Here come the lawsuits
Anti-hunters are not happy. Most knew they wouldn’t be capable of handing Yellowstone-area grizzlies being delisted, but they’re truly not taking it well.
Safari Club International (SCI) reported earlier this week anti-hunting and other groups for the second time are challenging the removal of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) from the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The organization reports Indian tribal interest and anti-hunting groups have filed a total of four lawsuits that challenge the decision by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) decision to delist grizzlies. The decision came on July 30 and includes land in northwestern Wyoming, southwestern Montana and eastern Idaho.
What are their complaints?
SCI reports the multiple groups have various complaints that make many claims. These include:
- USFWS lacked authority to establish a GYE “distinct population segment” then delist that distinct population segment.
- The decision to delist the population ignored numerous (alleged) ongoing threats to grizzlies.
- The USFWS failed to rely on the best available science.
- State management plans are inadequate.
- The USFWS failed to adequately consult with tribal interests prior to delisting.
- Turning management over to the states, who may authorize hunts, violates the tribe members’ religious rights.
Who’s filing these lawsuits?
It’s mostly Native American tribes, but not exclusively. Every lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Montana, SCI reports, and were from Crow Indian Tribes (and three other tribes, several tribal groups and individual Indians), WildEarth Guardians, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club, and the Humane Society of the United State (HSUS) and Fund for Animals.
SCI reports it’s likely the sum total of cases will be consolidated to a single proceeding.
How did we get here?
As mentioned above, GYE grizzlies were officially delisted back on July 30. Even then, anti-hunting and Native American groups were not happy. Though U.S. Secretary of the Department of the Interior Ryan Zinke saw the 40-year conservation efforts that led to delisting a great success, above-mentioned groups clearly disagreed.
“This is the greatest gift to trophy hunters,” HSUS President Wayne Pacelle told TIME in July. “This is the greatest wish that the trophy hunting and ranching lobbies could have received from the Trump Administration.”
Though no official plans to reinstate grizzly hunting seasons in Montana, Wyoming or Idaho have been set in place, that hasn’t stopped anti-hunting groups from trying to stop what they’re always trying to stop.
What do you think of these new lawsuits? Are you surprised? Comment below and let us know.
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