COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -- Republican U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch of Idaho say federal land and wildlife managers should only designate as much critical habitat for woodland caribou in northern Idaho and eastern Washington state as the caribou occupied when they were first listed as a protected species.

The Spokesman-Review reports the senators last week wrote a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service telling the agency critical habitat should be more representative of the distribution and population at the time of listing.

Two caribou were spotted in the region in 1983 when they were listed.

The agency has proposed designating nearly 600 square miles as critical habitat to bolster numbers. Most of the federal land is in Idaho's Bonner and Boundary counties and nearby Washington state's Pend Oreille County.

Read or Share this story: