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Wildearth Guardians v. U.S. Department of the Interior

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20148
Nos. 14-270, (D. Mont., 09/07/2016) (Christensen, C.D.J.)

A district court ordered FWS to reconsider its decision not to designate critical habitat for the Canada lynx in Colorado, Idaho, and Montana. When it published the September 2014 final rule designating lynx critical habitat in the United States, FWS erred in excluding the state of Colorado from the designation. Specifically, FWS failed to consider the best available science, and it analyzed Colorado’s critical habitat content using criteria not enumerated in the "primary consistent elements" for the lynx. FWS also erred in failing to comply with a prior court order concerning Canada lynx in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge, Bitterroot, Nez Perce, Lolo and Helena National Forests. In all other respects, however, the critical habitat designation is lawful under the ESA.