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The Oregonian, July 21, 2015

Environmental group sues over Deschutes River dams' threat to protected frog
By Kelly House

An Oregon environmental group has announced plans to sue the Bureau of Reclamation over claims that two of its dams are harming a federally-protected frog.

TheCenter for Biological Diversitysubmitted notice Tuesday of its intent to sue, claiming the bureau'sCrane Prairie and Wickiup damson the Deschutes River are not being managed in a way that protects the Oregon spotted frog.

Because the frog islisted as threatenedunder the federal Endangered Species Act, the bureau is legally required to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure management of its dams does not harm the frog.

The Center for Biological Diversity claims that has not happened, and frogs are dying as a result, with eggs stranded on dry land when the reservoirs behind the dams are drawn down to supply water for irrigated agriculture. In the spring, the center claims, critical frog habitat is flooded when the reservoirs refill.

In a statement Tuesday, the center's executive director, Noah Greenwald, called the frog "one of the most imperiled amphibians in the world."

"As we've dammed, channelized and polluted rivers across the Northwest and beyond, species like the frog have suffered," Greenwald said. "By saving these animals, we'll almost certainly improve the health of the Deschutes and other Northwest rivers."

 

2015 Oregon Live LLC.

This article originally appeared here.

Jeffrey pine photo by John Villinski.