Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Conservation group plans to sue feds over Nevada water project

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports:

A national conservation group has announced plans to sue the federal government for failing to protect endangered fish and desert tortoises that could be harmed by groundwater development plans in northern Clark County. The lawsuit promised by the Tucson, Ariz.-based Center for Biological Diversity targets the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management over agreements those agencies struck with the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the developers of Coyote Springs. Officials for the environmental group insist groundwater withdrawals by the Coyote Springs development and the water authority could destroy crucial habitat for the endangered Moapa dace, a finger-length fish only found at the headwaters of the Muddy River, 60 miles north of Las Vegas. The federally protected desert tortoise also faces habitat loss in Clark and Lincoln counties as a result of large-scale groundwater pumping and the residential development it would sustain, Mrowska said. The environmental group today sent the two federal agencies a 60-day notice of its intent to sue. Such notice is required for lawsuits brought under the Endangered Species Act...

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