Another federal decision that will leave everyone grumbling . . .
Canada lynx gained federal protections in New Mexico on Thursday, but U.S. wildlife officials again declined to designate critical habitat for the elusive animal in the Southern Rockies, parts of New England and other areas considered non-essential to their survival.
The two-part finding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service means the forest-dwelling wild cat will be protected as threatened throughout the lower 48 states. Lynx that had spread to New Mexico’s San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountains after being introduced in Colorado previously were not protected.
However, officials decided that potential lynx habitat in the Southern Rockies of New Mexico, Colorado and portions of Wyoming were not areas essential to conservation of the species. As a result, lynx in the region still will be protected from hunting and trapping, but there will be less stringent reviews of human activities that could affect the dense forests they need to survive…
Also left out of the 39,000 square miles of designated critical habitat were portions or all of six national forests in Idaho and Montana, and areas with lynx in northern Vermont and northern New Hampshire.
Read more . . .
Rachel Potter drew attention to this nugget. The grizzly bear is a “Species of Special Concern” in Canada, with the highest concentration of these bears being in the Canadian Flathead and, of course, points south . . .
Canada has a “major responsibility for safeguarding remaining grizzly populations,” according to a new federal government report.
Canada’s Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) met at the beginning of May and assessed thirty-five Canadian wildlife species as at risk, declaring grizzly bears a “Species of Special Concern.” . . .
British Columbia’s Flathead River Valley has the greatest density of grizzly bears in the interior of North America. As part of a wildlife corridor that stretches from Yellowstone Park in the U.S. up to the Yukon, the Flathead is a crucial habitat link for grizzlies and other animals.
Continue reading . . .
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a substantial increase to the critical habitat designation for Bull Trout throughout the Northwest. This includes drainages around Glacier Park such as the North Fork Flathead River. A post to the New West site yesterday has the story, including information on meetings and on public comment procedures . . .
On January 13th, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released a new critical habitat designation for bull trout throughout the Northwest, including western Montana. The new draft — offering four-to-six times more protected waters than a previous proposal — includes 21,694 miles of stream habitat and 533,426 acres of reservoirs and lakes in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Nevada.
Read the entire article . . .