In response to work by the Center for Biological Diversity and our partners, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed more than 375,000 acres of protected critical habitat for mountain caribou in northern Idaho and northeastern Washington -- a victory for these rare alpine animals, but not a complete one.
Caribou once ranged across the upper Midwest and Northeast, but the northern Rocky Mountains are now their last stronghold in the contiguous United States. In order to save them, the proposed protected habitat should be expanded to also include areas where the caribou formerly ranged.
These beautiful animals have been thinned and marginalized by a combination of logging, poaching, road construction and the growing intrusion of snowmobiles into their high-elevation habitats.
Please take action today by voicing your support to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for protecting more of the caribouĺs last habitat in the lower 48.
SUBJECT: Protect Critical Habitat for Mountain Caribou
To Mr. Brian Kelly:
I am writing to express my support for the designation of critical habitat for mountain caribou in northern Idaho and northeastern Washington. Caribou are a unique part of our natural heritage -- now hanging on by a slender thread.
In finalizing the designation, please add to the proposal by including all of the recovery area identified in the caribou's recovery plan, including those areas to the south of the proposed designation that have been excluded because some development is present. With management these areas can still provide habitat for the caribou.
Please also consider habitat farther south in Idaho and in northeastern Montana where caribou formerly ranged. These areas may still contain sufficiently large blocks of habitat where caribou could be reintroduced. At the very least, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should examine these areas to determine if they do still provide habitat.
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