WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prepares to list the Canadian Lynx for listing as an endangered species, Representative Bob Smith (R-OR), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, led a group of six Northwest members in requesting that the comment period for the designation be extended for ninety days.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has proposed listing the Canadian Lynx as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This listing will impact 16 Northern states, including all 4 Northwest states. In Oregon, the USFWS has identified the area from the Cascades to the Blue Mountains as lynx habitat. Comments on this proposal are due by next week Wednesday, September 30th. Because the area claimed by the USFWS is disputed as a lynx habitat, the Members asked that the comment period be extended for 90 days so that interested parties will have the opportunity to submit their concerns.
"Within the last week, we have received numerous calls from our constituents reflecting serious concerns about the basis for your proposed listing," the Members wrote. "In addition, your proposal will severely impact our constituents who live in those areas identified as Canada Lynx range."
"Before this proposal is finalized, those who will be impacted by the final listing should be provided as much time as necessary to submit their comments," the Members wrote.
Members joining Smith in requesting the extension include Representatives Doc Hastings (R-WA), George Nethercutt (R-WA), Helen Chenoweth (R-ID), Rick Hill (R-MT), and Mike Crapo (R-ID).
Smith represents Oregon's Second Congressional District -- which includes most of eastern, southern and central Oregon -- in the U.S. House of Representatives.