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Judge Blocks Grizzly Trophy Hunt

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen just blocked the opening of the first grizzly bear trophy hunt in the Rockies in more than 40 years. The hunts were poised to be the biggest in the lower 48 states since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed protections for grizzlies in the Yellowstone region less than a year ago.

Earlier this year, 73 scientists wrote a letter in opposition to the hunting season, Wyoming approved its first hunt of grizzly bears in over four decades. The hunt will be the biggest in the lower 48 states since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed protections for grizzlies in the Yellowstone region less than a year ago.

Many from the scientific community urged Wyoming Governor Matt Mead to halt the proposed grizzly bear hunt and convene a panel of experts to review data on the area’s grizzly bear populations. The letter, sent on April 25th, cites several concerns regarding Wyoming’s upcoming grizzly bear hunt; changing food sources and incidental grizzly mortalities, affecting the estimated population size, were among the listed concerns.

Hunts had been scheduled to start Saturday in Wyoming and Idaho targeting a total of 23 bears (22 in Wyoming and just a single bear in Idaho).

Earthjustice is leading the lawsuit representing the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.

Stay tuned for updates.

More via the Washington Post.