Fish and Game commends decision denying threatened species listing for Pacific walrus, yellow cedar trees
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says they are applauding two decisions involving the Endangered Species Act.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided not to list yellow cedar trees or the Pacific walrus as threatened species. Fish and Game commended the U.S. District Court of Alaska on Monday for upholding the ruling.
“We had worked closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to incorporate our science into their decision to not list this species because of long-term climate impacts,” the department said. “We remain confident that current management practices are robust enough to ensure for the long-term viability of Pacific walrus.”
Fish and Game said they also worked with the agency on their assessment of yellow cedar trees.
“We are confident that yellow cedar will remain viable on the landscape for years to come,” the department said.
A petition to list the Pacific walrus as threatened under the Endangered Species Act was filed in 2008. Much of the petition cited melting sea ice as a threat to walrus populations and their habitat.
In 2014, multiple organizations submitted a petition to provide protections to yellow cedar trees. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, protecting the trees could have limited logging that worsens conditions leading to dead cedar.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says while they can propose species to be added to the listings, anyone can submit a petition if there is data to support it. The agency says they consider information on biology, distribution and threats to species when deciding what to protect based on the Endangered Species Act.
Kayla Heffner contributed to this report.
Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.
YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: