Environmental Groups to Defend Polar Bear Protections From Legal Challenge

Josh Mogerman, NRDC (312) 780-7424 or (773) 531-5359 cell, [email protected]; Kassie Siegel, Center for Biological Diversity, cell (951) 961-7972, [email protected]; Jane Kochersperger, Greenpeace, cell (202) 680-3798, [email protected]

WASHINGTON — The Center for Biological Diversity, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Greenpeace today filed court papers seeking to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the Endangered Species Act listing for the polar bear. The lawsuit, filed last month by the Safari Club, a trophy hunting advocacy group, seeks to challenge protections granted to the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act listing decision that was issued on May 15, 2008.
In a separate filing, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Humane Society of the United States, and Defenders of Wildlife also sought participation in the lawsuit.
In 2005, The Center for Biological Diversity, NRDC, and Greenpeace petitioned to have the polar bear listed under the Endangered Species Act due to factors such as global warming and prevailed in a separate lawsuit in California that forced the Bush administration to issue the listing decision. In that case, which is ongoing, the groups are challenging the administration's attempt to reduce protections for polar bears under the Endangered Species Act through a special exemption that effectively waives consideration of the effect of greenhouse gases on the demise of polar bears.

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