By Associated Press - Thursday, June 21, 2018

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has signed off on the state’s first hunt for grizzly bears in 44 years.

Mead approved the rules Thursday that pave the way for the fall hunt, which will be the biggest in the lower 48 states since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed protections for grizzlies in the Yellowstone region in 2017.

The hunt’s rules will allow up to 22 grizzlies to be killed in a wide area east and south of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission heard from hunt supporters and opponents before voting unanimously in favor of it in May.

Mead says grizzlies have “exceeded their recovery goals for over a decade.”

Idaho has approved hunting one grizzly this fall, and Montana has decided for now that it won’t allow grizzly hunting.

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