States divvy up Yellowstone-area grizzly hunt
By Matthew Brown | AP
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.
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 centered on Yellowstone National Park. Inside the zone, which includes wilderness and forest lands adjacent to the park, hunters in Wyoming would get a 58 percent share of the harvest, a reflection that it’s home to the bulk of the region’s bears. Montana would get 34 percent and Idaho 8 percent.
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. . . (more)
” …. 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.””
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