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Judge rejects agency's pullback of effort to protect minnow

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Posted at 3:15 PM, Apr 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-03 18:16:30-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider anew whether a type of minnow that lives in the lower Colorado River's watershed should receive federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

District Court Judge Jennifer Zipps' ruling Wednesday overturned the agency's 2017 withdrawal of a proposed 2015 rule to designate the lower Colorado River basin roundtail chub as a threatened species.

The minnow is found in Arizona and a small part of New Mexico in drainage basins of the Bill Williams, Gila, Little Colorado, Salt and Verde rivers.

The Center for Biological Diversity had sued to challenge the 2017 withdrawal.