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Wyoming passes on state sanctioned grizzly hunt

Wyoming grizzly bear

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Despite a push from state government to move forward with a grizzly bear hunt, Wyoming is passing. In March, a bill made its way through the Wyoming Legislature, essentially authorizing state wildlife officials to move forward with a hunt regardless of the fact that the animals retain “threatened” federal status. However, last week, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission “unanimously decided” against having the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) draw up hunting regulations, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reports.

“The Endangered Species Act, sometimes, unfortunately, it is the law of the land in regard to endangered species,” said Commissioner Patrick Crank. “If we were to exercise our discretion, as directed by the Legislature to enact a hunting season, we could do that, I guess.”

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“But the practical effect of that is we would throw our citizens into an untenable situation, which I don’t feel comfortable doing as a commissioner,” continued Crank. “We [could] put someone who bought one of those licenses and went out and killed a grizzly bear in harm’s way, because the federal government will prosecute that person and stick them in jail.”

Senate File 93 (SF93) was signed into law by Gov. Mark Gordon, resulting in an eruption from environmental advocacy groups against the idea of a grizzly bear hunt. According to the Jackson Hole News & Guide, the passage of SF93 “was born from frustration about litigation that has kept the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s grizzlies under federal control years after recovery criteria were met.” Prior to the commission’s vote, WGFD biologists presented information on the current state of grizzly bears and their impact on ungulate populations as well as human-grizzly bear interactions. While the commissioners agreed with the justification behind a grizzly bear hunt, they ultimately voted against holding a hunting season.

However, the fate of the Yellowstone-area grizzlies is still up in the air. According to Montana Public Radio, the Trump Administration has until Friday to decide if it will appeal the ruling last fall, which returned federal protections and put the animals back on the endangered species list. Should the government decide to move forward, the case will move to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

8 Comments

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George C. - posted 2 weeks ago on 05-29-2019 07:34:20 am
goHUNT INSIDER

@Colter...by the mear fact you are commenting on this article says you are also subscribing. Don't be a hypocrite.

Aaron J. - posted 2 weeks ago on 05-28-2019 02:14:35 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

The travesty here is this is in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The state of Wyoming is in the Tenth Circuit, which has a far lower percentage of being overturned. In other words, this issue which affects the citizens of Wyoming is headed to San Francisco, California. That is because of one extremely partisan federal Judge in Montana who has repeatedly ignored the experts and hijacked this issue for himself, selfish and unfair to Wyoming. The Wyoming game comission was right to not schedule a hunt, it would only end up with an easy injunction from the district court judge. What western states need is s grizzly exemption from the Endangered Species Act similar to the wolves to stop the litigation madness and forum shopping that has taken the issue thousands of miles away from Wyoming control.

Sean M. - posted 2 weeks ago on 05-28-2019 12:56:56 pm
IDAHO
goHUNT INSIDER

Interesting belief Colter. Got some hard evidence to support that...? Ya... Didn't think so...

Phil S. - posted 2 weeks ago on 05-28-2019 12:14:25 pm
Casper, Wy
goHUNT INSIDER

@Colter I. You need to provide proof to back such a comment

Colter I. - posted 2 weeks ago on 05-28-2019 06:07:33 am
goHUNT INSIDER

Ya'll realize just by subscribing to go hunts your supporting a bunch of liberals from Vegas. BHA all these organizations are in bed with each other to go against things just like this.

Gary H. - posted 2 weeks ago on 05-28-2019 04:10:37 am
goHUNT INSIDER

Issue the licenses and if someone wants to take the rick of getting pinched by the feds then let them.

Look at it this way..

Colorado lets anyone smoke pot with no repercussions. Its federally ILLEGAL. People are still doing it because its legal on a state level.

Is this not the same? I dont see Federal agents busting peoples doors down raiding their houses.

Legalize the hunt on a state level. And let the hunters decide if its worth it.

Think about it people.

Stephen b. - posted 2 weeks ago on 05-27-2019 10:19:33 pm
sheridan wy
goHUNT INSIDER

This is ridiculous

Christopher S. - posted 3 weeks ago on 05-27-2019 02:32:51 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Another win for the enviro-Nazis.