State Considers Legal Options Over Walrus Listing

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
The state of Alaska is reviewing its legal options regarding the Interior Department’s decision to put Pacific Walrus on the “candidate” list under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced yesterday that walrus should be added to the Endangered Species List, but that listing will be delayed because other species are higher priority.

Doug Vincent Lang is the state’s endangered species coordinator. He says he appreciates the decision to keep pacific walrus off the list. But he says walrus shouldn’t even be considered a “candidate” species.

The state has mounted several legal challenges to Endangered Species Act listings in recent years for species like Steller Sea Lions, Cook Inlet Beluga whales and Polar Bears, and Vincent Lang says the state doesn’t disagree with all ESA listing decisions

He says the state will work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make sure the walrus population stays healthy in Alaska.

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