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PNS Daily Newscast - September 24 


The ground rules seem to have been set concerning the sexual assault allegations against nominee Brett Kavenaugh. Also on the Monday rundown: we will take you to a state where more than 60 thousand kids are chronically absent; plus the rural digital divide a two-fold problem for Kentucky.

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Wildlife Advocates Fight to Save Grizzlies Despite Delisting by Feds

Grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone region soon may be taken off the endangered species list and returned to the control of states that may allow hunting. (Skeeze-pixabay)
Grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone region soon may be taken off the endangered species list and returned to the control of states that may allow hunting. (Skeeze-pixabay)
March 7, 2016

BILLINGS, Mont. – Control over the fate of Greater Yellowstone grizzly bears may soon revert to Montana, Wyoming – states that plan to allow trophy hunts.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just proposed taking Yellowstone-area grizzlies off the endangered species list – because their population has rebounded from a 136, 40 years ago to 717 as of last year.

Bonnie Rice, senior campaign representative for the Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies region for the Sierra Club, says hunting will still be prohibited in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, but bears are in great peril once they wander outside the boundaries. And once they leave the larger demographic monitoring area, they could be wiped out.

"Those bears aren't going to be counted at all towards the population or toward any kind of mortality thresholds,” she points out. “Then, they will have no protections, so bears could be eliminated from those areas."

In the days of Lewis and Clark, 50,000 grizzly bears roamed the American West.

The states have not yet set a release date for their management plans to protect the remaining bears. But Rice hopes state wildlife officials will not allow hunting in the corridor that links Yellowstone and Glacier national parks.

"In Montana we're very concerned about connectivity between the Greater Yellowstone grizzly population and the grizzly population in the northern Continental Divide,” she states. “And so it's critical that those two populations connect."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife proposal will be open for public comment for 60 days, once it is published in the Federal Register later this week.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - MT