Reduced critical habitat for San Bernardino Kangaroo Rat
Yesterday the Service promulgated a final rule for a revised critical habitat designation for the San Bernardino Kangaroo Rat, a rodent found only in the California counties of Riverside and San Bernardino. The revision is the fruit of a settlement agreement between PLF clients and the Service. PLF had sued on behalf of a number of organizations representing the regulated public to challenge overbroad critical habitat designations for dozens of species throughout California. (That lawsuit was a follow-up from a major PLF victory concerning a challenge to critical habitat for the Alameda Whipsnake.) The rule published yesterday designates about 8,000 acres of critical habitat, down from over 25,000 acres in the original designation. Thus, the redesignation marks a clear victory for sound and reasonable environmental regulation. The Riverside County Press-Enterprise reports, however, that the Center for Biological Diversity is contemplating a challenge to the reduced habitat designation.
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