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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Even with the polar ice caps melting and the Polar Bear designated as ENDANGERED a pinheaded judge who is clueless about the natural world has tossed out the 187,000 square mile critical habitat plan that the USFW Service put in place in 2008...........Easy to draw the dots of coercion from Gov. Parnell and and his Oil & Gas friends that got him into office,,,,straight into Judge Ralph Beistline's office..........The Bears are at the mercy of a hostile human climate(no pun intended) in Alaska

Judge Tosses Alaska Polar Bear Habitat Designation

A federal judge in Alaska has thrown out a plan designating more than 187,000 square miles as habitat for threatened polar bears. U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline, in a written order dated Thursday, said the designation was too extensive and presented "a disconnect between the twin goals of protecting a cherished resource and allowing for growth and much needed economic development." He sent the matter back to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to correct "substantive and procedural deficiencies."

The federal government declared the polar bear threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2008, citing melting sea ice. The move made the polar bear the first species to be designated as threatened under the act because of global warming.A designation of critical habitat was required as part of a recovery plan, and more than 187,000 square miles in and near the Beaufort and Chukchi seas — an area larger than California — was set aside

A coalition of Alaska Native groups, oil and gas interests and the state of Alaska sued, calling the designation an overreach. Beistline, in his order, said that Fish and Wildlife Service's decision didn't comply with a requirement under the law that critical habitat include physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species. The agency didn't show that two of the land units had all the required features, the judge said.

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell hailed the decision. "The Fish and Wildlife Service's attempt to classify massive sections of resource-rich North Slope lands as critical habitat is the latest in a long string of examples of the federal government encroaching on our state's rights," he said in a statement. "I am pleased the State of Alaska was able to fight off this concerted effort to kill jobs and economic development in Alaska."

Bruce Woods, a Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman in Alaska, declined comment, saying the agency had just learned of the decision Friday afternoon and was still reviewing it.

Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty said protecting polar bears "is a priority for us all, but such measures must carefully comply with the requirements of the statute."

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said Beistline made the right decision, calling the bear populations "abundant and healthy."

"The only real impact of the designation would have been to make life more difficult for the residents of North Slope communities, and make any kind of economic development more difficult or even impossible," she said in a statement

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