PEERMail | Federal Judge Upholds Removal of Louisiana Black Bear Protections

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A federal judge has dismissed a PEER-led lawsuit and upheld a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to remove the Louisiana black bear from endangered species status.   

PEER and a coalition of groups including the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, the Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association, and the Sierra Club had challenged the FWS’s decision on the grounds that the bear is still in danger of extinction from illegal hunting, vehicle strikes, and habitat loss. 

In a highly technical decision, District Judge Brian Jackson ruled that the FWS was justified in 2016 in revoking the bear’s threatened status under the Endangered Species Act. PEER and its partners are reviewing the decision to see if there are grounds for appeal.  

The Judge’s decision comes shortly after Louisiana issued a notice of intent to allow bear hunting in the state, a decision that is not supported by science and will further impede the bear’s long-term chance of survival. 

This is another wake-up call that not enough people are taking the extinction crisis seriously. Whether it’s bears, wolves, whales, manatees, pollinators, or other animals, PEER will never cease its work to protect threatened and endangered species. 

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