Wildlife groups press judge to nix grizzly hunts in Rockies
By Associated Press
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Wildlife advocates hope to convince a judge that grizzly bears living in the Yellowstone National Park area face too many threats to their survival to add trophy hunting to the mix.
The stakes surrounding Thursday's court hearing in Missoula, Montana, are high. The decision is expected to affect grizzly bear hunts scheduled to open Saturday in Wyoming and Idaho, the first such hunting season in the Lower 48 states since 1974.
The wildlife advocates argue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2017 ruling that approximately 700 Yellowstone grizzlies are no longer a threatened species was based on faulty science.
Department of Justice lawyers representing the Fish and Wildlife Service reject the plaintiffs' claims and say the Yellowstone grizzlies are one of the most-studied and best-managed bear species in the world.
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