In February 2020, US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) classified 324,679 acres in Alabama and Mississippi as critical habitat for the endangered black pine snake. The designation makes the land restricted to development and subject to rigorous regulation. More than 93,000 acres were private land. In public meetings, FWS told impacted landowners that restrictions would not be implemented. But Gray Skipper, whose family owns and manages a timber operation on 10,000 of those acres, sued the federal agency, claiming there is little evidence the snake exists on his land. Represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, the Skippers and other affected landowners have asked the court to set aside the habitat designation. The case has been submitted and awaits a decision. Read more HERE.