endangered species act

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Feds propose dropping endangered species protections for grizzly bears

Officials in Grand Teton National Park report that grizzly bears are active and out of hibernation with the arrival of spring weather.

In a move that had been widely expected, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday proposed to remove federal protections for grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. The agency called the restoration of the grizzly bear in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho over the last three decades "one of America’s great conservation successes." Some environmental groups have criticized the move, saying it prematurely drops protections for grizzlies. Continue Reading →

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Ruling places Wyoming wolves back under federal control

A male wolf from the Canyon pack in Yellowstone National Park watches for bison.

Hunting gray wolves in Wyoming as trophy game or shooting them as predators has been banned under a ruling Tuesday by a federal judge that places the animals back under control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington D.C. struck down a 2012 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Wyoming and place their management under control of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Continue Reading →

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Feds move to end protection for gray wolves

Federal wildlife officials on Friday moved to permanently shift responsibility for managing gray wolves to the states, proposing removal of the animals from the list of threatened and endangered species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the proposal comes after a comprehensive review has confirmed the successful recovery of gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes and Northern Rocky Mountains. Continue Reading →

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Wyoming governor wants quicker review of Yellowstone bear protections

Wildlife officials have proposed ending federal protections for Yellowstone area grizzly bears.

Wyoming governor Matt Mead has written to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asking for the removal of federal protections for grizzly bears under the Endangered Species Act, saying the Yellowstone bear situation is "severe and costly" for Wyoming. Mead said he hoped to accelerate what could be a two-year review and analysis of how changes in Yellowstone bear habitat and food sources might affect the grizzly's status as a protected species. "Two years is too long and the cost is too great," Mead wrote. Continue Reading →

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Grand Teton rangers lead free tours to watch sage grouse strut

The greater sage grouse faces pressure from fragmented habitat resulting from development across the West. (Stephen Ting photo - click to enlarge)

Ranger naturalists in Grand Teton National Park will lead early-morning tours this month to watch sage grouse during their annual courtship dance. Each spring, the birds engage in elaborate rituals aimed at helping them find a mate. Male sage grouse perform intricate displays known as "struts" in an attempt to attract females. The struts take place on leks, or mating grounds, and include subtle vocalizations and other highly specific behaviors. Continue Reading →

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