The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has begun the process of delisting the Canada lynx and stripping it of protections under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This announcement comes days before a court-ordered deadline (January 15) for the agency to release a recovery plan for the threatened species. The Western Environmental Law Center notes significant alterations in the Fish and Wildlife Service's recently finalized species status assessment compared to its December 2016 draft: The draft warned that the species may no longer exist in parts of its current range by 2050, but the finalized version concludes that populations will be just fine until at least 2025. December 2016 to January 2018—that sure was a quick recovery period, considering some believe lynx populations to be in worse condition since they were originally listed under the ESA in 2000. What’s changed since 2016? Oh, right…we now have a president and a Department of the Interior secretary hell-bent on tearing open public lands to energy and mineral development. The administration wouldn’t want a cat to get in the way.