-- The U.S.
 Fish and
 Service has permitted Maine Department
 of Inland Fisheries
 and Wildlife to continue its trapping programs,
despite the risk
 of taking the protected Canada lynx. Maine is
 the first state to
 have an "incidental take" plan for Canada lynx.
"People can continue to enjoy one of Maine's
 long traditions,
 furbearer trapping, while taking steps to avoid
harming Canada
 lynx and supporting a larger effort to provide
habitat that helps
 us recover the species," said Assistant
Regional Director Paul
 Phifer of the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service
Northeast Region.
 "This illustrates how the Endangered
 Species Act allows for
some flexibility when applicants have
 demonstrated that they
have minimized and mitigated the effects
 on protected wildlife."
Trapping for common species like coyote
 or fox, creates a risk
 of incidentally taking a Canada lynx. An
 "incidental take permit"
 allows for trapping to continue as part
of the regulated trapping
 program and the Maine IFW will take
 measures to minimize the
 taking of the lynx. The take of the lynx
will be offset by
providing a 22,000-acre lynx habitat on
 state's Seboomook
 Unit in nnorthernMaine.
"Our analysis through the permitting
 process confirmed that
 trapping does not pose a significant
 threat to Maine's lynx
population," Phifer said. "The most
 important factor to
maintaining a healthy population of
 lynx in Maine is having
sufficient habitat, which is why the
 plan focuses on managing
habitat for mitigation."
Maine IFW said that incidental take
 plans, known also as
 habitat conservation plans, identify
 the impacts to specific
 species from a project or program.