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Environmentalists see court ruling against polar habitat as ‘temporary setback’

“The government clearly overreached in designating such a large swath of Alaska – an area larger than the size of California –as critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act,” Murkowski said in a statement. “The only real impact of the designation would have been to make life more difficult for the residents of North Slope communities, and make any kind of economic development more difficult or even impossible.”

Gov. Parnell echoed similar sentiments, adding that the designation was “the latest in a long string of examples of the federal government encroaching on our state’s rights.”

“The fact is that our polar bear populations are abundant and healthy, and occupy their entire historic range,” said Murkowski.

“We are disappointed with the decision and feel protections needs to be given to polar bear habitats in Alaska that also protect subsistence.  In order to adequately protect all Arctic wildlife, Greenpeace believes we must slow climate change by adopting clean energy supply systems globally and by reducing carbon emissions.

In 2008, polar bears became the first species to be designated “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act, due to global warming.

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