Judge blocks Trump administration’s decision to allow grizzly bear hunting

Grizzlies in Idaho and Wyoming will be protected from trophy hunters after a federal court overruled President Trump’s decision to allow grizzly bears to be killed by trophy hunters, Green Matters reported

A number of months after he became president, Trump’s administration swiftly removed the bears from the endangered species list. The move was first proposed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

However, thankfully for them, and us, the decision was overruled by a federal court that concluded that the President’s actions were unlawful and they are now once again shielded under the Endangered Species Act.

Nevertheless, it hasn’t bee an easy fight.

Although the Yellowstone grizzlies have been protected for over 40 years, back in 2017 Trump’s Fish and Wildlife Service excluded them from being on the federal endangered and threatened species list.

According to the agency, the effort had successfully replenished the grizzly bear population and by removing the protection, it let trophy hunters eliminate them on the outskirts of the national park in Idaho and Wyoming. And in order to take a stand against this, conservationist groups, along with the Northern Cheyenne tribe disagreed with the decision and warned that the animals were still in harm’s way. But it looked like the Fish and Wildlife Service was not willing to back down and it appealed the order of the district court.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals eventually put an end to the debate by overriding the President’s decision and upholding the 2018 court decision.

On July 8, 2020, the court ruled in favor of the bears so they will continue being protected by the ESA, which in effect renders them illegal for hunting in and around Yellowstone National Park.

In addition, the court declared that the Fish and Wildlife Service failed to use accurate scientific methods to come to its decision and that there was a lack of enforceable systems in place that would protect the health of grizzly bears, as per Courthouse News. Also, the court noted that the grizzlies are widely seen as an “iconic symbol of the Rocky Mountain west,” so they will be protected at any cost.

The decision was made by a group of three judges, which include Mary Schroeder, Andrew Hurwitz, and Paul Watford.

Judge Schroeder made the following statement:

“Because the 2017 rule’s conclusion that genetic health no longer poses a threat to the Yellowstone grizzly is without scientific basis, this conclusion is arbitrary and capricious.”

Judge Andrea Zaccardi, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity made a statement saying:

“This is a tremendous victory for all who cherish Yellowstone’s grizzly bears and for those who’ve worked to ensure they’re protected under the Endangered Species Act. Grizzlies still have a long way to go before recovery. Hunting these beautiful animals around America’s most treasured national park should never again be an option.”

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