Pacific Legal Foundation challenges FWS’ ‘Jaguar-only land’ decision
Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, challenging U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s decision to keep a big patch of land reserved for jaguars. The foundation argues that the decision poses unnecessary regulatory burdens on nearby landowners.
It also alleged that the decision is against the Endangered Species Act as the land was not set aside when jaguar was included as an endangered species. They also think that the act is not actually needed for jaguar conservation.
There was a time when Jaguar used to roam from Argentina in South America to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, but now the beautiful spotted cat has been almost wiped out from the United States.
Efforts have been taken to conserve its population. In March 2014, the US Fish and Wildlife Service kept aside more than 1,000 acres of land to help increase the population of jaguars. But ranchers are not happy with the step and termed the action to be ‘unlawful, arbitrary, and capricious’.
“Clearly, the government doesn't have the luxury of careless overreach when it comes to roping off property as critical habitat. But that's exactly what we see with the jaguar habitat designation in New Mexico”, said Tony Francois, the lead attorney.
Jaguars are in the list of being endangered for almost two decades. At the time the land was granted, the animal was endangered. More surprising is it’s been more than five decades that any breeding female has been seen in the US.
But these factors have hardly affected environmentalists from taking steps to protect jaguars’ habitat. They have been working tirelessly to reestablish the species in their original habitat. The lawsuit demands overturn of the critical habitat designation; legal fees have also been demanded.
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