June 24, 2009

Suit filed over Preble's jumping mouse

By Damien M. Schiff Senior Attorney

CBD filed suit yesterday in federal district court in Denver challenging the Service's decision to delist the mouse in Wyoming.  The mouse has been controversial for some time, with many people contending that it is genetically indistinct from other more populous mice.  In many respects, the debate over whether to protect the mouse has become an epitome of ESA controversy.

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In re Petition to delist the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse

On behalf of a broad coalition of sound science and property rights advocates, PLF filed a petition with the federal government to delist the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse from the Endangered Species Act. The government originally listed the mouse on the theory that it was a distinct subspecies whose numbers were declining. However, later studies showed that the mouse has strong genetic links to other, clearly prolific mice. When considered as part of that larger population, the mouse bears no risk of extinction, and the restrictions on habitat–estimated to cost Wyoming and Colorado landowners more than $200 million over 20 years-should be lifted.

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