Native Tribes to State: No Grizzly Trophy Hunts
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – In preparation for a vote this week on a proposed grizzly bear hunting season, tribal nations from across Wyoming, seven other states and two Canadian provinces have sent letters to Wyoming Game and Fish Commission officials opposing the move.
Herb Welsh, a spokesman for the Northern Arapaho Elders Society, says the bear is considered to be a sacred relative integral to their culture.
"The grizzly bear is a sacred animal," he stresses. "He's a sacred being. This is how our ancestors have always believed. But even taking one grizzly bear life, because someone somewhere has pockets deep enough to afford that tag, that license, that's wrong."
The U.S. Interior Department ended 42 years of protections by taking the grizzly off the endangered species list in June of last year. A lawsuit was filed by the Sierra Club and others in August arguing that the delisting was premature due to a decline in food sources.
Wyoming officials say the hunting plans - removing 22 bears, including up to 12 females - are meant to prevent population declines. A tag will cost Wyoming hunters $600, and $6,000 for out-of-state residents.
The tribal letters outline what they say are breaches of historic treaties enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, should Wyoming proceed with the hunt, as well as violations of laws including the American Indian Religious Freedom Act and the National Historic Preservation Act.
Welsh says the Northern Arapaho Elders Society simply wants state officials to recognize their sovereign rights.
"And it was created for the protection of our ancestral ceremonies and also for the protection of our sacred sites," he explains. "These are all issues that our traditional form of government has authority over, and they have the first and last say in these areas."
More than 200 tribal nations that signed a treaty to protect the grizzly say the solution is not killing the bears in a trophy hunt. They're asking that the bears be relocated to tribal lands with suitable habitat. Wyoming's wildlife commission is expected to vote on the hunt Wednesday.
get more stories like this via email
Nevada is set to lose 8% of its Colorado River water allotment next year because of perilously low water levels at Lakes Mead and Powell caused by a 2…
Although President Joe Biden has signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, many are hoping he will declare a climate emergency to provide further …
The Bureau of Land Management is kicking off its planning process for managing Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with several public hearing…
The midterm elections are less than three months away, and in Iowa, recruiting continues for those interested in helping at polling sites, where the …
As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defends and expands his call to have military veterans bypass the teacher certification process to become educators…
President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law Tuesday, providing a means for making prescription drug prices more affordable in the …
Health and Wellness
A relatively new virus known as monkeypox has made its way to the state of Washington. About 280 cases have been reported, with 240 occurring in King …
Health and Wellness
Coloradans struggling economically put their health at risk when they decide not to turn on cooling systems, frequently out of fear of not being able …