More groups sue to restore Yellowstone grizzly protections

A grizzly bear like this one was shot illegally by a Wyoming hunter in 2017.

HELENA, Mont. — Three more conservation groups are suing to restore federal protections to grizzly bears living in and around Yellowstone National Park.

The complaint filed Wednesday by Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Watersheds Project and Native Ecosystems Council brings the total number of lawsuits to at least five opposed to the U.S. government’s decision to remove grizzlies from the threatened species list.

Most include similar claims that the 700 Yellowstone bears are still threatened because climate change has made traditional food sources scarce and because of increasing conflicts with humans.

One challenge filed by Native Americans from seven states and Canada says hunting bears goes against their religious and spiritual beliefs.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the Yellowstone grizzly population has recovered and turned management of the species over to Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

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