Yellowstone grizzly bear hunt halted by Montana judge

Yellowstone grizzly bear hunt halted by Montana judge

We have a gigantic cheer for Montana’s Chief District Judge Dana Christensen for reinstating legal protections for grizzly bears living in an around Yellowstone National Park and blocking planned hunts in Wyoming and Idaho.

He overruled Trump administration officials.

The judge ruled U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials were “arbitrary and capricious” in their 2017 decision to remove the bears’ protections under the Endangered Species Act, according to USA Today.

“By refusing to analyze the legal and functional impact of delisting on other continental grizzly populations, the service entirely failed to consider an issue of extreme importance,” Christensen wrote in his decision issued this week. “Moreover, the service’s analysis of the threats faced by the Greater Yellowstone grizzly segment was arbitrary and capricious.”

Wyoming officials had planned to let trophy hunters kill up to 22 bears this fall. 

Killing grizzly bears is not only harmful to the bears themselves, but to the ecosystem as well. Grizzlies deserve to be protected so they can flourish in their own way. Here are just some of the great things about grizzlies according to Western Wildlife Outreach:

● Grizzly bears are seed dispersers and nutrient providers. Berry seeds pass through the bear unbroken and are able to germinate. Not only that, but they come with their own pile of fresh manure as fertilizer.

● While foraging for tree roots, plant bulbs or ground squirrels, bears stir up the soil, increasing species richness and nitrogen availability in alpine ecosystems. Grizzlies also increase the amount of available nitrogen through salmon carcass dispersal.

● Grizzlies also directly regulate prey populations and help prevent ungulate overgrazing. Studies show that the removal of wolves and grizzly bears in Grand Teton National Park caused populations of their herbivorous prey to increase, which decreased the density of plants in the area. The decrease of plant density led to a decrease in the population sizes of migratory birds. Grizzly bears, like all carnivores, are keystone predators, having a major influence on their ecosystems.