Alaska Wants Polar Bear Delisted

Alaska governor Sean Parnell said he intends to pursue the state’s lawsuit against the federal government concerning the listing of the polar bear under the Endagered Species Act (ESA).

The lawsuit was initiated under former governor Sarah Palin, before she resigned in July.

Parnell said the ESA is being used as a "land use planning tool" and threatens the continued development of Alaska’s natural resources. He said the state has a strong record of developing these resources and protecting its wildlife–a claim disputed by environmental groups who pushed for the ESA listing. 

The listing was granted in part, as a result of research that estimates two-thirds of hte world’s polar bear population will be gone by 2050–and all bears in North America–due to melting sea ice in the Arctic.

In October, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposal to designate 200,541 square miles along the coast of Alaska as critical habitat for the polar bear.

Alaska state lawyers last month filed additional briefs in the ESA suit. Read the full Associated Press report at the link below.

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