U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Extends Protection for Canada Lynx

 On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule (pdf) revising the critical habitat designation for the contiguous United States distinct population segment (DPS) of the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) and revising the boundary of the Canada lynx DPS. The revised critical habitat designation consists of approximately 38,954 square miles of critical habitat in five units in Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Washington, and Wyoming.

The Service’s final rule also rescinds the existing State-boundary-based definition of the Canada lynx DPS and replaces it with a definition that extends the Endangered Species Act’s (ESA) protections to the lynx where found in the contiguous United States. This extended protection recognizes the lynx’s long-distance dispersal capability and tendency to occur in areas well outside of its typical habitats to ensure that the species receives the ESA’s protection wherever it occurs in the United States.

The revisions are intended to fulfill the Service’s obligations arising under two separate settlement agreements to address issues raised by two courts regarding the previous critical habitat designation.

  • David J. Miller
    Partner

    David Miller assists clients on a variety of complex land use and environment related matters, including matters dealing with the National Environmental Policy Act, Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act, and the ...

Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions.

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