Landowner appeals in gopher frog dispute
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana landowner is appealing a federal judge's decision that a tree farm where an endangered burrowing frog was last seen in 1965 is necessary for the animal's recovery.
Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Reed Hopper filed the notice of appeal on Tuesday in federal court in New Orleans for Markle Interests LLC.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman ruled that U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials were within the law when they declared 1,544 acres in Louisiana as "critical habitat" for dusky gopher frogs.
He rejected arguments that the agency should have prepared an environmental impact statement and failed to adequately consider the possible economic impact.
The agency also listed 5,000 acres in Mississippi, but nobody challenged that decision. Most is federal land.
The frogs once also lived in Alabama.
By Glen Johnson / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain]