GeoCarta Has Moved

Sep 19, 2005

Dueling Maps To Settle Fate Of Endangered Species

Petaluma California officials plan to prepare their own map depicting the habitat of the California Tiger Salamander after one prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service included prime development areas of their city. Federal officials have proposed that almost 74,000 acres of the county be designated as,"critical habitat" for the endangered amphibian, including parts of Petaluma. The Fish and Wildlife Service is under court order to designate "critical habitat" for the salamander by Dec. 1. However, the Service admits that they deliberately included areas of the species' "historical range" where salamanders have never been spotted. The federal agency is counting on public comments to help them redraw the map to more accurately reflect the true habitat of the salamander.

The city is conducting its own environmental studies to show that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's map incorrectly includes part of Petaluma. City officials contend that the tiger salamander has never lived in their area. If the Fed's map stands, it could prohibit development in some prime areas of the city, costing thousands in lost tax revenue. The city plans to have their own study completed by October 3.

Complete article from Petaluma Argus Courier.