BILLINGS — Conservationists and a Montana Indian tribe have asked a judge to restore protections for Yellowstone-area grizzly bears in light of a recent ruling in a case involving Great Lakes wolves.
The request by three conservation groups and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe was lodged on Monday in U.S. District Court in Missoula.
Federal officials in December announced a review of their July 31 decision to lift protections for an estimated 700 bears in and around Yellowstone National Park. The review was prompted by the Great Lakes wolf ruling, which indicated in part that more consideration needed to be given to a species’ loss of historical territory.
Attorneys for the conservation groups and tribe say the grizzly review is being improperly used as an after-the-fact justification for lifting protections.