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Environmental Groups Sue after Feds Shrink Mountain Caribou Habitat

flickr.com, s_falkow

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Environmental groups will sue the federal government over its recent decision to cut more than 90 percent of the land originally proposed as critical habitat for the last mountain caribou in the Lower 48 states. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last November announced that it was slashing the protected habitat in Idaho and Washington from more than 375,000 acres of 30,000 acres.

That decision came after an outcry from some politicians and snowmobile advocates, who complained that too much land was being set aside to help a small number of caribou. While there are large herds in Canada, the mountain caribou in the U.S. is limited to a small corner of northern Idaho and northeastern Washington. The animals face conflicts with humans over road construction and snowmobile recreation.

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