Polar-bear listing decision must be made by May 15, says judge
The last time we checked in with the laggardly Interior Department, it was saying it needed until June 30 to decide whether to place polar bears on the endangered-species list. But the department had better find its Decider Pants soon, as a federal judge has sided with green groups to impose a new deadline of May 15. “Other than the general complexity of finalizing the rule, defendants offer no specific facts that would justify the delay [from the original deadline of Jan. 9], much less further delay,” wrote U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken. The department proposed in Dec. 2006 that polar bears be listed as threatened, though what weight that will have on the final decision is questionable.