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Groups file intent to sue over governmental plans to kill 72 grizzlies

Groups file intent to sue over governmental plans to kill 72 Yellowstone-area grizzlies

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Yesterday, two conservation groups filed an intent to sue the federal government over a decision that permits the killing or removal of over 70 grizzly bears from in and around the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Sierra Club’s lawsuit opposes a 2019 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that permits livestock grazing in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest and authorizes “the killing of up to 72 grizzly bears over the 10-year life of the grazing program,” according to a CBD press release

Both groups argue that decision “threatens the population” of over 700 grizzlies, according to Montana Public Radio (MPR). Further, they say that the targeted area is a critical part of the Yellowstone ecosystem for grizzly bear recovery and serves as an important route in elk, deer and antelope migrations. 

"It’s really just disappointing to see the federal government caving to the livestock industry once again," said Andrea Santarsiere, senior attorney at the CBD, told MPR. 


Santarsiere added that “it’s the highest number of bear mortalities she’s ever seen the government permit” and “that those conservation measures are inadequate and unenforceable.”

“Rather than requiring the livestock industry to do more to prevent conflicts with grizzlies, the feds are just authorizing more bears to be killed,” said Santarsiere. “Wiping out Yellowstone grizzlies to make way for cattle to graze for cheap on public lands just doesn’t make any sense. These treasured bears deserve better.”

As goHUNT previously reported, grizzly bear protections are under review by the federal government. GYE grizzly bears are currently considered “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act

The government has 60 days to respond to the notice of intent to sue. After that period of time, a lawsuit may be officially filed.


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Kevin R. - posted 1 month ago on 02-12-2020 03:02:19 pm
Kalispell, MT

I support any form of Griz hunting that will help re-instill some fear of man. Generations of griz have lived, never been hunted, and thus have no fear of humans. Start hunting them, they'll learn quick that they should fear man. Then, maybe the trickle down effect is they would associate livestock with man, and leave those alone to some extent too. Maybe that's a stretch, but their are too many damn griz around and it is clear they have no fear of man anymore...that creates a dangerous situation.

Christopher S. - posted 1 month ago on 02-04-2020 12:11:49 pm

Mike, I can see what you mean with regard to my “your line of thinking” comment. It was not my intention to lecture and apologies that it came across as a bit arrogant.

mike w. - posted 1 month ago on 02-04-2020 09:30:12 am

The way I see it I'm part of the public that owns this grizzly habitat. That entitles me to my opinion. When someone tells me my thinking is the problem, I automatically get the idea that they think their opinion is more valuable than mine. When I hear a lecture coming, I assume they have taught in front of a captive audience and that no matter what, they are right. I appreciate the different opinions, lots of valid points.

Christopher S. - posted 2 months ago on 01-31-2020 09:41:53 pm

Mike W... your line of thinking is the problem, not the bears. Private interests should not come at public expense. The bears are not the problem, human intrusion, fear, and lack of tolerance is. If ranchers want to mooch off of public land, as they seem to love to do, they should do so at their own risk and expect to lose cattle. Ranchers seem to be anti- federal government when it suits them, yet at the same time expect near constant handouts and special treatment from the federal government. It is not the government's job to create a sterile, hazard-free feed lot for them graze cattle in, on land that is owned by a vast majority who has no stake in cattle grazing. It always boggles my mind when people insert themselves into grizzly habitat, by choice, yet the first thing they do when they get there, is bitch about grizzlies. If ranchers, hipsters, hunters, or anybody else are so fearful of grizzlies, there are 45 states they are welcome to move to, work in, or recreate in, that do not have them...

Christopher S. - posted 2 months ago on 01-28-2020 12:48:04 pm

How about we cut off the EAJA cash cow that these groups rely on for these lawsuits? They file lawsuits over everything because they know they aren't going to lose anything, and they go to their support base and can say they've sued the government for the poor bears. Wyoming is ran by ranchers and the guide association. I could care less if they lose cattle to Grizzlies, that's part of it. Just another "look at what we're doing, donate today" lawsuit from these clowns.

mike w. - posted 2 months ago on 01-26-2020 03:02:07 pm

If there is no such thing as a problem bear just leave them in the park. Then they can do what bears do there.

Andrew J. - posted 2 months ago on 01-25-2020 03:41:56 pm

I hunt the area that is proposed, I am a Wyoming resident, and here's how I see it: There are inherent risks grazing domestic cattle public land in a wild landscape such as the GYE. The Taylor Grazing Act(1934) appeals to grazing on public ground for pennies on the dollar simply to create a greater yield/dollar, it does not insure it. Grizzlies were almost extinct in 1975- the recovery has been good, but it expands from an epicenter, that epicenter is near the proposed kill area. The reason for apex predator expansion of range is density and competition within its own species. Killing bears in this area will only create a void to be filled by more bears. NOT SOLVING A PROBLEM. Stabilization of populations will occur overtime, and there will be less bears on this landscape. I deal with these bears on a daily basis for most of the year they are not the problem, human industry intrusion is. Opinion from someone who actually lives here...

Nick J. - posted 2 months ago on 01-25-2020 05:41:58 am

Mike W. 1st, there is no such thing as "problem bears". They are just bears. Doing what bears do.
2nd. USE AT OWN RISK. That should apply to grazers, hunters, rock climbers, etc..

Gary H. - posted 2 months ago on 01-24-2020 06:17:37 am

But lets not open a hunting season for them....lets let the govt kill them... I love it.

Matt H. - posted 2 months ago on 01-23-2020 09:03:45 pm

700 my ass! There are more grizzlys than that.

Matt H. - posted 2 months ago on 01-23-2020 07:01:52 pm

I'm just wondering why both of the litigators "Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Sierra Club" are described as conservation groups? I'm pretty sure they don't do much if anything in terms of "Conservation", they do steal lots of our public dollars in settlements through litigation.

mike w. - posted 2 months ago on 01-23-2020 07:55:52 am

Do you think it's right that problem bears are removed from the park and relocated into these grazing areas? Not the parks problem any more, so just dump them on a different piece of public ground and expect them not to be a problem any more? It's not just cattle they have trouble with. Look at the number of bear attacks on humans in these areas.

Nick J. - posted 2 months ago on 01-23-2020 03:56:04 am

Im pro grazing.

But the whole reason we are having to deal with invasive carnivores from Canada is because the native wolves were irradicated for grazing. Same goes with Grizzlies. Seems like there is a pattern here, only for some reason the grazers don't seem to bear the cost. G&F departments and States are paying a very high cost in litigation and department budgets for problems they didn't create but now are mandated to comply with. If the cattlemens association wants to play this game, let them bear the burden 100%. I won't argue that we have too many bears in any one area, nor do I support biology via the courts. However I also don't support it via the backroom political backslap that the growers associations have used for 150 ish years. The policy in grazing should simply be "Use at your own risk". 330 million people own that land. The tiny sliver of commercial interests should never set the policy.

dan k. - posted 2 months ago on 01-22-2020 11:08:15 pm

not that i like the siera club or anything,but why are grizzlys being killed for cattle grazing???not that we need that many grizzlys either,,but i suggest that if ranchers want to put there cattle in the bridger-teton ,,they should do it at there own risk as far as im concerned,,we should not have to pay out for cattle mortality if the grizz decide they like prime rib.