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PNS Daily Newscast - November 11, 2019 


Members of Congress take positions ahead of public impeachment hearings; EPA wants to relax coal-ash clean water rules; vets warned to watch for scams; and the good work one Kentucky veteran does.

2020Talks - November 11, 2019 


Today's Veterans Day; of the 45 current and past presidents, 29 have been veterans. Plus, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined Sen. Bernie Sanders in Iowa this weekend for some of the biggest Iowa rallies so far this caucus season, as well as a climate-change summit.

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Lawsuit Filed to Force Feds to Protect Imperiled Species from Logging

The Siskiyou Mountains salamander thrives in the old-growth forests of Northern California and Southern Oregon. (William Leonard/Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets)
The Siskiyou Mountains salamander thrives in the old-growth forests of Northern California and Southern Oregon. (William Leonard/Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets)
July 1, 2019

SISKIYOU MOUNTAINS, Calif. – Conservation groups are filing suit Monday against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to force a long-delayed decision on whether to list the Siskiyou Mountains salamander as an endangered species.

A coalition of environmental groups petitioned for protections early last year, but the agency has missed multiple deadlines and has yet to make a finding.

Jenny Loda, amphibian and reptile staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, says U.S. Fish and Wildlife often has been behind on its workload, but she maintains it now has become a deliberate strategy.

"Unfortunately, the Fish and Wildlife Service has been pretty behind in making these decisions for a number of years, but under the Trump administration, it really has slowed down almost to a halt, and there seems to be more focus on trying to get species delisted than on protecting the species that really need protection," she states.

The Siskiyou Mountains salamander's habitat near the California-Oregon border is threatened by new management plans to allow more logging operations on federal lands.

Over the years, 47 different species have gone extinct while they were waiting for a decision under the Endangered Species Act.

Just last week the Trump administration agreed to a settlement that required it to make a decision on several different species of salamander whose habitat is threatened by plans to raise the dam at Shasta Lake.

"These salamanders are only found in this small area right around Shasta Lake,” Loda points out. “So any impact to their population can be potentially detrimental.

“There are actually three different species of Shasta salamanders that are found in these small ranges around the Shasta Reservoir."

Conservation groups filed for protections for the Shasta salamanders in 2012 and sued to force a decision. Under the settlement, the agency has until next April to make a decision.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA