Grizzly bear hunting protections to be lifted in Yellowstone-region

BILLINGS, Mont. - Wildlife officials have divvied up how many grizzly bears could be killed by hunters in the Yellowstone region of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho as the states seek control of a species shielded from hunting for the past 40 years, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press.

See Full Article

The region's grizzlies currently are under federal protection, but that could change in coming months, turning control over to the states. A draft agreement detailing the states' plans for the animals was obtained by The Associated Press.

The agreement puts no limits on grizzly bear hunting outside a 19,300-square mile management zone centred on Yellowstone National Park. Inside the zone, which includes wilderness and forest lands adjacent to the park, hunters in Wyoming would get a 58 per cent share of the harvest, a reflection that it's home to the bulk of the region's bears. Montana would get 34 per cent and Idaho 8 per cent.

The management zone has an estimated 717 bears. There is no estimate for how many live just outside the area, although biologists say the number is increasing as grizzly bears expand into new habitat.

Wildlife advocates say the bear population remains too small to withstand much hunting. That's a particular concern given the large numbers of bears already dying, including during surprise run-ins with hunters and after livestock depredations that prompt officials to trap and kill problem bears.

In 2015, at least 59 Yellowstone-area grizzlies were believed to have been killed or trapped and removed by government agencies. That's the most since the animal was given protection under the Endangered Species Act in 1975.

Despite the deaths, state officials say the grizzly population has recovered from excessive hunting and trapping that exterminated grizzlies across most of the U.S. in the early 1900s. The officials have increased pressure on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe in recent months to revoke the animal's threatened status.

Directors of the states' wildlife agencies told Ashe in a Dec. 4 letter that such a step was long overdue.

"It is critically important that we capitalize on our tremendous progress and proceeding with a long overdue delisting" of bears from the threatened species list, the directors wrote. It was signed by Idaho Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Director Jeff Hagener and Wyoming Game and Fish Director Scott Talbott.

Montana wildlife activist Louisa Wilcox says the states' push for hunting ignores the many bears already dying due to other causes.

"You're not even hunting them and you have this ongoing pile-up of dead bears," Wilcox said. "Adding a hunt will drive down the population. It's exactly the wrong thing to do."

State officials said bear hunts would be conservative and need approval from wildlife commissioners following a public comment period. The size of each harvest would be on a sliding scale. More hunting would be possible when the population tops 675 bears, and hunting would be largely barred if that figure falls below 600 animals.

"We're definitely not talking about a large number. We're not talking hundreds or anywhere near that," said Wyoming Game and Fish spokesman Renny MacKay.

A decision on whether protections should be lifted is due in early 2016, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Barring a successful court challenge, it would take approximately a year for such a rule to go into effect.


Latest Tech & Science News

  • Univeristy of Maine professor dies conducting research in Antarctica

    Tech & Science CTV News
    ORONO, Maine -- A University of Maine professor has died while conducting research in Antarctica. The university says 50-year-old Gordon Hamilton died Saturday when the snowmobile he was riding hit a crevasse and he fell 100 feet. Source
  • Surfer is third Australian shark attack victim in a month

    Tech & Science CTV News
    SYDNEY, Australia -- A surfer sustained minor injuries on Monday in the third shark attack off New South Wales state north of Sydney in a month, a witness said. The surfer's injuries were "not that serious," former state lawmaker Ian Cohen told Australian Broadcasting Corp. Source
  • Forest tours offered in Chinese to promote conservation in B.C.

    Tech & Science CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Conservationists have their eyes on a demographic that hasn't been tapped into before in terms of educating people about British Columbia's old growth forests. About half a million people in B.C.'s Lower Mainland are Chinese-language speakers, yet most environmental programs and tours are offered in English only, said Ken Wu, executive director of the Ancient Forest Alliance. Source
  • U.S. presidential election uses hodge-podge of voting technology

    Tech & Science CBC News
    When Americans go the polls on Nov. 8, they'll be casting votes using a wide array of technology, from touchscreens to pen and paper. In light of Donald Trump's claims of election fraud — and with the memory of the disputed presidential election of 2000 still looming — that technology could be under more scrutiny than ever in this year's presidential election. Source
  • Attacks that disrupted Twitter, Paypal, Spotify were just a dry run, hackers say

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Could millions of connected cameras, thermostats and kids' toys bring the internet to its knees? It's beginning to look that way. On Friday, epic cyberattacks crippled a major internet firm, repeatedly disrupting the availability of popular websites across North America and Europe such as Twitter, Netflix and PayPal. Source
  • Attacks on the internet getting bigger and nastier

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Could millions of connected cameras, thermostats and kids' toys bring the internet to its knees? It's beginning to look that way. On Friday, epic cyberattacks crippled a major internet firm, repeatedly disrupting the availability of popular websites across the United States. Source
  • Glenn Greenwald weighs in on WikiLeaks data dump on Clinton

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Two people at the heart of the most earth-shattering leaks of stolen data in the past few years are at odds about how those troves of documents should be handled in public. "You'd have to be a sociopath to think that we ought to just take all of this material and dump it all on the internet without regard to the impact that it will have for innocent people," says Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first reported on the massive document leak provided to him by former U.S. Source
  • Alberta to spend more to cut methane emissions

    Tech & Science CTV News
    EDMONTON - Alberta plans to spend more money to cut methane emissions. Environment Minister Shannon Phillips says another $33 million will be added to the $7 million already pledged to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas by 45 per cent by 2025. Source
  • 'Red Dead Redemption 2' - 3 ways it could fail [Photos]

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    Saddle up, pardner. It looks like we’re going back to the Wild West. Rockstar Games, the video game empire behind the juggernaut Grand Theft Auto series, set the Internet on fire this week by releasing mysterious images that suggest – nay, outright declare – another game in the Red Dead series is on its way. Source
  • Cyberattacks disrupt Twitter, Netflix, PlayStation Network, others

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    LONDON — Cyberattacks on a key Internet firm repeatedly disrupted the availability of popular websites across the United States on Friday, according to analysts and company officials. The attack had knock-on effects for users trying to access popular websites from across America, Canada and even in Europe. Source