Discussing America's wilderness, the environment, wildlife, conservation, sled dogs and a little bit of politics
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Polar Bear Habitat Update
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is setting aside 187,000 square miles off Alaska as a "critical habitat" for polar bears, which could add restrictions to future offshore drilling for oil and gas. The total, which includes areas of sea ice off the Alaska coast, is about 13,000 square miles less than was included in a preliminary plan released last year.
The Interior Department has declared polar bears "threatened," or likely to become endangered, citing a dramatic loss of sea ice. Officials face a Dec. 23 deadline to explain why the bears were listed as threatened instead of the more protective "endangered."