Blocked US grizzly hunts fuel call for changes to law

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A court ruling that blocked grizzly bear hunts in the U.S. West carries far wider political implications amid a push by Congress for sweeping changes to how imperiled species are managed.

Monday’s ruling restored grizzly protections in and around Yellowstone National Park. It likely will force federal wildlife officials to reconsider their piecemeal approach to restoring bruins across the Northern Rockies.

It’s being seized on by Republicans as the latest example of supposed flaws to the Endangered Species Act, a 1973 law meant to shields plants and animals from possible extinction.

A House committee on Wednesday is scheduled to consider a slate of changes to the law. Included is a proposal from Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney to strip Yellowstone grizzly bears of their protections and prevent further court review.

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