When you think of Yellowstone National Park, you usually think of scenic landscapes, a large variety of wildlife, and a serene and majestic area. However, the Trump administration saw it as a ripe opportunity to play it up to gun fanatics who need to kill endangered species to get their rocks off.
However, the grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park have had a reprieve, albeit temporarily, thanks to US District Judge Dana Christensen.
Judge Christensen ordered a 14-day restraining order after he ruled there was a sufficient threat to the species, which stopped the hunts that were to occur in Idaho and Wyoming.
‘The threat of death to individual grizzly bears posed by the scheduled hunt is sufficient.’
This hunting season would have been the first open season in 44 years after the removal of environmental protections that, you guessed it, the Trump administration lifted. You can imagine Donald Jr. and Eric (Tweedle Dee Jr. and Tweedle Dum) would have been the first in line.
— Resist! (@SDSunchaser) December 31, 2015
The executive director for the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Mike Garrity, commented on the victory:
‘We’re thrilled. Now the judge has time to rule without grizzly bears being killed starting Saturday morning.’
The chief of the Piikani Nation, Stan Grier, commented on the decision:
‘It’s essential to protecting our religious and spiritual freedoms, and treaty rights in Yellowstone. This sacred being is considered to be a deity by many tribes, not a rug.’
The Trump administration’s US Fish and Wildlife Service lifted the protections after it was decided the numbers of bears had risen to an acceptable level to allow for trophy hunts.
In 1975, there were around 136 grizzly bears remaining in the area. Currently, there are around 700.
Granted, this isn’t all the Trump administration’s fault. The Fish and Wildlife Services tried to lift restrictions back in 2007; however, protections were not lifted after a judge ruled more studies were required.
However, it’s the Trump administration that went ahead and lifted those protections.
‘In 2017, the agency concluded that it had addressed all threats and ruled that the grizzlies were no longer a threatened species needing restrictive federal protections.’
Enough permits were given out to result in the killing of up to 22 bears.
‘Wyoming is to allow nine males or one female to be killed in prime grizzly habitat near Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, as well as 12 more bears in an outlying area.
‘Idaho, which has fewer grizzlies, will allow only one to be hunted.’
Montana opted out of allowing the hunts.
Many pro-hunters argue that the bears are a danger to livestock and humans. Additionally, they also claim nature is out of balance and hunting will restore that balanced population.
Hunters should stop playing Thanos and think about this. Humans meddling in the affairs of nature are the reason why the population dwindled in the first place. Nature can handle populations of animals on her own without hunters trying to snap their fingers and make half the population turn to trophies. This isn’t the Infinity War. This is Mother Nature. She’s got this, guys.
Featured image via Good Free Photos.