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Countryside near Emigrant, Montana near where a Canadian company wanted to mine for gold. SoCalChris / CC BY-SA 3.0

A Canadian company cannot carry out exploratory drilling for gold mining on land just north of Yellowstone National Park, a Montana district court ruled Monday.

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926F wolf with a glance. Mark Perry / Getty Images

A cherished Lamar Valley wolf known as 926F was shot dead after a legal hunt just five miles outside the sanctuary of Yellowstone National Park, prompting calls from advocacy groups for greater protection of the region's wolves.

Tragically, the 7-year-old female was the daughter of Wolf 06—"the most famous wolf in the world"—who was killed the same way back in December 2012.

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Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke extended an existing mining ban in mountains north of Yellowstone National Park on Monday.

The move withdraws more than 30,000 acres of public lands in Montana's Paradise Valley from new claims for gold, silver and other mineral extraction for 20 years. It does not impact existing mining claims on private lands in the area.

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A grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park. Jim Peaco / National Park Service

A federal judge restored endangered species protections for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park on Monday, The Huffington Post reported, putting a permanent halt to plans by Wyoming and Idaho to launch the first Yellowstone-area grizzly hunt in four decades.

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A federal judge on Thursday halted the first Yellowstone-area grizzly bear trophy hunts in four decades.

Wyoming and Idaho's grizzly hunt was set to begin this Saturday, Sept. 1 and would have allowed a potential kill of 23 bears outside of Yellowstone National Park.

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Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Carol M. Highsmith Archive / Library of Congress

By Jillian Mackenzie

If you've visited the wilderness recently, you may have noticed something: people. People with walking sticks, people with selfie sticks, people with more people in tow. Surging numbers of visitors are hiking, camping, and all-around loving the outdoors. A whopping 330,882,751 of them spent 1.44 billion hours in our national parks in 2017—up 19 million hours from 2016. Great news, except that all this wilderness enthusiasm does come with a downside. "We're seeing record numbers of people connecting to nature, and that's a good thing," said Dana Watts, executive director of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. "But with that comes an increase in the impact to the land."

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A grizzly bear at Montana Grizzly Encounter in Bozeman, MT, a rescue and educational sanctuary. jerseygal2009 / CC BY-ND 2.0

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the largest grizzly bear hunt in the lower 48 states, despite opposition from environmental groups, tribal nations and wildlife photographers, The Washington Post reported.

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Four grizzly bear cubs near Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park. Pat Gaines / Flickr

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) reaffirmed its June 2017 decision to designate grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) as a separate population and remove that population from protections under the Endangered Species Act, the FWS announced in the Federal Register Friday.

When the FWS announced the June 22 decision, they pointed to the fact that the population of grizzly bears in the area in and around Yellowstone National Park had grown from 136 in 1975, when the species was first listed, to 700 today.

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Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Alamosa, CO. Gail K E / Flickr

Conservation groups are calling on the Trump administration to cancel plans to lease thousands of acres of federal public lands for oil and gas development near western Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park and Blanca Peak without fully analyzing environmental or cultural harms.

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Yellowstone National Park. Timothy Woo / Flickr

By Sam Schipani

The federal government is moving forward with a plan to halt new mining claims in the Absaroka Mountains north of Yellowstone National Park. The plan would withdraw 30,370 acres of public lands in Montana's Paradise Valley from new claims for gold, silver and other mineral extraction for a period of 20 years.

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The main gate was blocked at Saguaro National Park as part of its semi-closed status during the shutdown. NPCA / Flickr

During the government shutdown, visitors to public lands encountered locked doors, deserted parks and ambiguous instructions.

The third weekend in January kicked off with a federal government shutdown. At least some Americans went ahead with their plans to visit national parks and other public lands, perhaps heartened by Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke's imprecise (yet exhaustively publicized) plan to keep them open.

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