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US reviews rule removing protections for Yellowstone grizzlies

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By Laura Zuckerman

PINEDALE, Wyo. (Reuters) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing a decision to strip some grizzly bears of federal protections after a court ruling found flaws with a formula used to delist Great Lakes wolves, officials said on Wednesday.

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A similar method was used in the agency’s decision earlier this year to strip grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park of Endangered Species Act protections, a move challenged in court by conservationists.

For now, the roughly 700 bears remain delisted, paving the way for trophy hunting, while the Fish and Wildlife Service reviews the earlier rule and seeks public comment on the case, according to agency spokesman Steve Segin.

“The rule is legally sufficient, which is why it remains in place,” he said.

In August, a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Fish and Wildlife Service erred in delisting wolves in the Great Lakes region by failing to evaluate how removing safeguards from that subgroup of wolves might affect remaining wolf populations.

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The agency used a similar methodology for Yellowstone-area bears, with U.S. wildlife managers delisting them without assessing impacts on other grizzly populations in the Lower 48 states, said Kelly Nokes, large carnivore advocate for WildEarth Guardians, which is challenging the delisting.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service should be withdrawing the rule instead of trying to paper over their mistakes with a review and public comment period,” she said.

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Segin said that Wednesday’s move was the culmination of efforts undertaken by the government as soon as the decision was handed down in August.

After the grizzly bear delisting in July, states adjacent to the park — Wyoming, Montana and Idaho — were given management of the animals, opening the door for trophy hunting outside the park.

Idaho continues to operate under the assumption that it has management of grizzlies that wander outside Yellowstone, the state’s Fish and Game spokesman Mike Keckler said by telephone on Wednesday.

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“Our take is we consider the bears to be delisted,” he said.

Hunting, trapping and poisoning had caused the number of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region to plummet to 136 in 1975, when the outsized, hump-shouldered creatures were listed as threatened in the Lower 48.

Groups representing ranchers and hunters, which strongly supported the delisting of Yellowstone-area bears because they can prey on livestock and big-game animals like elk favored by sportsmen, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

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(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman; Editing by Patrick Enright and Sandra Maler)

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Michael Moore breaks down why Trump is ‘scared’ of The Squad: ‘They’re the force out there!’

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Legendary filmmaker Michael Moore revealed why President Donald Trump is so scared of the women of color in Congress known as The Squad.

The Squad is made up of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

"So, Michael, when your political opposition tells you this is the play we’re going to run and the president underscores it, and they’re running this play, is there any — is The Squad blameless for giving the president a steady stream of oxygen and ammunition?" MSNBC's Brian Williams asked.

"I’m so glad he’s that frightened of them, both he and [Benjamin] Netanyahu are scared of them. And the reason they are is — and this is why Trump isn’t as dumb as he comes off," Moore said.

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Trump has spent his vacation golfing, watching cable TV — and panicking about a recession: AP

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While President Donald Trump has been able to golf frequently while on vacation in New Jersey, he may not return to DC well-rested.

"Trump has spent much of the week at his New Jersey golf club, many of his mornings on the links, his afternoons watching cable television and his evenings calling confidants and business executives to get their take on the market’s volatility," the Associated Press reported Friday.

"Though he has expressed private worries about Wall Street, he is also skeptical about some of the weaker economic indicators, wondering if the media and establishment figures are manipulating the data to make him look bad, according to two Republicans close to the White House, not authorized to discuss private conversations," the AP noted.

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Rick Wilsons destroys Trump for ’punitive ‘dickishness’ and ‘performative assh*lery’ on HBO’s Real Time

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Republican strategist Rick Wilson slammed the Trump administration on HBO's "Real Time" with Bill Maher on Friday.

Wilson is the author of the 2018 book Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever.

The GOP consultant said America needs to replace the "Goddamn oil lobbyist who runs the f*cking EPA right now."

"This is just punitive dickishness by these people," Wilson charged. "They're just doing this to be *ssholes, they want their base to be like, 'we're taking those regulations away."

"It is just performative assh*lery," he added.

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