RENO — Environmentalists have filed a lawsuit claiming the federal government is failing to protect the imperiled Moapa dace, a fish found only in the Moapa Valley Wildlife Refuge some 60 miles north of Las Vegas.
Center for Biological Diversity spokesman Rob Mrowka said the lawsuit filed Monday in Reno federal court challenges plans to suck water out of the upper Muddy River and its tributary springs in the refuge. The lawsuit states that the plan will drive the Moapa dace into extinction.
The Southern Nevada Water Authority and others want to conduct groundwater pumping tests in return for monitoring and management to protect the fish.
The lawsuit, stating that the pumping will cause irrevocable harm, is designed to force the Interior Department to carry out proper review under the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.