Thursday, May 25, 2023

WWP and Our Allies Win One for Native Wildlife in Wyoming

 Today, Western Watersheds Project and our allies won our case on livestock grazing and livestock-related grizzly bear killings in the Upper Green River Valley, the eastern part of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem.  

The court determined that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Biological Opinion authorizing the killing of up to 72 grizzly bears over 10 years in response to livestock losses is “arbitrary and capricious.” The Service failed to impose a limit of the number of female bears allowed to be killed, even after admitting that losses of female bears poses a critical risk to grizzly bear population persistence. It also failed to address the fact that the presence of domestic livestock on public lands – and the number of grizzly bears killed for their benefit – made the Upper Green a ‘population sink’ in which the resident bear population couldn’t sustain itself and immigrating bruins faced an elevated risk of being killed.

Our plaintiff group also raised the issue that the level of livestock grazing authorized in the Upper Green was too high to prevent adverse impacts to native wildlife, and the court ruled that for migratory birds, the grazing was too heavy to comply with Forest Plan requirements based on a report prepared by its own biologist...more 

You can view the decision here.

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