Environmentalists Protest Lynx Plan

Four groups ask U.S. Forest Service to reconsider management plan for lynx in Colorado.

Posted Dec. 28, 2008, 3 a.m. EST

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Four environmentalist groups — Colorado Wild, the Center for Native Ecosystems, Defenders of Wildlife and WildEarth Guardians — filed an appeal of a U.S. Forest Service management plan this week. The groups said the plan, developed for lynx in national forests in Colorado and southern Wyoming, gives preference to other uses of the forest over habitat for the cat, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Specifically, the final plan, released in November, dilutes guidelines for other forest uses such as logging, snow recreation, road improvements and gas/oil development, the groups said. “If the amendment’s weaker standards and guidelines are applied to areas in the Southern Rocky Mountains, lynx recovery may be delayed or even thwarted altogether,” said Rocky Smith of Colorado Wild, adding that the small lynx population in the southern Rockies is vulnerable to extinction.

Since 1999, the Colorado Division of Wildlife has worked to restore the cat’s population in Colorado, releasing more than 200 lynx from Canada and Alaska in the state. Up until two years ago, wildlife biologists reported seeing lynx kittens in the wild. The decline in litters may be attributed to a decline in the cat’s main prey, the Snowshoe hare.

The Forest Service said the plan will manage vegetation to encourage growth in the snowshoe hare population. Exceptions for logging and other activities are included to reduce wildfire risks and to give forest managers more flexibility in dealing with the current bark beetle infestation affecting pine trees in Colorado.

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Environmentalists Protest Lynx Plan

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Duane Short    Laramie, WY

12/30/2008 9:08:59 AM

Reality this... By all scientific accounts, extinction rates are at an all-time high (excluding the 70% extinction rate of 65 million years ago). Lynx need intact spruce/fir interior forests to survive. They also need a high level of seclusion from human activity. Logging, back-country recreation, oil and gas development and other forms of development degrade or destroy lynx habitat needed for hunting, finding a mate, denning and rearing their young. John Squires, a Forest service scientists and Rocky Mountain Research Station team member has completed the largest lynx study of its kind. Squires study should be considered by forest managers. Unnatural human caused disturbances can eliminate lynx habitat even when not a single tree has been cut. Until we understand that biodiversity is essential for long term human survival, folks like Mr. Camillus will continue to attempt to ignore science and replace science with cheap, unsupported opinion, character assassination and innuendo.

John    Camillus, NY

12/29/2008 6:53:50 PM

Where do these alleged environmental experts come from? They are all mostly mal-educated misfits who can't escape the textbook pages into reality.

Mary-Elaine    Camp Hill, PA

12/29/2008 3:43:32 PM

this sory is really moving. Every year I hold a lemonade sale for the International Society for Endangered Cats and I dnate all of the proceeds to the ISEC

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