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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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Friday, December 20, 2013

Maine is the source breeding grounds for Lynx in New England............While there might now be some dispersers from Maine that have recently "set up shop" in Vermont and New Hampshire, the motherlode location of these "big pawed cats" is our farthest northeastern state where they have made a comeback over the past 30 years............ Kudos for USFW for including Maine in their proposed and expanded critical habitat plans which would see 11,162 square miles of mostly private lands in Northern Maine included for the "Cats" to be safe in............

Additional Maine lands, including in Valley, identified for lynx conservation

These Canada lynx cubs were spotted on an ATV trail in St. David in 2011, according to Gilman Michaud of Frenchville. - SJVT file photo / courtesy Gilman Michaud
These Canada lynx cubs were spotted on an ATV trail in St. David in 2011,

 according to Gilman Michaud of Frenchville. - SJVT file photo / courtesy Gilman Michaud

ST. JOHN VALLEY, Maine - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is seeking to revise the critical habitat designation for the Canada lynx in the contiguous United States, a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The proposal would designate approximately 41,547 square miles as critical habitat within the boundaries of five critical habitat units in the states of Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Wyoming.

In Maine, this designation would cover approximately 11,162 square miles of mostly private lands in northern Maine in portions of Aroostook, Franklin, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Somerset counties, according to a press release from FWS. Timber harvest and management are the dominant land uses within this area. Exclusion of tribal lands and lands managed in accordance with the Healthy Forest Reserve Program, if finalized, would reduce the designation to 10,131 square miles, according to the release.

According to FWS, all areas proposed as critical habitat were naturally occupied by lynx when the species was listed as threatened in 2000; currently support the most abundant, persistent and productive lynx populations in the contiguous United States; and contain the physical and biological features essential to the conservation of the species.

During development of this critical habitat proposal, NWS used scientific data and information from state, federal and tribal agencies and from academic and private organizations. Based on this information,NWS first determined which lands were essential to the conservation of the Canada lynx by defining the physical and biological features essential to the conservation of the species and delineating the specific areas that contain those features, as well as recent verified records of lynx presence.

An informational public meeting was held Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the George W. Stearns High School auditorium, 199 State St., Millinocket. Public comments will be accepted until Dec. 26. To read more and to see instructions on how to comment, click HERE. To view the existing Maine map, click HERE. To view the proposed Maine map, with additional land proposed in the St. John Valley and Aroostook County, click HERE and scroll down from the first page.

Read more: St. John Valley Times - Additional Maine lands including in Valley identified for lynx conservation 

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