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Dunes Habitat for Milk Vetch Reduced

August 05, 2004|From Associated Press

GLAMIS, Calif. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday reduced by nearly 60% the amount of land in California's Imperial Valley considered essential to a broom-like plant's survival.

Last year, Fish and Wildlife Service biologists in California proposed designating 52,780 acres of the Algodones Dunes as critical habitat for Peirson's milk vetch. In a final rule published Wednesday, the critical habitat was reduced to 21,863 acres.

The Center for Biological Diversity criticized the decision. The Tucson-based group, which has sued to protect numerous species, including the milk vetch, noted that much of the plant's critical habitat had previously been protected as wilderness.

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