A billboard campaign was spotted in Fort Collins that was asking folks not to hunt the grizzly bears, which aren't in Colorado. According to the National Park Service, the only bears we have in Rocky Mountain National Park is the black bear. The signs were the creation of a conservationist group promoting the protection of the grizzly as the first bear hunting season in 40 years draws close. The billboards feature a grizzly with a gun sight on it's head, his right paw in the air, and the statement, "I am not a trophy".

Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, told the Coloradoan that billboards will also be placed in Casper and Cody in Wyoming and in Boise, Idaho.

According to federal officials, there are about 1,700 grizzlies in the lower 48 states and their numbers have increased to a level that the federal government removed protections for the bear last year. This has resulted in the first grizzly bear hunt in more than 40 years. Wyoming Game and Fish are allowing hunters to kill up to 22 grizzlies beginning on September 1st.

According to the Coloradoan, wildlife officials in Wyoming killed at least 14 grizzly bears last year that attacked livestock or threatened humans. Hunters killed nine bears that attacked them, and one was killed by a vehicle.

So far, about 7-thousand people have applied for a bear license, including Jane Goodall-an international animal conservationist. She and other activists are planning a "Shoot 'em with a Camera, Not a Gun" campaign should they get a license. This is an effort on their part to run out the clock on the hunting season and save some bears.

Source: Coloradoan