San Juan Hut System makes the NYT …

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This sparse, unaltered landscape has long been a source of fascination for geologists, mainly because of its shape. Rather than charting a one-way course (as with most canyons), Unaweep, which bisects a portion of the sprawling Uncompahgre Plateau, instead flows out in two directions, with an elevated hump in the middle, like a hose with two openings.

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This makes it ideal for road bikers, who see the bare, winding roads of Unaweep, and nearby Grand Junction, as an irresistible challenge. Since the 1970s, bike enthusiasts have latched onto Mesa County for its rich supply of trails. Just outside town, the Colorado National Monument makes for one of the most spectacular, high-altitude rides in America. (The 1985 Kevin Costner film, “American Flyers,” was filmed here.)


It is the latest project by the founders of the San Juan Hut System, which launched in 1987 with a set of five huts on the north face of the Sneffels Range in Colorado. Originally meant as an easy-to-navigate route for intrepid skiers, the DIY appeal of the huts soon expanded to bikers, who take over those same trails in the summer months. Today, the system commands a total of 16 huts, spread over hundreds of square miles inside Uncompahgre National Forest.

One of the few signs of life can be found at the Bedrock General Store, looking like a time capsule out of the 1910’s and which made an appearance in “Thelma and Louise.” Credit Caine Delacy for The New York Times

In May, just after this new trail officially opened, I was one of the first bikers to attempt this challenging route, accompanied by my friend, Joe, who bailed halfway through the first day. (More on that later.)

The remoteness of the trail is a double-edged sword: on the one hand, there are razor-sharp mesas and ghostly valleys, making for unforgettable scenery. But this being rural Colorado, the weather can be unpredictable. Heat makes the trail brutally uncomfortable in summer; the snow and ice make it impassable in winter. As a result, it’s only open for two months a year — May and October.

“These canyons are rough, desolate, harsh,” explained Zebulon Miracle, a geologist who leads dinosaur walks for guests at the Gateway Canyons Resort, an unexpected luxury outpost in the middle of the red rock peaks, 53 miles from Grand Junction.

For bikers, all roads lead to Moab

But if humans have survived in these parts for a couple thousand years, then I should be able to manage for a couple days, right? And it’s not like I’d be camping out in the wilderness. Two huts, installed along the trail roughly 50 miles apart, would provide overnight shelter for the three-day, two-night journey. They are basic cabins, built of plywood, and furnished with bunk beds and a propane tank stove.

Best of all, they are fully stocked with food: bacon, eggs, tortillas, onions, canned food (beans, salsa, tuna fish), cheese, salami sticks, cookies, different kinds of dried fruit, coffee, tea and plenty of water. There’s even a cookbook to show how to make elaborate meals like curry or chicken parm. (We booked our huts three months in advance of our trip, on the San Juan Huts website:

Heading up the first climb of Unaweep Canyon on Highway 141Credit Caine Delacy for The New York Times

The cost for two nights was $199. (The “beer option” costs an additional $30 per person.)

Ahead of this trip, I had spoken with Kelly Ryan, a former ski patrol and the daughter of Joe Ryan, who founded the San Juan Huts Systemin 1987. According to Ms. Ryan, the Grand Junction-Moab route, though challenging, is “beginner friendly.” While this tour involves long days, the terrain itself is nothing a newbie — even someone who’s never been on an overnight cycling trip — can’t handle, she said. Plus, the relative absence of cars on this route makes things more manageable. Typically, busy highways represent a hazard for road biking. “You’re more likely to get hurt mountain biking, but you’re more likely to die road biking,” Ms. Ryan said.

This didn’t exactly inspire confidence, but then again, this wasn’t a road biking trip, per se. The route is split between old paved highways and sections of dirt, and because of that, the route is technically classified as a gravel grinder tour.

Gravel grinding, once popular in the 70s and 80s, is essentially off-road road biking, and it’s enjoying a resurgence lately. Shops like SloHi in Denver Rapha in Boulder are now renting gravel grinders and hosting group rides.

While mountain biking is often seen as too dangerous, and road biking has a reputation for being a little dull, gravel grinders offer a middle way. Their tires are thick, but more pressurized than mountain bikes, and they are more stable in their frames. Ms. Ryan called them the “Swiss Army knife of the bike world” — not as clunky as a mountain bike, but not skittish and thin like road bikes.

Two huts, installed along the trail roughly 50 miles apart, provide overnight shelter for the three-day, two-night journey. They are basic cabins, built of plywood, and furnished with bunk beds and a propane tank stoveCredit Caine Delacy for The New York Times

On a route like this, which involves long distances and rolling landscape on some unpaved roads, a gravel grinder can really shine. I opted to rent a Moots Routt 45 from a nearby Grand Junction vendor.

We were set to go.

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BAD TIMES at the El Royale

The Rōbert [Cholo] Report (pron: Rō'bear Re'por)


Bad Times at the El Royale is an upcoming American thriller film written and directed by Drew Goddard. The film stars Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pullman, Nick Offerman and Chris Hemsworth, and follows seven strangers who each are hiding dark secrets that come to a head on one night in a shady motel. It will premiere at the Fantastic Fest on September 27, 2018, and is scheduled to be released in the United States on October 12, 2018.

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~~~  CONTINUE  ~~~

W Magazine

Bad Times at the El Royale isn’t based on existing property, nor is it part of a mega-franchise. Its director, though accomplished as a screenwriter, isn’t an acclaimed hotshot just yet. Though awards season dynamics are yet to take their final shape, the film’s success doesn’t hinge…

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‘communists’ tried to donate to a Democrat but were actually GOP activists. ‘Got to love dirty politics’ rōbert … The Washington Post


The potential donation that arrived at an Arizona campaign office Thursday had all the markings of a grass-roots, feel-good politics story — at first.

Two young men, who said their names were Jose Rosales and Ahmahd Sadia, had shown up at the Flagstaff campaign office of Rep. Tom O’Halleran, a Democrat who is running for reelection to represent northern Arizona.

They claimed they were from nearby Northern Arizona University and were eager to volunteer. They had also brought along a jar of small bills and coins — totaling $39.68 — money that they said wanted to donate to O’Halleran’s campaign.

That’s when things grew odd.

A junior staffer who “didn’t realize what was happening” directed the pair to fill out a campaign contribution form. The men mentioned they were with the “Northern Arizona University Communist Party,” according to O’Halleran campaign manager Ryan Mulcahy.

“Once they filled out the forms, they became oddly insistent on getting a receipt for the contributions,” Mulcahy told The Washington Post. “They were told the only way you can get a receipt is [by] email. So they ended up crossing out the email they had written down and writing in another one.”

Meanwhile, as the men were leaving, another staffer came over — and recognized them from social media as being affiliated with the Arizona Republican Party, Mulcahy said. Shortly after the pair left, O’Halleran’s finance director, Lindsay Coleman, drove over to the local Arizona GOP office to return the donation.

Her suspicions were almost immediately confirmed upon entering the GOP office, in an awkward exchange that was captured on video.

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Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.)’s campaign posted video of Finance Director Lindsay Coleman returning a suspicious donation.

The Supreme Court Just Dealt Another Blow to Voting Rights ~ RollingStone

The change will hit Democratic candidates the hardest in the 2018 midterms

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 2: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., attends a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Dirksen Building titled "Implementation of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act," on October 2, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., attends a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Dirksen Building titled “Implementation of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act,” on October 2, 2018.

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) is currently battling to retain her Senate seat, but it’s not looking good. She’s long trailed her Republican challenger Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) in the polls, and last week, she voted against Brett Kavanaugh knowing full well it could hurt her chances to win in November. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court made it even more difficult for Heitkamp to carry her state next month, which Trump won in 2016 by over 35 percentage points. Though Kavanaugh did not participate in the vote, the nation’s highest court ruled to uphold a decision by the state’s courts that requires a residential street address in order to vote in the state’s elections. The decision is expected to disenfranchise much of the state’s Native American population, which lives largely on tribal land and whose IDs typically feature P.O. boxes.

The complete tally for the vote was not disclosed, but Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan both dissented. “The risk of voter confusion appears severe here because the injunction against requiring residential-address identification was in force during the primary election and because the Secretary of State’s website announced for months the ID requirements as they existed under that injunction,” Ginsburg wrote in her dissenting opinion. “Reasonable voters may well assume that the IDs allowing them to vote in the primary election would remain valid in the general election. If the Eighth Circuit’s stay is not vacated, the risk of disfranchisement is large.”

Heitkamp won her Senate seat in 2012 by a slim margin, and with the help of the state’s Native American community, which supported her overwhelmingly. As was pointed out Tuesday by Mother Jones, the state’s Republicans began working to restrict voter rights almost immediately after Heitkamp’s victory. Though the law requiring voters to provide a residential address was challenged by the state’s Native American community, it was upheld last month by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and again on Tuesday by the Supreme Court. This means that many of the Native Americans wishing to reelect Heitkamp next month will have a hard time doing so.

The decision could be a death knell for Heitkamp, whose days in the Senate appeared to be numbered even before she voted against Kavanaugh. Heitkamp said that she had been planning to vote for Kavanaugh, but couldn’t do so in good conscience after witnessing his behavior while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the sexual assault allegations levied against him. Earlier this week, she released an ad explaining her decision.

Cramer appeared on Fox & Friends Wednesday morning to discuss the vote. The show’s hosts couldn’t seem to process Heitkamp’s decision outside of its political implications. Ainsley Earhardt was befuddled as to why she voted against Kavanaugh despite trailing in the polls. “I was surprised because she’s built an entire brand on being the bipartisan senator from North Dakota who reaches across the aisle, who always does what’s right for North Dakota independent of her leadership and votes with President Trump when it’s important for North Dakota. She blew all of that up, all of her millions of dollars of branding, in one vote.”

Is the Fight Over Brett Kavanaugh Really Good News for the G.O.P.? ~ The New Yorker

As Senate Republicans rushed on Thursday to ready a final confirmation vote for the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, many political observers were fixating on two opinion polls that appear to suggest that the bitter partisan row over Kavanaugh has galvanized Republican voters and could help the G.O.P. retain control of the Senate in the upcoming midterm elections. The hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinkski, spent a good deal of time expounding this meme. A headline on the Washington Post’s The Daily 202 newsletter summed it up: “How Senate Republicans could win the battle and the war on Kavanaugh.”

Before anointing Kavanaugh as the savior of the Republican Party, it is worth taking a breath or two. The anger among conservatives over how he has been treated is real enough, and it could help some Republicans in red-state Senate races where Democrats are already embattled, such as North Dakota. But the backlash against Kavanaugh’s confirmation among liberals and moderate voters, particularly women, will surely carry even greater intensity. In the weeks leading up to November 6th, it could give a boost to Democratic candidates everywhere, particularly in suburban areas, where the balance of power in the House of Representatives will be determined.

That makes a Democratic takeover of the House, and the power of subpoena, even more likely than it is already, which can hardly be classified as good news for the G.O.P. and Donald Trump. Moreover, when Kavanaugh takes his seat on the bench, he won’t be going anywhere for decades, good health permitting. He’ll sit there in the Supreme Court Building, his very name a permanent rallying cry for Democratic activists and fund-raisers, and a reminder to everyone of the manner in which the Republican leadership and the Trump White House steamrolled him onto the Court.

In the long run, this will only accentuate the G.O.P.’s difficulty in attracting female voters, particularly those with a college education. But what of the short run? One of the surveys that indicated rising enthusiasm among Republican voters was carried out on Monday by the polling institute at Marist University for “PBS NewsHour.” It showed that eighty per cent of self-identified Republicans regard the November elections as “very important,” compared with eighty-two per cent of self-identified Democrats. In July, there was a ten-point gap between these numbers: now it is just two points. The other poll that indicated Republican voters are paying closer attention was a Fox News survey of four key Senate races: Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota. It found that “Republicans are now just as likely as Democrats to say they are extremely interested—erasing an edge Democrats had in several states last month.”

How to explain this development? The director of the Marist polling, Lee Miringoff, attributed it to the fact that the Kavanaugh hearings had “awakened” the G.O.P. base, and some Republican analysts echoed this argument. “Any Dem enthusiasm gap has been erased and even surpassed by GOP due to Kavanaugh hearings #Midterms2018,” Chris Wilson, a G.O.P. pollster, wroteon Twitter. This sounds like a plausible theory, but Kavanaugh may not be the only reason more Republican voters are starting to focus seriously on the midterms. After all, Election Day is only a month away. In the distant run-up to an election, voters who are generally satisfied with the political status quo tend to be less engaged than those who are enraged by it. As the election approaches, they take more interest.

But even if we concede that the battle over Kavanaugh has got the Republican base riled up, we also have to take into account its impact on the Democratic base, especially younger voters, who tend to produce low turnout rates in midterm elections. One Democratic supporter told me last weekend that, although he personally hoped Kavanaugh’s candidacy would be struck down, the ideal outcome for the Party would be for the Republicans to railroad it through on the basis of a sham F.B.I. investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct. That is what is now happening.

We’ll have to wait to see what impact this has in places like New Jersey’s Eleventh Congressional District, Illinois’s Sixth District, Pennsylvania’s Sixth District, and Texas’s Thirty-second District, which are all Republican-held seats that represent affluent suburban communities with a high proportion of college-educated voters. But, on the basis of the latest polls, it seems fair to assume that voters in these sorts of areas, particularly female ones, will be even more motivated to register a protest against the G.O.P. and Trump.

The Marist poll that indicated rising intensity among Republican voters also showed that sixty-six per cent of female college graduates believed Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and that just twenty-six per cent of them believed Kavanaugh. Looking at all women (graduates and non-graduates), the figures divided along party lines. But among women who identify as independents—that is, about a third of them—fifty-six per cent believed Ford and twenty-four per cent believed Kavanaugh.

A Quinnipiac University poll that was taken last week produced similar findings even when the sample was limited to white women, who tend to vote Republican in larger numbers than non-white women do. That survey found that sixty-seven per cent of college-educated white females disapproved of the way Senate Republicans were handling the allegations against Kavanaugh, and fifty-eight per cent thought he shouldn’t be confirmed.

To be sure, both of these polls were taken before the F.B.I. sent the results of its “supplemental investigation” to the White House. Conceivably, some Kavanaugh skeptics could be reassured by Senator Susan Collins’s statement that the F.B.I. carried out a “very thorough” investigation and will change their minds. But that seems unlikely given the fact that the F.B.I. only spoke to nine people, and many would-be witnesses weren’t heard from.

The more probable outcome is that a vote to confirm Kavanaugh, which now seems almost inevitable, will simply accentuate the polarization that is already so evident, giving people who dislike and disapprove of Trump yet another reason to be angry. With virtually every poll that has been taken since Trump entered the White House indicating that this group is in the majority, G.O.P. strategists can hardly look upon this prospect with equanimity.

Finally, it should be noted that there is still another month until the elections. Harold Wilson, the Labour Party politician who twice served as Britain’s Prime Minister, used to say that a week is a long time in politics. In the Trump era, a month is a very long time. But for now, as Kyle Kondik, the managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, wrote on Thursday, the “environment for Republicans remains treacherous.”

U.S. Senators to contact on Kavanaugh Supreme Court vote … Participate in your democracy before it’s not … Time is almost up, the Senate vote will be tomorrow or Thursday ! Get off you ass and send an email.

Marty Balin, founder of 1960s group Jefferson Airplane, dies at 76

Jefferson Airplane in 1968. From left, Marty Balin, Grace Slick, Spencer Dryden, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. (AP)
September 29 at 10:19 AM

Marty Balin, a patron of the 1960s “San Francisco Sound” both as founder and lead singer of Jefferson Airplane and co-owner of the club where the Airplane and other bands performed, died Sept. 27 in Tampa. He was 76.

He died while en route to a hospital, spokesman Ryan Romenesko said. The cause of death was not immediately available. Mr. Balin, who underwent emergency heart surgery in 2016, sued a New York hospital earlier this year, saying a tracheotomy he had at the time paralyzed a vocal cord and caused other damage.

The dark-eyed, baby-faced Mr. Balin was an ex-folk musician who formed the Airplane in 1965 and within two years was at the heart of a nationwide wave that briefly rivaled the Beatles’ influence and even helped inspire the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album.

The Airplane was the breakout act among such San Francisco-based artists as the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin, many of whom played early shows at the Matrix, a ballroom Mr. Balin helped run and for which the Airplane served as house band.

The San Francisco Sound was a psychedelic blend of blues, folk, rock and jazz and was the musical expression of the emerging hippie lifestyle.

Mr. Balin himself was known for his yearning tenor on the ballads “Today” and “It’s No Secret” and on the political anthem “Volunteers.” In the mid-1970s, when the Airplane regrouped as the more mainstream Jefferson Starship, Mr. Balin sang lead on such hits as “Miracles” (which he co-wrote), “With Your Love” and “Count on Me.” He later had solo success with “Hearts” and “Atlanta Lady.”

Jefferson Airplane in 1966. At top right is vocalist Grace Slick. From left are Marty Balin, Jorma Kaukonen, Paul Kantner, Spencer Dryden and Jack Casady. (AP)

The Airplane was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, but Mr. Balin would long have mixed feelings. Pride in the band’s achievements was shadowed by its eventual breakup and by Mr. Balin’s acknowledged jealousy of Grace Slick, the other lead vocalist. Slick joined the group in the fall of 1966, soon before the Airplane recorded its landmark second album, “Surrealistic Pillow.”

One of rock’s most charismatic singers and performers, Slick displaced Mr. Balin as the perceived leader, on stage and on the Airplane’s best known songs, “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit.”

“Every time I did something, it was always Grace Slick and the Airplane and Grace Slick and the Starship,” Mr. Balin told Relix magazine in 1993. “Even if it was my voice. I’ve even done songs of mine on my own and people come up to me and say, ‘I’m surprised you do that song. I always thought it was Grace’s.’ For a while that hurt my feelings, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Fellow Jefferson Airplane founding member Jorma Kaukonen said Friday that Balin had himself to blame at least partly for that, adding that the singer never liked to draw attention to himself.

“He was a good guy, he was a friendly guy, he just wasn’t openly gregarious,” Kaukonen said.

Mr. Balin was married twice, most recently to Susan Joy Finkelstein, and had three children.

He had been in show business well before the Airplane. Born Martin Jerel Buchwald in Cincinnati, he ended up in the Bay Area as his father, a Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe, struggled to find work.

Mr. Balin was a brooding, artistic child who dropped out of San Francisco State University to pursue a career in music. He recorded a few singles with some of Phil Spector’s session musicians in the early 1960s before joining the folk group the Town Criers. During that time, he changed his last name to Balin.

Like many of his peers, he switched to electronic music after seeing the Beatles’ 1964 movie “A Hard Day’s Night.” Through the club scene, he brought in songwriter-guitarist-vocalist Paul Kantner, singer Signe Anderson (whom Slick replaced), guitarist Kaukonen, bassist Jack Casady and drummer Skip Spence, a novice given the job because he supposedly looked like a rock star. (Spence would leave after the first album and was replaced by Spencer Dryden). The name Jefferson Airplane, suggested by Kaukonen, was based in part on bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson.

Meanwhile, Mr. Balin and a handful of business partners converted a Fillmore Street pizza place into the Matrix, which opened in August 1965. A year later, the group signed with RCA Records and released the folk-rock album “Jefferson Airplane Takes Off,” for which Mr. Balin wrote or co-wrote eight songs. The Airplane, attuned early on to the counterculture, turned out buttons and bumper stickers reading “Jefferson Airplane loves you.”

“I remember it was really pretty and beautiful for a year or two,” Mr. Balin told Relix in 1993. “And then Time magazine came out and they were interviewing me. I told the guy, ‘It’s great that you’re publicizing this beautiful-feeling scene out here,’ ” and he looked me right in the eye and said, ‘Fastest way to kill it.’ ”

Starting with “Surrealistic Pillow,” a soundtrack for many during the so-called Summer of Love of 1967, the group’s music became more experimental. By such albums as “Blows Against the Empire” (a solo effort) and “After Bathing at Baxter’s,” Kantner became the principal songwriter (and eventually Slick’s boyfriend), and Mr. Balin found himself out of place with his own band and with the rock scene overall.

He shunned hard drugs and preferred tight pop songs to long jams. The classic film “Gimme Shelter,” centered on the ill-fated Altamont concert from 1969, showed Mr. Balin getting knocked out on stage by the Hell’s Angels. By the early 1970s, he had left the Airplane.

In recent years, he released such albums as “The Greatest Love” and “Good Memories,” a retrospective of his Airplane/Starship songs. He also reunited on occasion with Casady and Kaukonen and their group Hot Tuna, bringing Signe Anderson on stage to perform the Airplane’s first single, “It’s No Secret.”

He also returned to his folk roots, appearing in clubs as part of an acoustic trio.

“The whole night is me — and if you dig it, cool,” he told Relix in 2016. “There aren’t any egos. . . . Let’s get to the music, man. That’s what I’m doing — just flying along.”

Court restores federal protections for Yellowstone-area grizzly bears

With their population expanding, can Yellowstone grizzlies co-exist with humans?

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~~~  WATCH  ~~~

September 24 at 11:38 PM

A U.S. District Court judge restored federal protections Monday to about 700 grizzly bears living in and around Yellowstone National Park, canceling planned hunts in Wyoming and Idaho and overturning a Trump administration finding that the iconic population had recovered.

In a 48-page order, Judge Dana L. Christensen wrote that the case was “not about the ethics of hunting, and it is not about solving human- or livestock-grizzly conflicts.” Instead, he said, the ruling was based on his determination that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had illegally failed to consider how removing the Yellowstone bears from the endangered species list would affect other protected grizzly populations, and that its analysis of future threats to the bears was “arbitrary and capricious.”

The decision sided with multiple conservation and tribal organizations that sued Fish and Wildlife after it delisted Yellowstone grizzlies in 2017, and it supported one of their primary contentions: that the isolation of the bear population, which is expanding outward but remains unconnected to the other major U.S. grizzly population near the Canada border, makes it genetically vulnerable.

“The Service appropriately recognized that the population’s genetic health is a significant factor demanding consideration,” Christensen wrote. “However, it misread the scientific studies it relied upon, failing to recognize that all evidence suggests that the long-term viability of the Greater Yellowstone grizzly is far less certain absent new genetic material.”

In a statement, Fish and Wildlife said it was reviewing the ruling and noted that it means the bears’ management — in the hands of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho since last year — now returns to the federal government.

Nevertheless, the agency said, “we stand behind our finding that the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear is biologically recovered and no longer requires protection. . . . Our determination was based on our rigorous interpretation of the law and is supported by the best available science and a comprehensive conservation strategy developed with our federal, state, and tribal partners.”

The ruling came amid heightening criticism of the Endangered Species Act from conservatives who say it imposes steep burdens on private landowners and industry while failing to restore imperiled populations back to their historic levels. The Department of Interior proposed regulations this summer that would overhaul the law, while GOP lawmakers have proposed a slew of bills that would remove protections for specific species from the list and bar them from being listed in the first place.

“This is a prime example why Congress should modernize the Endangered Species Act. We should elevate the role of states and local experts who are on the ground working with the grizzly – and other endangered species — on a daily basis,” Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso (R), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, said in a statement Tuesday. He added: ” The grizzly is recovered in Wyoming. Period.”

Monday’s ruling was the latest legal setback for the Trump administration’s environmental agenda. Federal courts have ruled against Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Commerce Department on several fronts, including a decision last month that blocked the administration from modifying a ban on imports of all seafood caught with gillnets in Mexico because the practice threatens the critically endangered vaquita porpoise.

Grizzlies in the Lower 48 were placed on the Endangered Species List in 1975, by which point the predators had been eradicated from 98 percent of their historical range and the Yellowstone-area population had dropped to fewer than 140 bears.

The federal government first delisted Yellowstone grizzlies in 2007, when their numbers had rebounded to well above 500. But that decision was also overturned in federal court, which found that the animals’ survival was threatened by the loss of a key food source because of climate change. Last year, Fish and Wildlife said it had concluded that the dwindling availability of that food, whitebark pine seeds, did not pose a major threat to the population.

The grizzly decision was a victory for an array of groups that sued to retain protections for grizzlies and argued that Wyoming’s hunt — which would have allowed the killing of up to 22 bears — would pile unnecessary deaths onto mortality levels that are increasing because of bear run-ins with hunters, ranchers and cars.

Supporters of the hunt, including the National Rifle Association and some ranching groups, argued that it was necessary to control the grizzly population and might remove “problem” bears. Federal scientists said a limited hunt would not harm the population.

“We’re glad the court sided with science instead of states bent on reducing the Yellowstone grizzly population and subjecting these beloved bears to a trophy hunt,” said Bonnie Rice, a senior representative with the Sierra Club, one of the organizations that sued. “Changing food sources, isolation, inadequate state management plans and other threats that grizzly bears continue to face warrant strong protections until they reach full recovery.”