Arizona Supports Ruling That Some Fear Could Hurt The Endangered Species Act

By Stina Sieg
Published: Friday, May 29, 2015 - 3:03pm
Updated: Friday, May 29, 2015 - 5:04pm
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(Photo courtesy of National Park Service)
According to the National Park Service, the Utah Prairie Dog has the most restricted range of all prairie dog species.

Arizona is one of nine states stepping into a lawsuit that animal rights activists say could undermine the Endangered Species Act. The Utah prarie dog is at the suit's center.

The attorneys general of the nine states have asked an appeals court to uphold a ruling striking down federal protections for the creature on private property. They argue states should manage animals that live only within their borders.

This type of prairie dog can only be found in a southwest portion of Utah. But federal attorneys counter that most protected species live only in a single state and courts have long upheld federal authority to manage them.

They are appealing a ruling from a U.S. District Court judge who sided with residents in Southern Utah who said they were being overrun by prairie dogs. 

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