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Thu July 5, 2012
Idaho Congressmen Oppose Fed Plan On Woodland Caribou Habitat
Idaho's U.S. Representatives Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Raul Labrador (R-ID) want the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to “go back to the drawing board” on the agency’s woodland caribou proposal.
They released a letter Thursday expressing “deep concerns” with the agency’s idea to designate nearly 600 square miles in the Selkirk Mountains as critical habitat for the endangered species.
Susan Drumheller of the Idaho Conservation League in Sandpoint says they support the FWS's designation of critical habitat for woodland caribou, but it doesn't have to be a choice between protecting a species or recreation. "We believe that there’s enough room in the Selkirk Mountains to provide for caribou recovery and for winter recreation, including snowmobiling."
The two Idaho Congressmen want 60 more days for public comment on the proposal. That’s on top of an extension the agency granted at the request of Idaho Governor C. L. "Butch" Otter, the Kootenai Tribe, and Boundary County earlier this year.
U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Jim Risch (R-ID) also expressed reservations with the woodland caribou plan last month. The Fish and Wildlife Service released the proposal last November.
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