The Pawnee Tribe of Oklahoma has joined the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in opposing the delisting of the Yellowstone grizzly from endangered species status, in particular because such a move would allow trophy hunting, leaders say.
At the same time, on April 6 a group of conservationists and tribes sued over the hunting of grizzlies that interfere with the sanctioned elk hunt in nearby Grand Teton National Park, Reuters reported.
“Tell them the Pawnee Nation means business,” Pawnee Councilman Adrian Spottedhorsechief said in a statement issued in conjunction with Guardians of Our Ancestors’ Legacy (GOAL), an advocacy group.
Grizzlies numbered in the tens of thousands when Lewis and Clarke first crossed Turtle Island heading west in the 1800s. But as with many animals that came across the paths of European settlers, those numbers dropped to almost nil over the ensuing years. The animal was listed as Threatened in 1975, according to the National Park Service. With the animal’s population recovered and deemed self-sustaining, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has been trying to strip the bears of their Threatened status. But they have met with opposition and have lost in court.