Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Court asked to speed up Canada lynx recovery work
Wildlife advocates want a federal judge to order faster action on a recovery plan for imperiled Canada lynx, after wildlife officials said it could take until 2018 to finish the long-delayed work.
The U.S. government declared the snow-loving big cats a threatened species across the Lower 48 states in 2000. But officials haven't come up with a mandated recovery plan, citing budget limitations and competing concerns from other troubled species.
After a federal judge in Montana criticized the long delay, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offered to complete the work by early 2018.
A coalition of wildlife advocacy groups says that's not soon enough. They're asking U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy to order the work done by late 2016.
Lynx dwell in the forest, where they're rarely seen, and there's no reliable estimate of their population. They range across parts of 14 states in the Northeast, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes and the Cascade Range of Washington and Oregon. Lynx are about the size of a bobcat, with large paws that help the predator stay on top of the deep snow typical through its range. Those paws also make it easier to capture its primary prey, snowshoe hares.
Threats to its survival vary across its range and include timber harvesting, development and other factors.
The government has designated large areas in the West as critical habitat for lynx in recent years. A pending proposal would expand that designation to about 28,000 square miles of public land, primarily in northern Montana and the region surrounding Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park.
But an attorney for the wildlife advocates said the designations amount to a "paper exercise" in the absence of a recovery plan's detailed road map for protecting lynx...more