Public Meeting On Proposed Caribou Critical Habitat Gets Feisty

Back in the news again are our 3 caribou, and the feds' plan to section off 600 square miles of N. Idaho and Washington as critical habitat for the trio.  Of note, again, is that 3 caribou is the average count over the past several years.  Last year, no caribou were counted in Idaho or Washington.

That has locals wondering why we need critical habitat for a species that is virtually not there.  Ah hah, says the environmental groups, accusing the locals of missing the point.  And that shouldn't need much explaining.

By policy, the feds are required to assign critical habitat for species that are managed under the Endangered Species Act.  Environmental groups finally sued the feds enough, that the feds were finally forced to make their way back into the dark, wet, tea-partied backwoods of Idaho's north country.  I wouldn't want to be in their shoes either.

But they showed up, and took it in the teeth from around 200 locals.  The locals will do anything to stop this federal "land grab" (their words) that would harm an economy dependent upon access to the Selkirk woods, where the critical habitat is proposed, a place where logging and sport snowmobiling has already taken hits by federal regulations.

I believe the locals' attempts will ultimately be futile.  But it's important to fight.  This situation should be eyed as a prime example of how federal government bureaucracy really gums things up in areas where it should just get lost.

You can read more on the public meeting here.

~ J. Bunch

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