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Group proposes three Oregon species for endangered species listing

Published: May 6, 2004

The Associated Press

SALEM  An Arizona-based environmental group has asked the federal government to place two rare frogs and a plant found along the Columbia River onto the endangered species list.

The three were among 225 plants and animals identified as needing protection by the Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, Ariz.

The species are not new to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; four-fifths have been on the agency's waiting list for a decade. Some have been waiting since 1975. The average is 17 years.

Federal officials concede that the species identified are at risk, but they say that the cost of protection is prohibitive. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials say that it would cost $153 million to move all the candidate species to the threatened or endangered list, and that protection of other, more threatened species must take priority.

The three Oregon species on the list include the Oregon spotted frog, which found in the Cascades from the Washington border to the Klamath River Basin, and has been an endangered species candidate since 1991. There's also the Columbia spotted frog, which is found in Eastern Oregon and has been a candidate since 1991.

The center also suggested Northern wormwood, a plant found along the Columbia River between Hood River and the John Day River, which has been a candidate since 1985.

When a plant or animal is placed on the endangered species list, that puts limits on development in its surrounding habitat.

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