Help Protect Yellowstone’s Grizzly Bears
by Rick Lamplugh, author and wildlife advocate
Wyoming is planning a grizzly bear hunt. Up to 24 grizzlies–including two females–outside Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks could be killed this fall. The Endangered Species Coalition—an organization I respect—is clear about this hunt: “Wyoming’s proposed hunting season and quota is neither cautious nor conservative. Instead, it is reckless and aggressive, and is designed to drive down the population of grizzly bears in Wyoming and prevent them from expanding their range…Wyoming is rushing into an unsustainable grizzly bear hunting season.”
I think that Wyoming should follow Montana’s lead and not hunt grizzlies this year. Montana’s decision makes sense for several reasons. After more than forty years protected by the Endangered Species Act, Yellowstone-area grizzlies were removed less than a year ago. The population is completely isolated from any other grizzly bear population and too small to ensure long-term genetic health. Rather than killing these bears, we should help them recover further. Finally, conservation organizations and tribal groups have challenged the delisting. If they prevail in court, grizzlies will again be protected but that won’t bring back to life any grizzlies killed in Wyoming’s reckless hunt.
Wyoming Game & Fish Department is accepting public comments—from anywhere in the U.S.—until Monday, April 30.
Please join me and The Endangered Species Coalition in urging Wyoming to drop this irresponsible hunting proposal.