Analysis of protecting caribou habitat released

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it will cost about $1.5 million over two decades to protect old-growth habitat for endangered woodland caribou in northern Idaho and northeast Washington state.

The Spokesman-Review in a story published Thursday reports (http://bit.ly/NjlNvm) that the 87-page draft economic analysis finds the timber industry in rare circumstances could face up to three-year delays for some logging operations.

Agency spokesman Bryon Holt says the analysis confirms the agency's belief that designating critical caribou habitat will have little change on day-to-day use of public and private forests.

The agency has proposed designating more than 375,500 acres in the Selkirk Mountains as critical habitat for the endangered caribou. Most of the federal land is in Idaho's Bonner and Boundary counties and nearby Washington state's Pend Oreille County.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com