Wyoming to vote on biggest grizzly hunt in lower 48 states

Officers search for grizzly seen in Wyoming residential area

Wyoming will decide Wednesday whether to allow grizzly bear hunting for the first time in decades.

Under the proposed rules before the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, hunting would begin Sept. 1 in the mountains and basins farthest from Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Hunting closer to the parks would begin Sept. 15 and end in all areas by Nov. 15.

Environmental groups and Native American tribes say the hunt would undermine decades of work to restore grizzlies in the Yellowstone ecosystem. About 700 grizzlies now inhabit the region that includes parts of Idaho and Montana.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed protections for Yellowstone-area grizzlies in 2017 after listing them as a threatened species since 1975.

Montana has not yet allowed grizzly hunting. Idaho will allow one grizzly to be hunted this fall.