As hunting season looms, case on grizzly protections could see speedy ruling

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Thursday’s grizzly bear hearing in Missoula may have much faster impacts than a typical federal court case.

U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen has warned the attorneys he might rule from the bench after he finishes questioning them about removing Endangered Species Act protections from grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

That’s because Wyoming and Idaho have both set grizzly hunting seasons to start this Saturday, Sept. 1. If the judge rules the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service erred in delisting those bears last year, the hunting seasons would be suspended.

“I will take him at his word,” said Blake Henning, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation chief conservation officer, ahead of the hearing. “He wants to have a ruling before a hunting season would potentially start.”

Missoula-headquartered RMEF is one of several organizations supporting the federal government’s decision to delist the estimated 750 grizzly bears in and around…

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