February 3, 2011

Delta smelt, move over: somebody new in town

By Delta smelt, move over: somebody new in town

Author:  Damien M. Schiff

Last year, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service denied a petition to list the Sacramento Delta population of the longfin smelt.  But the Service this week, in response to a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, agreed to reconsider its denial, which was based on its conclusion that the local longfin smelt population does not constitute a Distinct Population Segment.  The longfin smelt, unlike the Delta smelt, is found throughout the Pacific Northwest.  But the ESA allows for the listing of smaller populations of species even where the species is doing well in other parts of its range.  It will be interesting to see what the Service does on remand.

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