"Federal protection status for a population of grizzly bears facing extinction in the mountains of Idaho and northwest Montana should be raised to endangered from threatened, environmentalists said in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday.
The Montana-based Alliance for the Wild Rockies is asking a judge to order the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to strengthen protections for the fewer than 50 grizzlies that roam the Cabinet Mountains and the Yaak River drainage.
The group also is seeking tougher restrictions on logging, road construction and other human activities on federal lands that constitute crucial habitat the bears in the so-called Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Missoula, Montana.
Grizzly bears in 1975 were listed as threatened in the continental United States after systematic hunting, trapping and poisoning campaigns."