Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

July 30, 2008

Contacts:  Shawn Sartorius 406-449-5225 ext 208

                  Diane Katzenberger 303-236-4578

 

Fish and Wildlife Service to Provide Additional Opportunity to Comment on Proposal to Revise Critical Habitat for the Canada Lynx in July 2008

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expects to release by July 2008 a draft economic analysis that will estimate the potential costs for conservation actions associated with the proposal to revise the amount of critical habitat designated under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the federally threatened Canada lynx. At that time, the Service will also reopen the public comment period on the proposed revised critical habitat rule.  The new 30-day comment period will give interested parties an opportunity to comment on the draft economic analysis as well as provide information pertinent to the critical habitat proposal.

 

Public hearings requested during the initial public comment period will be conducted during the reopened public comment period.  The dates, times, and places of those hearings will be announced in the Federal Register and local newspapers at least 15 days before the first hearing.

 

In total, the Service is proposing to designate approximately 42,753 square miles of habitat in portions of northern Maine, northeastern Minnesota, the Northern Rocky Mountains (northwestern Montana and northeastern Idaho), the Northern Cascades (north-central Washington), and the Greater Yellowstone Area (southwestern Montana and northwestern Wyoming).

 

Critical habitat, under the ESA includes the specific areas within the range of the species that contain physical or biological features essential for the conservation of a threatened or endangered species and that may require special management or protection. The designation of critical habitat does not affect land ownership or establish a refuge, wilderness, reserve, preserve, or other conservation area. It does not allow government or public access to private lands. Federal agencies are required to consult with the Service on actions they carry out, fund or authorize that might affect critical habitat.

 

The Service listed the contiguous United States Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of Canada lynx in 2000 as a threatened species under the ESA.  The DPS includes forested portions of 14 States.  Critical habitat for the Canada lynx was initially designated on November 8, 2006, and the proposed revision to that critical habitat designation was published on February 28, 2008.

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

 

-FWS-