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Tiny salamanders could complicate Shasta Dam project

SHASTA LAKE, Calif. - A trio of salamander species in Northern California could complicate a controversial $1.4 billion public works project to heighten the Shasta Dam.
    
The Los Angeles Times reports Wednesday that two environmental groups filed a federal lawsuit last month asking a judge to force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine if Shasta salamanders should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.
    
One of the groups, the Center for Biological Diversity, asked the wildlife service in 2012 to declare the salamanders endangered or threatened, but the agency has not made a decision.
    
The lawsuit was prompted in part by the federal government's sudden momentum in efforts to raise the Shasta Dam nearly two stories.
    
Environmentalists say that would destroy the amphibians' habitat and put them at risk of extinction.


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