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Settlement Agreement Approved
Southwest Region, June 30, 2006
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A settlement agreement was approved by U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico on June 29, 2006.  The agreement settles an October 5, 2005, lawsuit filed by Forest Guardians, Center for Biological Diversity, and Save Our Springs Alliance against the Service and Interior Department.  In the lawsuit the plaintiffs asked that the Service designate critical habitat for the Devils River minnow and list the species as endangered instead of threatened. 

Under the settlement, by July 31, 2007, the Service will withdraw the existing “not prudent” critical habitat determination and submit for publication in the Federal Register a new critical habitat determination for the Devils River minnow.  If the Service finds that critical habitat is prudent and determinable, the Service will also submit to the Federal Register a proposed critical habitat designation.  If the Service proposes to designate critical habitat, a final critical habitat determination for the Devils River minnow will be submitted to the Federal Register by July 31, 2008.  The plaintiffs will not further contest the issue of listing the species as endangered.

The Devils River minnow is a small fish currently known to occur in three streams in Val Verde and Kinney counties, Texas, all tributaries to the Rio Grande: Devils River, San Felipe Creek and Pinto Creek. The current status of the species in Sycamore Creek, Texas, and in the Río Salado drainage in Chihuahua, Mexico is not known. The species was once found in the lower portions of the Devils River (now Amistad Reservoir in Val Verde County), Las Moras Creek (Kinney County), and from the Río San Carlos (Mexico) but is no longer believed to be there.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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