Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Habitat Review Deadline Missed.

Byline: Tania Soussan Journal Staff Writer

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service missed a Wednesday deadline to determine what parts of the Rio Grande and possibly the Pecos River are critical to the survival of a tiny endangered fish.

Last fall, Senior U.S. District Judge Edwin Mechem ordered the agency to redo a "critical habitat" designation for the Rio Grande silvery minnow.

Mechem said the agency failed to consider realities of the water-squeezed river when it first made 163 miles of the middle Rio Grande a safe zone for the minnow. He gave the agency 120 days to issue an environmental assessment and a proposed new habitat designation.

The Fish and Wildlife Service appealed Mechem's ruling to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and asked for a stay of the order until the appeal is resolved. …

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