The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has developed grizzly bear harvest regulations for the fall of 2018 that are currently open for public comment. The hunting regulations were developed after multiple public discussions across the state and take into account the population demographics of the overall Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem population.
A lawsuit challenging the hunt is still going forward, however. Last week, Federal District Court Judge Dana Christensen of Missoula, Montana denied a request by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to postpone a hearing in the case.
The population was delisted last June. A tri-state memorandum of agreement between Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, where this population occurs, has helped guide management decisions, including proposed hunting seasons and quotas for each state.
Several environmental and tribal groups filed suit against the USFWS to reinstate ESA protections for this population. In response to these ongoing court cases, Montana wildlife commissioners have decided not to offer a grizzly hunt this year. The state of Idaho has yet to issue a decision.
In the proposed Wyoming hunt, hunting would not be allowed in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the Wind River Reservation. Proposed regulations also required mandatory training for hunters and additional protections for bears occupying roadside habitats as well as complete protection for dependent young and females with dependent young. It would be the first grizzly bear hunt in the continental United Stated in 43 years.
Read more on this case from The Missoulian.
Read The Wildlife Society’s standing position on Hunting, on the Endangered Species Act, and the Final Position Statement Delisting of Grizzly Bears in the Greater Yellowstone Area.