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Update On Bug's Status Could Remove Land Rules

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Today federal officials said they're reopening the comment period on a plan announced three months ago to remove the valley elderberry longhorn beetle from its current status as threatened.

Robert Moler is with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"We want to make sure that when we move to a final rule that our decision is based on all available scientific and commercial information."

The inch-long red and black beetle lives in the Sacramento area and depends on elderberry shrubs for food and shelter.
Damien Schiff is an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation which filed a lawsuit in 2011 on behalf of levee districts and landowners to take the beetle off the endangered list.  
"Levee districts can't maintain levees the way they otherwise would because of the buffer zones, landowners who may want to develop their property are restricted in developing that property."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will accept comments until February 22nd. A final decision is expected within 12 months.


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