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US proposes lifting endangered species protections for grizzlies around Yellowstone National Park

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed on Thursday stripping Endangered Species Act protections from the grizzly bear in and around Yellowstone National Park, saying the animal’s numbers have rebounded sufficiently in recent decades.

The number of grizzlies in the greater Yellowstone region, encompassing parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, has grown to an estimated 700 or more bears today, up from as few as 176 in 1975 when they were formally listed as a threatened species throughout the Lower 48 states.

At that time, the grizzly had been hunted, trapped and poisoned to near extinction. Its current estimated population well exceeds the government’s recovery goal of 500 animals in the region.

Sportsmen and ranchers, who make up a powerful political constituency in Western states, have strongly advocated de-listing grizzlies, arguing that their increasing numbers pose a threat to humans, livestock and big-game animals such as elk.

Environmentalists have raised concerns that while grizzlies have made a comeback, their recovery could falter if federal safeguards are lifted, a move that would open the animals to public hunting outside the national park boundaries.

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Native American tribes, which revere the bear, also have voiced skepticism about removing the grizzly’s threatened status.

But Fish and Wildlife Service, a U.S. Interior Department agency, said population and habitat monitoring has found that grizzly bears have more than doubled their range since the mid-1970s, occupying more than 22,500 square miles (58,275 sq km) of the Yellowstone ecosystem. That area is larger than the land mass of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, combined, the agency said.

(Reporting by Ruffin Prevost; Writing and additional reporting in Los Angeles by Steve Gorman; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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The real problem wasn’t the racism — it was the Trump taking ‘the Lord’s name in vain’ twice: supporter

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President Donald Trump was widely condemned after supporters at a campaign rally in West Virginia turned his racist "go back" message into a "Send Her Back" chant against one of a woman of color in Congress.

One Trump supporter in West Virginia also criticized the speech, but not for the racist targeting of Rep. Ilhan Omar.

State Senator Paul Hardesty, a Democrat, wrote to the White House to complain about Trump's use of the word "goddamn."

The letter was republished by the Montgomery-Herald.

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Tongue-tied GOP strategist crashes and burns on-air while trying to deny Trump’s racism

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Republican strategist Amy Tarkanian crashed and burned on CNN on Saturday while attempting to deny President Donald Trump's racism.

"I do not believe that the president’s tweets were racist. I do believe they were not well thought out. He needs that extra, 'Are you sure?' button on Twitter," Tarkanian argued.

"I'm a black man, I'm a Republican and a black man," the Rev. Joe Watkins interjected. "My mother's an immigrant, I would be angry if someone said that to my mother."

"Oh, it’s very offensive. But he did not say, because you are this color, go back to where you came from," Tarkanian argued. "I’m not supporting that tweet. Was it racist? No. Was it stupid? Yes."

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Trump supporter blames Democrats for being targeted by the president: ‘Why is that racist?’

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CNN interviewed a supporter of President Donald Trump in Eau Claire, Wisconsin who refused to acknowledge the racism in the president's "Go Back" attacks on four women of color in Congress.

The network interviewed Kerri Krumenauer of Wiersgalla Plumbing & Heating Company about Trump's attacks.

"How is it racist?" she asked.

"If you don't like this country, get out," she demanded. "Leave!"

She then showed how misinformed she was about the incident.

"He didn't use any names -- they stood up," she falsely claimed. In fact, Trump did use names and the targets did not stand up as they were not at his North Carolina campaign rally.

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