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Trump admin appeals to remove federal protection for grizzly bears

Posted at 5:18 PM, Dec 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-24 19:49:55-05

BILLINGS- The Trump administration filed an appeal Friday seeking to overturn a federal judge’s ruling restoring protection for grizzly bears in parts of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review an Aug. 31 decision by U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen of Missoula, who reinstated Endangered Species Act protection for the bears in the Greater Yellowstone region.

That ruling had come just days before Wyoming was set to launch its first grizzly bear hunt in 40 years. The Greater Yellowstone region is centered around Yellowstone National Park and extends into three states.

Christensen had sided with the Crow tribe and environmental groups, who argued U.S. Fish and Wildlife had prematurely removed federal Endangered Species protection for the animal in 2017.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was joined by the states of Idaho and Wyoming, which had previously signaled an intent to appeal but needed the support of the federal government to proceed, according to The Hill, an online newspaper.