Friday, January 06, 2006

Conservationists Sue to Protect Butterfly

The Associated Press
Friday, January 6, 2006; 9:39 AM

RENO, Nev. -- Conservationists sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday seeking protection for a rare butterfly they say is threatened by off-road vehicles at one of the largest sand dunes in the West.

Environmentalists want the agency to declare the Sand Mountain blue butterfly an endangered species because, they say, its habitat is being destroyed at the only place it is known to live _ the Sand Mountain Recreation Area in western Nevada.

This undated image provided by the Bureau of land Management, shows the Sand Mountain blue butterfly at the Sand Mountain Recreation Area, east of Fallon, Nev. Conservationists filed a lawsuit against the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2006, in an ongoing battle over protection of the rare Nevada butterfly and off-road vehicle use at a one of the largest sand dunes in the West. (AP Photo/Bureau of Land Management)

The Bureau of Land Management controls activities at the dune, which is 600 feet tall and stretches for two miles. It attracts an estimated 50,000 off-roaders annually on motorcycles, dune buggies and all-terrain vehicles.

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