Wyoming files to appeal grizzly delisting

Sage-grouse mating.

WYOMING – Wyoming filed a notice

of appeal Wednesday, Dec. 5, over

a Montana judge’s order that returned the

Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s grizzly

population to protections under the Endangered

Species Act.

“Wyoming hereby appeals to the

United States Court of Appeals for the

Ninth District from this court’s Sept. 24,

2018, opinion and order,” the court document


The notice of appeal was filed Dec. 5

in Montana’s U.S. District Court in Missoula,

where lawsuits filed by tribes and

conservation groups had been consolidated

into one legal proceeding. The Department

of the Interior, Secretary Ryan

Zinke and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

were the primary defendants.

Wyoming’s grizzly hunting season,

managed by Wyoming Game and Fish,

was set to open Sept. 1 for the first time

in years. Judge Christensen imposed two

temporary restraining orders against the

hunts while the suit continued.

On Sept. 24, Judge Christensen ordered

the grizzly delisting’s final rule to be remanded.

On Oct. 23, the judge denied the

defense’s motion to life the stay and reaffirmed

his final judgment to vacate and

remand the GYE grizzlies’ delisting.

Andrea Santarsiere, senior attorney

for the Center for Biological Diversity

that had sued for grizzly protections, said

“technically” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Service also needs to file a notice of appeal

to make Wyoming’s notice valid.

DOJ public affairs officer Wyn Hornbuckle

said Thursday in an email, “As this

matter pertains to litigation, the department

will decline to comment.”

“Wyoming’s appeal of the court’s

decision to restore protections for Yellowstone’s

beloved bears is just wrong,”

Santarsiere said. “We’ll fight to ensure

these amazing bears retain the safeguards

they need to fully recover.”

If the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

does not appeal, CBD and other plaintiffs

will request dismissal of Wyoming’s appeal,

she said. The deadline for the notices

of appeal to be filed is Dec. 24.

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