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Fight to restore protection for grizzly bears

View of the Lower Falls at the Yellowstone Grand Canyon in the Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming on June 2, 2011. Yellowstone National Park, was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Grant on March 1, 1872. The park is located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, though it also extends into Montana and Idaho and was the first national park in the world. It is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially the Old Faithful Geyser. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Wildlife advocates and a Montana Indian tribe are asking a U.S. court to restore protections for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park so that trophy hunting of the fearsome animals would not be allowed.

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Humane Society and several conservation groups filed lawsuits Wednesday in Montana challenging the government’s recent move to lift protections.

Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are planning limited public hunting of the region’s roughly 700 bears, although no hunts are expected this year.

Critics say there’s already too much pressure on the bear population as climate change impacts what the animals eat and conflicts with humans result in dozens beig killed every year.

A separate challenge of the government’s decision was filed in July by Native Americans from seven states and Canada.