Posted at: 12/11/2012 11:36 AM
Updated at: 12/11/2012 12:52 PM
By: Ben Dery, Alan Hoglund
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is in the process of changing the state's endangered species list, and they're proposing adding the moose as a species of "special concern."
The agency wants the animal on that list because of a shrinking population over the last decade. While it wouldn't limit moose hunting, it would recognize the declining population as a problem.
The proposed addition of the moose is part of a proposal to "remove 15 plants and 14 animals from Minnesota's list of endangered, threatened and special concern species, while adding 67 animals and 114 plants to the list. Overall, the changes will affect 302 species," according to the DNR.
Rich Baker, the DNR's endangered species coordinator, said "the ultimate goal of putting a plant or animal on the list isn't to put up walls around it. It is to find ways to get it back off the list. There are plenty examples of that happening. It doesn't have to come at the expense of economic growth and prosperity."
The DNR says state law requires the agency to create and periodically update this list. It was last officially updated in 1996.
As part of the process, five public hearings will be held before an administrative law judge to provide opportunities for public comment on the proposal.
One of those public comment hearings will be held in Duluth at the Gitchee Gumee Conference Center on February 6. All hearings begin at 6 p.m.
More information on the proposed changes to the endangered species list can be found on the DNR's website.