Protection of grizzlies pondered
Forty years ago Saturday, President Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act, credited with saving hundreds of species from extinction, including the bald eagle, the American alligator, Florida panthers, sea otters, pumas and manatees.
The anniversary falls as wildlife officials in the northern Rockies are considering lifting protections for hundreds of grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park, a move environmental groups decry as short-sighted. The grizzlies were granted federal protections in 1975 after they had been wiped out across much of their historical range.
They have since made a slow comeback, prompting the Fish and Wildlife Service to advance plans on whether to take more than 700 bears across the Yellowstone region of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming off the threatened-species list.
A decision is expected in January. It would open the door for limited sport hunting of the bears in the area, though protections for their habitat would remain in place.
As that battle heats up, the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration celebrated the full recovery of 31 species that had hovered on the brink of extinction. The first species that was pronounced fully recovered and delisted was the brown pelican.
Today, they are working to protect 1,436 U.S. species.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- New York, New Jersey order 21-day quarantine of all in contact with Ebola virus
- Seattle area school homecoming ‘prince’ guns down classmates
- Warhol bodyguard sued over hidden artwork
- Philadelphia Mafia figure returned to prison for meeting friend
- Lawyer turns down AG post
- U.S. rules out apology to Pyongyang in exchange for 2 imprisoned Americans
- 2 California deputies slain, suspect captured
- Washington city takes stock of damage from rare tornado
- North Korea may have key to nuclear missile, general says
- Test confirms remains are missing Virginia student’s
- Hatchet attack was terror, NYPD says