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Judge restores protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears


Two years after federal officials announced their "amazing" recovery, grizzly bears near Yellowstone National Park have been given renewed federal protections by a federal judge who expressed concern that climate change, among other factors, could impair the bears' hopes for survival.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in a 54-page order (Download Order) restored the Endangered Species Act listing for more than 500 bears in and around the park in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho after a coalition of environmental groups argued it was premature to declare the bears "recovered" in 2007.

The judge said the monitoring program designed to maintain the bear population at more than 500 bears has no enforcement mechanism in case numbers decline.

"Even if the monitoring were enforceable, the monitoring itself does nothing to protect the grizzly bear population," the judge wrote. "Instead, there is only a promise of future, unenforceable actions. Promises of future, speculative action are not existing regulatory mechanisms," he said.

The judge said federal officials also failed to consider the impacts of global warming and other factors on a primary food source for the grizzlies, whitepark pine nuts, an important food source for the bears.

Federal officials said they were studying the ruling and would decide later how to proceed. Read the full story later.

-- Kim Murphy

Photo: James Peaco / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (11)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Mark: Libel? Are you some kind of a nut? I said nothing about money, they have Molloy's ear and if you look back on his decisions you'll discover it for yourself. Like I said before, educate yourself. LOL!

Juniper - what's your real name? It's not too surprising that you are willing to make assertions about Judge Milloy being "in the pocket" of "econuts" only if you're using a pseudonym.

It appears you've heard of libel. Feel free to identify yourself, and I'll be happy to put you in touch with Judge Milloy so that he can consider giving you a further education.

p.s. -- as if "econuts" have the dough to put federal judges "in their pocket." It appears you're confusing them with the mining, timber, and livestock industries who want to "manage" the WILDlife. Those are the folks with the deep pockets.

@ Juniper: wildlife needs no management (hence the name wild). People do.

Mark: No and when you assume in this case you only make an a$$ of yourself. I'm referring to wildlife managers hired by the federal government and state wildlife departments that have bonafide educations and years of experience in wildlife management. Not the econuts that try to manage by emotion to get the support of unknowing people to join them because of the cute cuddly animals. Educate yourself before you post on this subject and make a fool of youself.

Hurray for independent federal judges!

So I'm assuming the smelt are safe in Yellowstone as well. The only problem I see is that Yogi won't have many picnic baskets to raid if San Joaquin Valley gets no water.

@ juniper: I assume when you say "wildlife managers" you really mean animal-hating right-wing ideologues in the pockets of oil, mining, timber and livestock interests, the NRA and hunters.

if a cap was only put on the human population. 500 bears you have got to be kidding me.

It's too bad wildlife is not allowed to be managed by wildlife managers rather than econuts with a judge in their pocket and Malloy is in their pocket.

Too bad he's not in an area where he could do the same for polar bears...



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