Feds to study critical habitat for Idaho caribou

Spokane, Wash. (AP) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has
agreed to consider designating critical habitat for woodland
caribou that roam northern Idaho and northeastern Washington
state.

The agency earlier this week settled a federal lawsuit out of
court that includes a November 2011 deadline to craft a critical
habitat decision.

Defenders of Wildlife was one of four environmental groups that
filed the lawsuit in January in U.S. District Court in Spokane,
Wash., seeking to force the agency to make a critical habitat
decision.

The groups had filed a petition in 2002 asking the agency to
designate critical habitat for the last caribou herd in the Lower
48 states but the agency never responded, leading to the
lawsuit.

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