Keep Yellowstone's Grizzly Bears Protected From Hunting!
We write with deeply concerning news that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing the removal of yet another species from the protected species list: this time the grizzlies of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. If this outrageous plan goes ahead, grizzly bears would be blasted, maimed and killed by packs of blood-thirsty hunters.
The United States has previously tried allowing grizzly hunting in Yellowstone, with catastrophic consequences. Unsurprising, the local grizzly population was brought within inches of extinction. By 1975, the grizzly population of Yellowstone fell to less than 140 individuals. Tragic in its own right, the damage of such slaughter ripples outwards, affecting others: grizzlies are a keystone species, and their collapse was felt by species across the entire ecosystem.
Today, after forty years of protection, the grizzly population is still dangerously low -— between 700 and 1,000 bears. There is no doubt that droves of hunters desperate to snag a “trophy” of this magnificent species, and packing the latest hunting technologies, could again swiftly decimate this vulnerable species.
The vast majority of crowds who visit our national parks come to enjoy the sight of wildlife flourishing, which should be USFWS’ top priority to protect. Unfortunately, hunting groups work feverishly, perpetually, to find more animals to kill, and are willing to pay cold hard cash to do so.
Todd Wilkinson makes a powerful call to protect the grizzlies in a recent National Geographic editorial, “Yellowstone’s Grizzly Bears Should Not Be Hunted.”