RENO, Nev. (775 Times, NV Globe) –The Center for Biological Diversity has formally filed a notice of intent to sue the United States. On November 15, the Fish and Wildlife Service was fined for failing to conserve the Fish Lake Valley tui chub under the Endangered Species Act.
The Fish Lake Valley tui chub, which was once found in several locations in Esmeralda County, Nevada, now lives only in a single isolated spring on a privately owned ranch. Groundwater over pumping, according to Center representatives, is threatening to dry up its final bastion.
“The Fish Lake Valley tui chub is staring extinction in the face because of the catastrophic overuse of groundwater in its native range,” said Patrick Donnelly, Great Basin director at the Center. “This lawsuit as a last-ditch effort to save this unique fish from disappearing forever.”
According to Center representatives, prior to European settlement, Fish Lake Valley featured significant groundwater-dependent ecosystems supplied by snowfall from the adjacent White Mountains, including Fish Lake. The lake and several other springs have dried up in recent decades as groundwater pumping has grown, particularly for farming alfalfa. The Center claims that the state of Nevada, which has the responsibility to regulate groundwater, has failed to rectify significant overpumping as groundwater levels in the valley continue to plummet.
A proposed geothermal power plant within one mile of its habitat, as well as multiple proposed lithium mines on a neighboring playa, represent further risks to the Fish Lake Valley tui chub.
“Saving the Fish Lake Valley tui chub means saving the springs it needs to survive,” said Donnelly. “Protecting these springs will benefit hundreds of other plants and animals, and people, too. Nevada has failed to properly regulate groundwater, and now we need the Endangered Species Act to save this unique fish.”
In August, US wildlife officials said there was enough evidence that the Fish Lake Valley tui chub was on the verge of extinction to warrant a yearlong review to determine whether it should be listed under the Endangered Species Act.
- CCSD Superintendent Resigns Amid Controversy, Search for Replacement Begins - February 23, 2024
- Healthcare Data Incident Disrupts Services in Las Vegas Valley - February 23, 2024
- CCSD Teacher Arrested on Child Abuse Charges, Barred from Campus - February 23, 2024