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Lawsuit filed against U.S. Forest Service over protection for Mexican spotted owl

June 27, 2010 |  1:22 pm

Mexican spotted owl ALBUQUERQUE — An environmental group is suing the U.S. Forest Service, claiming the agency is violating the Endangered Species Act by failing to uphold protections for the Mexican spotted owl in the Southwest.

WildEarth Guardians filed its lawsuit in federal court in Tucson.

The complaint asks the court to keep the Forest Service from approving or implementing any permits or projects on national forests in Arizona and New Mexico that would negatively affect the owl until the agency prepares a biological assessment and consults with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Forest Service did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The Mexican spotted owl was listed as a threatened species in 1993. Studies have shown that its numbers have not increased.

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-- Associated Press

Photo: A Mexican spotted owl, which can be distinguished from other spotted owls by its dark eyes. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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