Grizzly recovery could lead to hunts near Yellowstone

Posted at 9:06 AM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-21 11:06:18-05

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering removing Yellowstone grizzly bears from protection under the Endangered Species Act. The agency has instructed state wildlife managers in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to come up with proposals for grizzly hunts if and when de-listing occurs. 

In Idaho, managers anticipate selling one or two tags for grizzly hunts. One or both of those tags would likely be sold to the highest bidder at auction. Managers say money raised through the auctions would replace federal money that would be lost once the bears are de-listed. 

Conservation groups like the Center for Biological Diversity are against grizzly hunts and oppose de-listing the bears. Wildlife managers expect a court battle once USFWS announces their plan to lift protection of Yellowstone grizzly. So don't expect to see any hunts for grizzly bears in the near future.

If and when hunts are approved, hunters will likely target "nuisance bears". More than 30 such bears were removed from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem by government agencies this year.