Reader Opinion: Bears in the crosshairs
Climate change has been difficult for most creatures. But in Yellowstone National Park it's beneficial for the pine beetles. Warmer winters have allowed for the proliferation of pine beetle infestations. More than 75 percent of the whitebark pine trees are gone and so are their fatty seeds, leaving grizzly populations dropping from 757 in 2015 to 508 in 2016. Recently, the Trump administration removed Yellowstone's grizzly bears from the Federal Threatened Species Act and opened a trophy hunt on the animals. Thankfully, Wyoming's Judge, Dana Christensen, along with several environmental lawyers, stopped the trophy hunts and placed the grizzlies back on the endangered species act. If the legal team had failed to convince the judge of climate change and the consequent loss of Yellowstone's iconic bears, the trophy hunt would have begun in just two days. To the grizzly bears, climate change isn't a hoax.