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Lawsuit Claims Grizzly Bear "Take" Goes Too Far

PHOTO: A decision to allow up to 15 grizzly bears to be killed in Grand Teton National Park and the Upper Green River area is at least 15 too many, according to paperwork filed for a lawsuit. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.
PHOTO: A decision to allow up to 15 grizzly bears to be killed in Grand Teton National Park and the Upper Green River area is at least 15 too many, according to paperwork filed for a lawsuit. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.
January 15, 2015

JACKSON, Wyo. – A decision to allow up to 15 grizzly bears to be killed in Grand Teton National Park and the Upper Green River area is at least 15 too many, according to paperwork filed for a lawsuit.

Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso says the agencies are not looking at the big picture in setting estimates for grizzly kills, and when the numbers in the Yellowstone region are added up, they exceed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's own science on setting limits to prevent decline in grizzly numbers.

"We thought that the fact that they have now, in the aggregate, authorized killing of up to 65 female bears is something they should be looking at before they start handing out legal exemptions for more lethal takings," he stresses.

Earthjustice is representing the Sierra Club and the Western Watersheds Project.

Preso says grizzly bear populations have been flat for several years. Human conflicts are on the rise because the bears are on the move as the climate changes.

"As bears have lost some of their other food sources in the Yellowstone region, including the seeds of the whitebark pine tree and Yellowstone cutthroat trout, they have moved much more to a meat-based diet," he explains.

Grizzly bear deaths are associated with grazing conflicts, road-building and hunting.

Preso says there are methods to reduce conflicts that should be explored, and lethal take should be a last resort.


Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY