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Advocacy group sues over rule expanding hunting and fishing on national wildlife refuges

Flickr user: Mirrur Image (CC-BY-NC)

A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Missoula seeks to overturn a Trump-era rule expanding hunting and fishing within the National Wildlife Refuge system. The lawsuit argues the expansion will harm endangered species like grizzly bears.

The lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t properly assess the impact of a rule opening 2.3 million acres in the National Wildlife Refuge system to hunting and fishing. The rule includes the Swan River National Wildlife Refuge in northwest Montana.

The advocacy group in a press release says that the rule will increase the amount of lead in the ecosystem from ammunition and fishing tackle, harming endangered waterfowl and will pose a risk to threatened grizzly bears due to hunters mistaking them for black bears.

MTPR reached out to FWS for comment, but did not receive a response by deadline.
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Aaron is Montana Public Radio's Flathead reporter.