Fighting for fish

Conservationists sue to reinstate protections for minnow species

A prominent conservation group is challenging a decision by the Bush administration to strip the Sacramento splittail, an imperiled minnow species native to the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay-Delta, of Endangered Species Act protections.

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco last week to reverse the 2003 decision engineered by disgraced former Bush-administration official Julie MacDonald, who was accused of altering reports to favor Bush policy.

The lawsuit is part of a larger campaign to undo Bush-era decisions that activists say weakened protections for dozens of endangered species.

“It should be a no-brainer for the Fish and Wildlife Service under the Obama administration to clean up this shameful relic of the Bush legacy and again protect the splittail,” said Jeff Miller, CBD’s conservation advocate, in a statement.