The USDA Forest Service announced today a conservation agreement with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service on protecting and managing habitat for the Canada lynx, which that agency today listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Under the conservation agreement, the Forest Service will increase efforts already underway to identify and conserve known and potential habitat for the Canada lynx throughout the National Forest System. The agreement was reached prior to today’s listing of the lynx as threatened and would be in effect without the listing. The listing increases the responsibilities of the Forest Service, and other federal land agencies, to provide for lynx conservation in compliance with the Endangered Species Act.
“This agreement provides for coordinated assessment and planning to help ensure the survival of this threatened species,” said Dale Bosworth, regional forester for the Forest Service’s Northern Region, the lead region for the lynx effort. “Over time, forest management plans will be changed to reflect the need to identify and conserve lynx habitat in compliance with the agreement and the Endangered Species Act,” he added.
A conservation assessment and strategy, prepared by an interagency team and supported by an international team of expert’s science report, provides a scientific basis for lynx conservation and recovery. Additional members of the interagency team were the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.
The Forest Service will play a vital role in lynx protection because much of the known or potential habitat is on land managed by the agency. Potential lynx habitat is located in 14 states, and five of the nine Forest Service regions. The habitat areas include the northern and southern Rocky Mountains, the Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest, the Great Lakes area, and the Northeast.
Additional information about lynx conservation is available at www.fs.fed.us/r1 or by contacting U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Public Affairs at 406-449-5225, ext. 208, or 303-236-7917, ext. 408.