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wildlife

Managers in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have all said it's unlikely any grizzly hunting will be allowed in 2017.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Montana, Wyoming and Idaho officials say they won't declare open season on grizzly bears once federal Endangered Species Act protections are lifted for them in the Yellowstone National Park region.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Thursday announced that it plans to de-list Yellowstone Grizzlies at the end of July. That means that the three states surrounding the park will take over jurisdiction of Yellowstone-area bears. Those states have already submitted management plans that allow for limited hunting.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to turn over grizzly bear management to Montana, Idaho and Wyoming by late July. The states plan to allow limited bear hunts outside park boundaries.
Flickr user Nathan Rupert (CC-BY-NC-ND-2)

The Interior Department Thursday said it will lift Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park region.

Those protections have been in place for more than 40 years.

For the first time in more than four decades, the Yellowstone grizzly bear is set to lose its federal protections under the Endangered Species Act. Citing a rebound in the bear's population, the U.S. Department of Interior announced its intention Thursday to end these protections and return oversight of the animal's status to the state level.

The agency says the rule to remove the grizzly from the endangered species list will be published "in coming days" and "will take effect 30 days after publication."

Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears that have been in place for more than three decades are poised to be peeled back soon. This week state and federal land managers from the Rocky Mountain west are meeting talk about what that means for the future of grizzly bear management and recovery.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, or IGBC is spending three days in Choteau this week working on a five-year-plan to guide management of grizzlies as the bear’s population grows.

A moose near Missoula, MT. Moose in Montana are some of the smallest moose in North America.
Josh Burnham

On a sunny June day, I was standing among a group of budding naturalists, sketching the bark of a cottonwood tree. Suddenly, I heard a series of quiet gasps and more than a few titters ripple through our small crowd. Someone had spotted a cow moose and her calf crossing the path just a few feet away from us. We all turned to watch them on their route to the Bitterroot River. They were an elegant pair. The sunlight reflected off their caramel-colored backs, while the mother kept close to her calf and kept a wary eye on us until she was sure we weren’t going to follow.

Montana officials say two boats carrying invasive mussels were stopped at watercraft inspection stations over the Memorial Day weekend.
Katrin Frye

Montana officials say two boats carrying invasive mussels were stopped at watercraft inspection stations over the Memorial Day weekend.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say one crossed into eastern Montana from the Great Lakes Region on May 26 bound for West Yellowstone. Staffers hot-washed the boat, which was then taken to Bozeman for a complete decontamination.

State and federal wildlife officials are investigating the shooting death of a male grizzly bear west of Whitefish.
PD

State and federal wildlife officials are investigating the shooting death of a male grizzly bear west of Whitefish.

Investigators with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks say the 4-year-old bear’s body was dumped over the Farm to Market Road bridge and into the Stillwater River sometime between May 25 and 28. It was then found downstream by recreationalists and retrieved by officials last Sunday.

A major study released Wednesday now says elk – not bison - are the primary source of new brucellosis infections in Greater Yellowstone Area cattle.
Flickr User Ian Sane CC-BY-2.0

A major study released Wednesday now says elk – not bison - are the primary source of new brucellosis infections in Greater Yellowstone Area cattle.

That’s a significant change in thinking from 20 years ago when the scientific community blamed bison for most of the area’s brucellosis transmission cases. 

State and federal wildlife officials are investigating the death of a grizzly bear east of Missoula near Bonner.
Josh Burnham

State and federal wildlife officials are investigating the death of a grizzly bear east of Missoula near Bonner.

“This is an active, ongoing investigation and the service will share more information with the public when the circumstances of the case permit,” says Ryan Moehring, a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is updating the bison range’s comprehensive conservation plan and accompanying environmental impact statement.
(PD)

Two federal scoping meetings are scheduled to help shape future management options for the National Bison Range at Moiese. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is updating the bison range’s comprehensive conservation plan and accompanying environmental impact statement. 

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