16-10-26 wolverine@.jpg

This wolverine was caught by a motion-sensor camera in the Smoky Mountains north of Ketchum.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on whether wolverines in the lower 48 states should be placed on the federal endangered species list.

    About 300 wolverines remain in the West, with the most in Montana. They are occasionally sighted in the mountains surrounding the Wood River Valley.

    In 2013, the agency issued a draft decision granting wolverines protection, but reversed course a year later, citing scientific disagreement about climate change and the extent of the threat it posed to the species. A coalition of conservation organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity and the Idaho Conservation League, challenged the final decision in federal district court in Montana in October 2014. Last April, a U.S. District Court judge sided with the groups, calling the agency’s withdrawal of the listing proposal “arbitrary and capricious.”

Email the writer: gmoore@mtexpress.com

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