The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week released a draft analysis that estimates costs related to the conservation of the southern Selkirk Mountains woodland caribou and its proposed critical habitat.
The caribou was listed in 1984 as an endangered species, and occurs in northern Idaho and Washington and British Columbia. It’s considered to be among the rarest mammals in the United States.
The draft economic analysis is contracted by the Service to an independent firm. The DEA estimates federal agency administrative consultation costs in the states of Idaho and Washington.
The public will have 30 days to submit comments regarding the DEA, as well as on the agency’s proposed critical habitat designation. This comment period will close on July 2, 2012.
The Service’s Idaho State Supervisor, Brian T. Kelly, said, “Idaho’s Gov C.L. “Butch” Otter, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, Boundary and Bonner County, Idaho, and others, have asked for additional opportunities for citizens to participate in public processes.
“We will be working closely with interested parties to gain as much information as possible from them about the draft economic analysis and the critical habitat proposal, which we will use to inform our final decision. We also want to ensure that Idaho and Washington citizens have opportunities to fully understand the draft economic analysis and the proposal,” he said.
Interested citizens are invited to attend a Service-hosted Open House information meeting on Saturday, June 16, 2012 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m at the Inn at Priest Lake, 5310 Dickensheet Road, Coolin, Idaho 83821.
Citizens will have an opportunity to learn more about the DEA and the proposal by talking with Service biologists and managers at this information meeting.
A public hearing will be held the same day, also at the Inn at Priest Lake, from 2 to 5 p.m. Citizens will be able to provide formal oral comments for the Service to review and consider for its final decision.
The proposed rule, maps and other information about the southern Selkirk Mountains woodland caribou will also be available online at http://www.fws.gov/idaho
For more information see CBB, May 11, 2012, “Pacific Legal Foundation Files Petition To Delist Idaho’s Selkirk Mountains Caribou” http://www.cbbulletin.com/420363.aspx