The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continues to push to end federal protection for grizzlies that live in and around Yellowstone National Park.
But tribal leaders in the West are calling on top wildlife officials in the Obama administration to delay plans to remove federal protections for Yellowstone's grizzlies and instead attend a summit this summer, both to hear the tribes' opposition to stripping protection from grizzlies and to show respect for their nations and cultures.
The request follows a Northern Cheyenne tribal representative being forcibly stopped from speaking by the state-federal grizzly bear committee when he attempted to announce the tribe's opposition to stripping Endangered Species Act protection from the bears.
In a letter to Jewell and Ashe, the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council said the Fish and Wildlife Service has "continued to ignore" some 35 tribal resolutions and declarations raising concerns about stripping protection from grizzlies that live in and around Yellowstone National Park.
Not only is an apology warranted after the incident in Wyoming, but it's time for the Interior Department to do what's right. Tribes have a longstanding cultural connection with the region's grizzlies and deserve to be fully heard before any further steps are taken to strip the bears' protections.
May 25, 2015 Action Alert ID# 225
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