Conservation groups are challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to shrink protected habitat by more than 90 percent for the last caribou herd in the Lower 48 states. After proposing that 375,000 acres in North Idaho and Northeast Washington be protected for endangered mountain caribou, the Service abruptly changed course last November, protecting only 30,010 acres. Federal officials failed to explain why habitat originally deemed essential to recovering the South Selkirk caribou herd wasn’t included in the final plan, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in Idaho’s District Court. “They appeared to cave in to political pressure,” said Noah Greenwald of the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs/Becky Kramer, SR. More here. (AP file photo)
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