Montana considers asking Congress to lift grizzly protections

HELENA, Mont. — Montana lawmakers are considering a resolution to ask the state’s congressional delegation to declassify the grizzly bear as a threatened species throughout Montana.

Opponents of the measure said Friday it aims to insert politics into the science-based process of determining when grizzlies have fully recovered.

But nearly two dozen people who live near grizzly populations or represent the livestock industry threw their support behind the measure. They told the House Natural Resources Committee the population is fully recovered and conflicts with animals and humans are on the rise.

Several said they are worried about children being mauled by a bear.

Federal wildlife officials are considering removing protections for grizzlies in and around Yellowstone National Park. This resolution would take that further and seek to declassify bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem and the Cabinet-Yaak area, as well.

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