Court: Forest Service must not harm salamander or its habitat

September 26, 2018

The endangered Jemez Mountain salamander now has a fighting chance at recovery thanks to Guardians’ advocacy.

The Jemez Mountain salamander faces a number of threats—among them roads, trails, and off-road vehicles—and was listed as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act in 2013. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated more than 50,000 acres of the Santa Fe National Forest as critical to the salamander’s survival and recovery. The U.S. Forest Service attempted to ignore effects on the salamander when proposing to designate roads and trails through the species’ sparse, dwindling, and delicate home. Today, District Court Judge Martha Vazquez ordered the Service to immediately reinitiate consultation on its Santa Fe Travel Management Decision to ensure the decision will not harm the salamander or its habitat.

The win is not only a victory for the salamander, but also for the Endangered Species Act, which depends on federal agency implementation to be effective. Legal victories like today’s bolster the Act’s power in the face of the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle it.

Read the press release.

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