Canada Lynx in Franklin County High Peaks Region.

From MPBN.

Feds Designate 9,500 Square Miles of Maine Land for Lynx Habitat –

2/24/09 1:51 PM ESTBack

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today designated nearly 9,500

square miles of land in Maine as critical habitat for the threatened

Canada lynx.  The land encompasses portions of Aroostook, Franklin,

Penobscot, Piscataquis and Somerset Counties, and includes land

surrounding Moosehead Lake.  Federal officials say most of the land is

currently used for timber harvesting and management.  Federal wildlife

officials based in Maine say the designation of “critical habitat”

isn’t likely to have much effect on private landowners, logging

companies or recreational users here, but it could affect projects

that require federal funding or a federal permit. Overall, the

federal agency designated about 39,000 acres in several states,

including Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Washington as

critical habitat for the medium-sized wild cats.   Excluded in the

designation are tribal lands and private lands enrolled in Maine\’s

Healthy Forest Reserve Program.  The Canada lynx has been protected as

threatened since 2000 under the Endangered Species Act, but the U.S.

Fish and Wildlife Service originally designated less than 2,000 square

miles of U.S. land as critical habitat.  A review of that decision was

launched after questions were raised about the scientific integrity of

the original process.

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