Wyo Senators Say Federal Judge Shouldn’t Halt Grizzly Hunts
Wyoming's U.S. Senator Mike Enzi has weighed in on a Federal Judge's decision to temporarily block the grizzly bear hunts that were set to start in Wyoming and Idaho on Saturday. Enzi says he's disappointed with the ruling.
“Experts and wildlife officials agree that the grizzly bear in the Yellowstone region has been recovered for many years,” Enzi said. “It is unfortunate that activist litigation has once again delayed the process of allowing states to properly manage their own wildlife. After reviewing the evidence, I hope the judge recognizes the recovered status of the bears and allows Wyoming to continue management of the species.”
Wyoming Senator John Barrasso agrees that the grizzly bear has successfully recovered in the state, and says the judge’s decision demonstrates why the Endangered Species Act must be modernized.
“The good work Wyoming, and other states, are doing to protect and manage species should have an opportunity to succeed," said Barrasso. "The grizzly bear delisting shouldn’t be undone by the courts. Even the Obama administration determined that the grizzly should be delisted. I will continue to work to make sure that management of the grizzly remains with Wyoming.”
Wildlife advocates and Native American tribe sued over the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision in 2017 to lift federal protections for 700 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park, according to the Associated Press.
The plaintiffs had argued the bears still face threats to their survival. Federal wildlife officials say the bears are thriving. Fewer than two dozen bears would be allowed to be killed in the hunts.
U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen's Thursday order to block the hunts will remain in effect for 14 days.