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 PRESS RELEASE: 4/25/06 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finds protections for Siskiyou Mountains and Scott Bar salamanders are adequate

Service concludes two species do not warrant additional protection under Federal law

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that two species of
salamander, the Siskiyou Mountains and Scott Bar salamanders, do not
warrant Federal protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Both
species are endemic to the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains of southern Oregon
and northern California.

The Service made the determination in response to a petition received in
2004 from the Center for Biological Diversity and others to list the two
salamanders and designate critical habitat.  Under the ESA, the Service is
required to review the petition to decide whether it contained substantial
scientific information that listing may be warranted, in a process known as
a 90-day finding.

The petition cited several threats to the species such as loss of habitat
quality from timber operations, global warming, and inadequate protection
since the Survey and Manage Program of the Northwest Forest Plan was
discontinued in 2004.

The Service concluded that the case made for listing is not substantial,
and therefore the Service will not proceed with a further analysis.  The
Service found that threats from timber harvest have declined dramatically
and do not pose significant threat to the species.  Salamanders have also
been found to exist in areas that have already been clear-cut and other
naturally open habitats.

Additionally, the Service cited several key protections currently in place
for the salamanders, including the fact that one species, the Siskiyou
Mountains salamander, is protected as a threatened species under a
California endangered species law and that the Survey and Manage provisions
of the Northwest Forest Plan were reinstated in January of 2006.  The
Klamath National Forest has extended the Survey and Manage protections to
the Scott Bar salamander.

The Siskiyou Mountains salamander and Scott Bar salamander are completely
terrestrial, medium-sized, slender-bodied salamanders with short limbs and
a dorsal stripe.  Both the Siskiyou Mountains and Scott Bar salamanders are
found within, and are associated exclusively with, rock or talus outcrops
in a variety of forest habitats where moisture and humidity are high enough
to allow dermal respiration.  Roughly 200 and 27 localities are known for
the Siskiyou Mountains and Scott Bar salamanders, respectively.

A copy of the finding about the Siskiyou Mountains and Scott Bar
salamanders is available on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/yreka/  or
by calling the Yreka Field Office in California at (530) 842-5763.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency
responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and
plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American
people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge
System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small
wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national
fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services
field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the
Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores
nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat
such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments
with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance
program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes
on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
 

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