LANDER — The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission voted early Wednesday afternoon to unanimously approve Wyoming's first grizzly bear hunt since the 1970s.
Dozens of people attended the meeting in Lander to watch the proceedings. The hunt has been opposed by wildlife photographers and Native American tribes as well as animal rights activists and those concerned that the bears have not sufficiently recovered from their status as threatened.
Hunting is legally possible since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided in 2017 to remove protection for grizzlies as a “threatened” species subject to protection under the Endangered Species Act. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s three states inherited jurisdiction. Idaho is planning a grizzly hunt limited to a single bear. Montana’s wildlife commission opted to hold off on hunting this year.
Pushback on the jurisdiction swap and hunt is ongoing in the courts. No fewer than six lawsuits were filed by 25 parties that ranged from the Sierra Club and the Crow Creek Sioux tribe to individuals.
This is a developing story. Look for more at JHNewsAndGuide.com and in the Thursday edition of the Jackson Hole Daily.