Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Delay in Protecting Rare Nevada Fish

RENO, Nev.— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit today against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for unlawfully delaying action on a petition to protect a population of small, minnow-like fish under the Endangered Species Act.

The relict dace population, which has been isolated for thousands of years in the Johnson Springs Wetland Complex near Wells, Nevada, faces an existential threat from Newmont Mining Corporation’s plan to expand the Long Canyon gold mine. If the expansion goes forward, the springs would dry up entirely and the population would go extinct.

In 2014 Forest Service Employees for Environment Ethics petitioned the Service to protect the fish under the Endangered Species Act due to the imminent danger of extinction from the mine. In 2015 the Service found that listing the dace as threatened or endangered may be warranted. Five years later, however, the agency has yet to issue the required 12-month finding to determine if protection is in fact warranted.

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Media Contacts:

Endangered Species: James Quirk, Media Specialist,, (971) 717-6411
Climate: Patrick Sullivan, Deputy Communications Director,, (415) 632-5316
Public Lands, National Monuments and Borderlands:
Mary K. Reinhart, Media Specialist –, (602) 320-7309
Oceans, Offshore Drilling, Arctic: Steve Jones, Media Specialist –, (415) 305-3866
Pesticides, Toxics, Air Pollution, Industrial Agriculture and Environmental Health: Andy Parker, Media Specialist –, (503) 310-5569

Mike Stark, Communications Director,, (520) 623.5252 ext. 315
Patrick Sullivan, Deputy Communications Director,, (415) 632-5316
Russ McSpadden, Creative Media Specialist – Media Photos,

Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; photo of jaguar by Robin Silver, Center for Biological Diversity