Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, January 3, 2018

Contact:  Noah Greenwald, (503) 484-7495,

Endangered Species Act Success: Oregon Fish Recovered, Proposed for Delisting

PORTLAND, Ore.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed removing Endangered Species Act protections from the Foskett speckled dace, a rare Oregon fish that has recovered with protection under the Act.

“The Endangered Species Act has saved Oregon’s unique Foskett speckled dace, just like it saved the bald eagle and hundreds of other species across the country,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “I’m thrilled this little fish will be around for future generations, and I plan to go see it myself as soon as I can.”

The Foskett speckled dace was historically limited to one spring in the Warner Basin in eastern Oregon’s Lake County. The fish was protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1985. Following protection the spring habitat was obtained by the Bureau of Land Management through a land exchange and was mostly fenced off to keep out livestock.

In 2015 the Fish and Wildlife Service, BLM and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife entered into a cooperative management agreement to ensure protection of the dace’s habitat into the future. The dace has also been established in a second spring.

“This is exactly how the Endangered Species Act is supposed to work,” said Greenwald.  “The fish’s habitat was protected and threats removed, and now the dace has a future.”

Opponents of the Endangered Species Act like Congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) have long argued the law is broken because too few species have been fully recovered, but that simply is not the case. Under the Obama administration, 23 species were determined to be fully recovered and delisted, more than any administration before.  The dace marks the 37th species recovered under the Act. With more time many others will be recovered.

“If congressional Republicans truly wanted the Endangered Species Act to work better, they would provide adequate funding for species recovery,” said Greenwald. “But even with funding way below what is needed, the Act is working, and this proposal to remove protection from the Foskett speckled dace is proof.”

Froskett speckled dace

Photo courtesy USFWS. This image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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