NRA, hunting Team say grizzly bear Searches needed for Security

By MATTHEW BROWN
Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – The National Rifle Association and a sport hunting team want to ensure their members could hunt grizzly bears from the three-state region around Yellowstone National Park following the creatures missing U.S. protections.

Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are thinking of limited trophy searches for grizzlies outside the park in future years following the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revoked the species’ threatened status in July.

Conservation groups have sued to restore protections, and now the NRA and Safari Club International have requested U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen to allow them intervene in the situation.

Several of the bands’ members said in affidavits filed by their lawyers that hunting allow countries to handle the creatures, would assist the economy of the region and enhance public security.

“Having the capability to hunt grizzlies are perfect for business. I would also personally hunt a grizzly if granted an opportunity to accomplish this,” said Edwin Johnson, a 70-year-old hunting outfitter who resides in Gardiner, Montana. “They have to be hunted so that they dread that the odor of individuals, instead of following it as they do today.”

An estimated 700 bears reside in and around Yellowstone National Park. Attacks on people have increased since the creatures rebounded from prevalent extermination.

At least six lawsuits are pending at Illinois and Montana, but most are expected to be merged into a single case in forthcoming months.

A lawyer for environmentalists in one of the Montana instances said no decision was made on whether to battle with the attempt to intervene.

“We are committed to doing what we can to stop trophy hunting of grizzly bears departing Yellowstone National Park,” explained Matthew Bishop together with the Western Environmental Law Center, who’s representing WildEarth Guardians.

Follow Matthew Brown on Twitter at www.twitter.com/matthewbrownap.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material might not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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