North Idaho Lawmakers Want to De-List Woodland Caribou

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Bonner County commissioners have Selkirk Mountain woodland caribou in their sights as the latest animal they would like to see stripped of endangered-species protection.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that Bonner commissioners have approved spending as much as $10,000 to work with a law firm to take the caribou off of the federal endangered species list. Commissioners said they're concerned with a federal plan that would designate 600 square miles as critical habitat for the caribou. The lawmakers said the protections could restrict logging, snowmobiling and forest access.

The caribou, the closest thing that North America has to reindeer, are rarely seen creatures with antlers as tall as a man. They occupy a remote area along the Idaho-Washington-Canadian borders.

Bonner commissioners said the caribou population was too small to justify the designation compared to the impact it would have on their local economy.

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