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Judge Restores ESA Protections for Grizzly Bears


September 24, 2018 – Federal protection for Yellowstone grizzly bears were reinstated today after U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen ruled that the federal government’s decision to strip Endangered Species Act protections from the population was illegal.

The court order came after the judge had twice blocked grizzly trophy hunts in Wyoming and Idaho just as they were set to begin. The hunts were poised to 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. The last grizzly bear hunting season was more than 40 years ago.

The ruling marks a victory for the 700 grizzly bears living in and around Yellowstone and Earthjustice who, representing Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe sued when the Interior Department last year revoked federal protections.