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Comments sought on endangered butterfly

Appeal Capitol Bureau

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking for public comments on plans to protect and recover the endangered Carson wandering skipper butterfly.

Discovery of the insect briefly jeopardized plans to build the freeway through Carson City. But a study of the area found no butterflies in the freeway right-of-way, and the project was allowed to continue.

Wildlife service officials were charged with developing a recovery plan for the skipper, including protection of its grassland habitat. The tawny orange butterfly inhabits three counties in northeast California and western Nevada, including Carson City.

Agency field supervisor Bob Williams said the decline of the butterfly is blamed on urban and residential development, wetland destruction and agricultural practices, including nonnative plant invasion. He said the goal is to protect the insect’s remaining habitat and restore areas where it can live.

“This draft recovery plan proposes tasks that will help us move forward to downlist and ultimately delist the Carson wandering skipper,” he said.

The draft recovery plan is available at the wildlife service offices on Financial Boulevard in Reno or by e-mail at fw8nfwoskipper@fws.gov.