In response to U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen’s Aug. 30 ruling, both Wyoming and Idaho’s first grizzly bear hunting seasons in more than four decades have been have indefinitely suspended just two days before the states’ set opening day.
Judge Christensen issued the order following motions filed after the hearing by some of the plaintiffs in the grizzly bear delisting case. According to SCI, the court did not wait to allow briefs from the defendants—the USFWS; the states of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana; and non-governmental organizations including the NRA and SCI—before ordering that the hunts be put on hold.
“This is unfortunate. Game and Fish has a robust grizzly bear management program with strong regulations, protections and population monitoring for grizzly bears. We believe in state-led management of wildlife and involving the public in decisions like the creation and implementation of a conservative hunting opportunity for those who want that experience,” said Scott Talbott, director of the Wyoming Game & Fish Department (WGFD). “We will now await further information about whether the bears will remain under state management or if they go back to federal management.”