US moves to protect polar bear habitat�-�October 23, 2009
Over 200,000 square miles (520,000 sq km) of Alaskan territory could be designated ‘critical habitat’ for polar bears, under new proposals from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. This is the largest area ever proposed for such a designation by the FWS
If the land is designated as critical habitat any “destruction or adverse modification” of it will be prohibited under the Endangered Species Act. This would apply to oil and gas exploration activities which are currently underway in the area says the FWS.