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Groups sue Trump administration over failure to protect endangered plant

Posted at 9:19 AM, Mar 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 20:55:04-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Environmental groups are suing the Trump administration over a failure to protect an endangered San Pedro River plant.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Maricopa Audubon today filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which it says has failed to protect the Arizona eryngo under the Endangered Species Act.

The CBD petitioned the agency to protect the plant in April 2018 and says it has yet to make a decision on the petition when it was required to do so within 90 days of the petition.

“While the Trump administration twiddles its thumbs, local groundwater pumping that threatens this magnificent plant with extinction has only increased,” said Robin Silver, Center cofounder and board member, in a statement. “Adding insult to injury, the Bureau of Land Management has proposed reintroducing cattle to one of the only two places the plant still survives.”

The Arizona eryngo can grow to more than five feet tall. It's found in Tucson and Sierra Vista.

Threats include groundwater pumping, drought, cattle and a decline in groundwater levels.