(CN) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to designate over 74,000 acres in Sonoma County as critical habitat for the endangered California tiger salamander.
The amphibian was listed as endangered in 2004. At that time, the Central Coast population segment was designated as threatened and the Sonoma and Santa Barbara County distinct population segments were removed as distinct populations.
Fish and Wildlife previously proposed to list 21,000 acres but the Center for Biological Diversity challenged the plan and the agency agreed to reinstate the original acreage proposed in 2004. Opponents argue that the designation would limit development in the fast growing Petaluma area, an hour north of San Francisco.