By Scott King
Although it’s small in size, Nevada’s relict dace has become a big name in recent conservation efforts, as a petition and a lawsuit have been put forth to protect the fish under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The process began in 2014 when Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics submitted a petition to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to list the relict dace, found only in northeastern Nevada, under the ESA.
“We received a petition back in June 2014 requesting that the relict dace population at the Johnson Springs Wetlands Complex in Goshute Valley be listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act,” Laurie Averill-Murray, biologist at the US Fish and Wildlife Service, said. “So we’ve been evaluating the petition and we’re currently completing work on our 12-month finding in response to the petition.”
Under the ESA, a finding on a species petitioned to be listed as threatened or endangered is required within a 12-month period. The years-long delay in a finding prompted the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to file a Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief earlier this month in the US District Court for the District of Nevada.