CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has held the first in a series of public hearings on how the state will manage grizzly bears when they come off of the endangered species list.

The federal government is proposing to lift threatened-species protections for grizzlies that live in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

The decision could lead to future hunts for the bears in the three states for the first time since the 1970s. There are an estimated 700 to 1,000 grizzly bears in the three states.

A federal judge this week sided with environmental groups in holding that federal agencies failed to justify their decision to increase the number of grizzlies that elk hunters at Grand Teton National Park could kill if necessary in self-defense. The judge rejected an overall challenge to elk hunting there.