For the first time in 44 years, the state of Wyoming will allow grizzly bear hunting.
In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved the hunting of 22 grizzlies this fall in areas east and south of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
The final vote comes after Yellowstone grizzlies were removed from the federal endangered species list last year.
Environmental groups criticized the move, saying the commission ignored more than 185,000 comments opposing the hunt.
But the commission says its plan is a “conservative” approach to regulating the new hunting season.
As part of the plan, no hunting will be allowed inside Yellowstone, or nearby Grand Teton National Park or the road that connects the two parks.
Wildlife officials in both Montana and Idaho decided to forgo grizzly hunting this year.
Reporting by Jay Kohn for MTN News