Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Judge restores protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears

September 22, 2009, 6:56 am
Two years after federal officials announced their "amazing" recovery, grizzly bears near Yellowstone National Park have been given renewed federal protections by a federal judge who expressed concern that climate change, among other factors, could impair the bears' hopes for survival.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in a 54-page order restored the Endangered Species Act listing for more than 500 bears in and around the park in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho after a coalition of environmental groups argued it was premature to declare the bears "recovered" in 2007.

The judge said the monitoring program designed to maintain the bear population at more than 500 bears has no enforcement mechanism in case numbers decline.