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Lawsuit asks government to reintroduce grizzlies in much of the West, including Utah

Posted at 6:10 PM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-10 20:10:03-04

The Center for Biological Diversity just filed an intent to sue the federal government, saying they have neglected their legal obligation to reintroduce grizzly bears to their natural habitat, including much of Utah.

The CBD says the Endangered Species Act requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to implement a proactive plan to re-establish grizzlies, which are still considered threatened in the lower 48 states.

The group included a map of potential habitat in the materials they made public, and it includes a diagonal stripe of the state extending from Flaming Gorge in the Northeast through the Uinta and extending south and west through National Forest lands to Washington County near St. George. It also includes a large area of the Book Cliffs and the much of the La Sal and Abajo mountain ranges.

Utah is currently home to an estimated 3,500 adult black bears, which are considered slightly smaller and less aggressive than inland grizzlies.

The entire population of grizzlies in the lower 48 states is estimated between 1,500 and 1,800 animals.