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Bear deadline

Stop delaying polar bear decision, court tells feds

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2:24pm, April 29, 2008

A federal judge ruled April 28 that the U.S. Department of the Interior must stop delaying its decision about whether to add the polar bear to the endangered species list.

District Court Judge Claudia Wilken set the deadline for the department to publish the decision as May 15, more than four months after the decision was originally expected.

After a lawsuit, DOI announced a proposal at the end of 2006 to add the polar bear to the federal list in the threatened species category. The timetable for listing allows a year for deliberations. When January 2008 arrived, though, DOI’s Fish and Wildlife Service said that it needed at least a month more before issuing a final decision.

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