On August 30, Guardians went before a judge in Missoula, Montana, to argue for restoring Endangered Species Act protections to the grizzly bears of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. The bears were stripped of their protections last summer, and Idaho and Wyoming had planned to open grizzly trophy hunting seasons September 1.
U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen did not rule from the bench, despite the fact that the trophy hunts were slated to begin days later, so we immediately filed a temporary restraining order to prevent the trophy hunt until the judge makes a decision. The order was granted, and grizzlies were granted a reprieve for 14 days. On September 13, 14 days after the original temporary restraining order was granted, the judge granted an extension of the order, providing grizzlies with another 14-day reprieve while he makes his decision.
Grizzly bears were shot, poisoned, and trapped to near-extinction across the West by the 1930s. When they received Endangered Species Act protections in 1975, they began to make a comeback, but they have yet to return to 98 percent of their historic homelands. Grizzlies must disperse from Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks to connect with other isolated grizzly populations and recover the species as a whole. Trophy hunts would target and kill these dispersing bears as soon as they stepped beyond park boundaries.
Read the September 13, 2018 press release.