9th Circ. Stays Firm On FWS Polar Bear Habitat Designation
By Christine Powell (June 8, 2016, 10:49 PM EDT) -- The Ninth Circuit said Wednesday it would not rethink its upholding of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's designation of a critical polar bear habitat in Alaska, despite pressure from oil companies and indigenous groups that argued parts of the FWS rule were not supported with enough evidence.
Last month, the companies, joined by several Alaska Native corporations and villages and the state of Alaska, said that agency decisions must be supported by substantial evidence and cannot be arbitrary, and that the Ninth Circuit's opinion did not apply basic standards and effectively lowered the bar for designating critical habitats.
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