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Center for Biological Diversity and local partner suing feds to protect the Ozark hellbender and other species
The Center for Biological Diversity and a local partner notified two federal agencies last week that we intend to sue over their failure to protect the Ozark hellbender, Hine's emerald dragonfly, Tumbling Creek cavesnail and two endangered mussels in Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest. We want the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to revisit the Mark Twain's 2005 forest plan to make changes that will help save endangered species and essential habitats on the forest -- aquatic species that have gained their federally protected status since 2005.
"Poorly managed recreation and timber harvest pollutes waterways on the Mark Twain National Forest that the Ozark hellbender needs to survive," said the Center's Collette Adkins Giese. "To save the hellbender, we have to protect the rivers that people treasure, too, for drinking water, fishing and boating."
The lawsuit will likely result in forest-plan amendments -- for instance, a prohibition on construction of bridges or boat ramps near hellbender habitat.