Target: Daniel M. Ashe, Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Initiate a concrete recovery plan for the Canada lynx
This week, wildlife advocates from four separate environmental groups in Montana filed a federal lawsuit requesting a Canada lynx recovery plan. The lynx was declared a threatened species 13 years ago, and activists are asking courts to force the government to make plans for lynx recovery. They assert that the US Fish and Wildlife Service has waited too long to initiate any action regarding the lynx, violating a federal mandate to protect it.
In 2009, the government created a designation of habitats crucial to lynx survival, but actual protection measures have not been forthcoming. Now environmentalists are insisting that the Fish and Wildlife Service set a date for action. They want the government to consider both habitat preservation and proactive recovery methods. Environmental groups involved in the case include Friends of the Wild Swan, the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Rocky Mountain Wild, and the San Juan Citizens Alliance.
Weighing only 20 to 30 pounds, the lynx is a secretive creature, hard to track across the frozen terrains where it prefers to live. The animal has very large, hairy paws that act as both snow shoes and weapons for catching prey. Scientists believe the lynx still survives in 14 states, mostly in the northern US, including Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Minnesota, Washington and Maine. However, it is unclear how many animals still survive. Experts guess the number is somewhere in the hundreds. Plaintiff attorneys site logging and climate change as reasons for lynx habitat loss.
In the nineties, the state of Colorado introduced a successful recovery plan for the lynx. Ask the US Fish and Wildlife Service to create a lynx recovery plan that spans across the northern United States.
Dear Mr. Ashe,
This week, environmental groups in Montana filed a federal lawsuit against the Fish and Wildlife Service, insisting that the USFWS make concrete plans to save the Canada lynx population. Activists would like these plans to include both habitat preservation across the northern United States where the lynx still roams, and also a recovery initiative to reintroduce the lynx to areas where it has disappeared.
In the year 2000, the lynx was declared a “threatened” species within the US. However, very little has been done to aid in its recovery or protect its habitat. Although the exact number of these illusive cats is hard to estimate, experts believe perhaps only a few hundred lynx remain in the US. Logging and climate change have diminished their habitats and reduced their numbers. I ask that you create a concrete plan for their recovery and a timeline to complete that plan.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: DigitalART2 via Fotopedia