Comment Period Extended on Yellowstone Grizzly Plan

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS — Federal wildlife officials are extending the comment period on proposed changes to a recovery plan for threatened grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park.

Tuesday’s announcement gives the public until June 20 to weigh in on a plan that calls for maintaining a minimum grizzly population of at least 500 animals. That compares to an estimated 600-700 bears currently living in the Yellowstone area.

The plan also would give the government more flexibility in determining if too many grizzlies are dying.

The comment extension was requested by Earthjustice, an environmental law firm representing Defenders of Wildlife, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club.

Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso says the groups’ concerns about the government proposal will be detailed in an upcoming response.

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