Apparently, Governor Palin doesn’t like beluga whales either…

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Yesterday, Alaska announced its intention to sue the National Marine Fisheries Service over the agency's decision to protect Cook Inlet beluga whales under the Endangered Species Act.  You can read a copy of the State's notice of intent to sue letter here.  This move follows Alaska's recent lawsuit challenging polar bear protections under the Endangered Species Act. 

There is, to put it kindly, no basis for this lawsuit.  The Cook Inlet beluga whale is one of the most endangered whale populations on earth, with only 375 individuals in the wild (down from just over 1,000 only a few years ago).  The listing is backed by solid scientific evidence and was supported not only by NMFS but by the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission.

As with the polar bear, NRDC (which worked hard to secure protections for beluga whales) will be in court to stop the Governor and protect these vanishing whales.