Groups file lawsuit to once again place Louisiana black bear on US Endangered Species list
WASHINGTON, DC (WAFB) - A lawsuit was filed Thursday in Washington DC to put the Louisiana black bear back under federal protection.
The suit was filed by a coalition of conservative groups led by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) with co-counsel Atchafalaya Basinkeeper.
According to the lawsuit, the bear is still in jeopardy and the small population is far from recovery. Supporters of the suit say survival of the Louisiana black bear requires it to once again get protection under the US Endangered Species Act.
"The Louisiana black bear is a victim of biological malpractice," stated PEER Senior Counsel Paula Dinerstein, who filed the complaint in US District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of co-plaintiffs Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, Sierra Club and its Delta Chapter, the Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association-West, as well as the three authorities who initiated the original 1992 listing. "Delisting the Louisiana black bear was a premature claim of 'Mission Accomplished.'"
"Not only is the Louisiana black bear an iconic figure in Louisiana culture, but the bear plays an important role in the diverse ecosystems across Louisiana, including the Atchafalaya Basin," added Misha Mitchell, co-counsel and staff attorney for Atchafalaya Basinkeeper. "The delisting decision puts remaining subpopulations and the habitat they depend on in greater peril."
The suit claims the decision to remove the bear from the endangered list in 2016 was based on "false assumptions and shoddy science."
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