Grizzly Bears due in Federal Court before Judge Dana Christensen
Whether the Yellowstone Ecosystem Grizzly Bears will remain delisted from the Endangered Species Act and thus be hunted in the west will be decided on Thursday before Federal Judge Dana Christensen.
Appearing on the KGVO Talkback show this week was Louisa Wilcox, along with her husband David Mattson and Doug Leffler, to explain why the case was going before the federal court.
“The question being whether or not the 2017 endangered species protections for the grizzly bear populations should have been removed, and whether a trophy hunt should proceed,” said Wilcox. “Montana is not proceeding with a hunt this year, but Wyoming is, in fact, on Saturday, depending upon what happens in the court.”
Wilcox is hoping for a fast decision in the Missoula courtroom.
“Since the hunt is this Saturday, we have every reason to believe the judge is not going to delay a ruling,” she said. “He’ll either indicate on Thursday, or possibly a day or two later about whether Wyoming and Idaho will be allowed to proceed with their hunts.”
Wilcox said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was initially responsible for removing the Yellowstone grizzly bears from the Endangered Species Act.
“Actually, it was all about political pressure,” said Wilcox. “The state game management agencies actually have an ethos for hunting. There actually wasn’t a big clamor to hunt grizzly bears. I think there are moral, scientific and other reasons against hunting. Delisting, as it’s now configured in the northern Rockies mean hunting.”
Judge Christensen will hear arguments on Thursday in the Russell Smith federal courthouse.