April 18, 1988 – An effort was mounted to save the tiny shrew by the Interfaith Council for the Protection of Animals and Nature, which petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the shrew as an endangered species.
January 6, 1989 – The Service put the shrew on the federal candidate list as a Candidate 2 species.
August 28, 2001 – The Center for Biological Diversity, California Native Plant Society, and Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project made an agreement with the Department of Interior to protect the shrew and 28 other imperiled species.
March 6, 2002 – Under the terms of an agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity, California Native Plant Society, and Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project, the Service listed the shrew as an endangered species.
January 24, 2005 – Critical habitat was designated for the shrew — a mere 84 acres out of the 4,649 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had originally proposed.
August 28, 2007 – The Center filed a notice of intent to sue the Bush administration to obtain new protections for 55 species, including more critical habitat for the shrew.
October 2, 2008 – The Center sued the Bush administration over six politically tainted Endangered Species Act decisions, including the unlawful reduction of critical habitat for the Buena Vista Lake ornate shrew.
July 9, 2009 – As a result of our lawsuit, the Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to review and redesignate critical habitat for the Buena Vista Lake ornate shrew. Under a settlement with the Center, the agency was required to repropose the earlier-proposed 4,649-acre designation within 90 days and finalize a new critical habitat designation by March 22, 2012.
October 20, 2009 – The Service published a new critical habitat proposal setting aside 4,649 acres of protected landfor the shrew — an area 55 times bigger than the area currently protected.
July 10, 2012 – In respose to Center litigation, the Service issued a new proposal that would increase the protected critical habitat for the Buena Vista Lake ornate shrew to 5,182 acres.
July 1, 2013 – Responding to a lawsuit from the Center, the Service designated 2,485 acres of critical habitat for the Buena Vista Lake ornate shrew. But this final critical habitat designation slashed in half the agency's 2012 proposal of 5,182 acres, protecting only six areas on the floor of the Central Valley in Kern and Kings counties, California.