Governor of Alaska Threatens Lawsuit

AK Governors Office, Bear Hunting Magazine

Alaska is ready to sue to challenge the recent listing of polar bears as a threatened species, announced Governor Sarah Palin this week.

Alaska officials believe this threatened listing will hurt oil and gas development in prime polar bear habitat off Alaska's northern coasts.

Governor Palin stated that there was not enough evidence to support this new listing. "Polar bears are well-managed and their population has dramatically increased over 30 years as a result of conservation," she stated.

"Climate models that predict continued loss of sea ice, the main habitat of polar bears, during summers are unreliable," said Palin.

Her statements brought a strong response from the primary author of the listing petition.

Palin and other state officials called arbitrary a decision to list a healthy species judging by what they deem uncertain modeling of future climate change and unproven long-term impact of any future climate change on the species.

State Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin said it could have wide economic effects.

"Inappropriate implementation of this listing decision could result in widespread social and economic impacts, including increased power costs and further increases in fuel prices, without providing any more protection for the species," he said.

Other groups who were for the new threatened listing are arguing that this lawsuit is a poor use of taxpayers money and that the correct decision was made originally.

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