Woodland caribou, rarely-seen creatures that with their antlers stand as tall as a man, are struggling to survive in the United States, precariously occupying one remote area of the Northwest as a final toehold in the Lower 48.
The federal government has proposed designating about 600 square miles in Idaho and Washington — roughly half the size of Rhode Island — as critical habitat in an effort to save this last U.S. herd of fewer than 50 animals.
Locals are for the most part angry over the introduction of caribou into Idaho, Washington and other states. If the caribou are protected at the cost of jobs and monies going to humans, then the animals are not seen as a precious thing, but an intrusive and disruptive element. Jobs,tourism, etc. affected by laws in place to protect caribou. Understandable.
On the other hand...
It's a wait and see situation right now; will the government designate areas for protection of the species or not?