On July 8, 2020, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Montana District Court’s decision that ruled grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to be protected by the Endangered Species Act. The initial ruling out of Montana put a halt on plans to trophy hunt grizzlies around Yellowstone National Park. (Read more about the process here.)
This development is welcome news – and a sigh of relief – to all those who believe that grizzlies are worth much more alive than dead. They contribute to the ecological balance, the economies of surrounding communities, and our collective lifestyle and heritage.
Earthjustice – representing the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, and National Parks Conservation Association – argued for restoring protections to Yellowstone grizzlies.
Read the court ruling in full here, and look for a more in-depth discussion of this important development soon. And today, celebrate the fact that the conversation is evolving around bears. Despite what the splashy headlines and state-sponsored rhetoric would have us believe, grizzly bears are not a menace. They’re an integral part of the West, and who we are.