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Feds Scale Back Caribou Habitat

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is scaling back the acreage it wants in northern Idaho and eastern Washington as critical habitat for woodland caribou. The agency announced Tuesday it will set aside a little more than 30,000 acres in the southern Selkirk Mountains in Boundary County in Idaho and Washington’s Pend Oreille County. The service initially proposed more than 375,500 acres for caribou, but modified its plans after taking public comment and reviewing species population data. The decision was cheered by Idaho’s congressional delegation, which criticized the agency’s original plan as overreaching and an infringement on human activities in the backcountry. Republican U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador says the agency deserves praise for listening to the public’s concerns and adjusting its plans. The species is struggling to survive outside Canada.

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