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U.S. Fish and Wildlife sued over Humboldt marten status
By the Times-Standard
Two environmental groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday for not listing the Humboldt marten as a federally endangered species in April, according to an Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) news release.
The Center for Biological Diversity and EPIC have petitioned the federal department to list the 2-foot-long, weasel-like species under the federal Endangered Species Act since 2010. Northern California populations of the marten were thought to have gone extinct until 1995.
Currently, fewer than 100 martens are estimated to currently reside in California, according to findings in the service’s 12-month listing report. Among the factors that affect the martens’ population are predation, rodenticides, wildfires, vehicle collisions and land management.
The Fish and Wildlife Service decided against listing the martens as endangered on April 6.
“After a thorough evaluation of the best information and data available, the service concluded that these stressors do not rise to the level of a threat either individually or cumulatively,” an April 6 service news release states.
Represented by the environmental law nonprofit Earthjustice, EPIC and the Center for Biological Diversity filed the lawsuit against the federal department on Wednesday stating that the service’s reasoning for not listing the marten “is contrary to the best scientific and commercial data available and is arbitrary and capricious, in violation of the (Endangered Species Act) and (Administrative Procedure Act),” according to a letter by Earthjustice staff attorney Gregory Loarie included in the lawsuit.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has recommended the marten to be listed under the state’s Endangered Species Act, with the California Fish and Game Commission set to vote on the recommendation in February, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.
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