Court Sides With Safari Club International In Dismissing Legal Challenge To Delisting Of The Louisiana Black Bear.
Washington, DC – -(AmmoLand.com)- A U.S. federal district court in Washington, D.C. has dismissed a case challenging the removal of the Louisiana black bear from the federal threatened and endangered species list. Plaintiffs sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) over the 2016 delisting, and Safari Club International (SCI) successfully intervened to defend the USFWS's science-based decision. The court relied on SCI's arguments in dismissing the suit.
The recovery of the Louisiana black bear is a conservation success story. Louisiana black bears are one of 16 subspecies of the American black bear found throughout North America, but they are the only subspecies to have been listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The bears were listed as “threatened” in 1992 due to a reduced population and concerns regarding the loss of suitable habitat, which had declined by more than 80% across their historical range.
Considerable resources have been dedicated to restoring habitat, and more than 600,000 acres of habitat has been protected. By 2016, the population met the criteria in the species' recovery plan and the USFWS removed the bears from the threatened species list and returned management of the species back to the State of Louisiana. Suitable habitat for the bears has expanded by over 400% and previously isolated populations are now interconnected, which will help the bears to thrive. Independent research funded by the USFWS found an almost 100% probability of the bear populations sustainably existing for the next 100 years.
In 2018, the delisting of the Louisiana black bear was challenged in court by multiple organizations and individuals.