to follow suit.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains grizzlies should be managed by state agencies because the population met all recovery criteria.
RMEF previously filed a legal brief in support of Yellowstone grizzly management.
(Photo: Wyoming Game and Fish Department)