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Scientists see continued expansion of grizzly bear habitat

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JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) _ Grizzly bears continue to expand their range amid an ongoing effort to turn over management of the bears from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

Frank van Manen of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team says there’s been an 11 percent increase in grizzly bear range in the last couple of years.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports (http://bit.ly/2ojQzQN) that since coming under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, grizzlies have steadily expanded their habitat outward from Yellowstone National Park.

Conservation groups oppose delisting the bear because they worry it would allow states to use hunting as a way to control them.

A final rule to delist the Yellowstone-area grizzly bear is expected to be released as early as June.