DENVER (AP) — Homebuilders, ranchers and others have again asked the federal government to lift wildlife protections for a long-tailed mouse found in Colorado and Wyoming.
A petition filed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Thursday revives a claim that the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse is not a distinct species but essentially the same as other, more plentiful mice.
The agency has 90 days to respond.
The mouse was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1998. Its identity has been disputed for years, prompting multiple legal challenges.
The Fish and Wildlife Service removed it from the threatened list in Wyoming in 2008 but restored it in 2011. It has remained on the list in Colorado.
Opponents say the protections result in costly and unnecessary restrictions on land use.