Federal judge upheld decision listing polar bears as threatened

On June 30, 2011, a judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia upheld a 2008 decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to list polar bears as "threatened" on the endangered species list because of melting polar ice caps caused by climate change. Environmental groups and the state of Alaska were in conflict as to the proper way to address the bears' protection, with environmental groups wanting more protection and Alaska arguing that the listing was unnecessary because of other existing laws and the alleged uncertainty of climate science. The court held that it was "bound to uphold the agency's determination that the polar bear is a threatened species as long as it is reasonable, regardless of whether there may be other reasonable, or even more reasonable, views."

Learn more about climate change from the JURIST news archive.


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