Endangered frog case sent back to US district judge
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court has returned a lawsuit over an endangered frog to the judge who ruled that Louisiana timberland can be critical habitat for frogs now found only in Mississippi.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision about critical habitat for dusky gopher frogs. But in November, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturned the appeals court.
The high court said lower courts must consider the meaning of “habitat” and whether a 1,500-acre (610-hectare) tract in St. Tammany Parish qualifies as habitat for frogs that haven’t lived there for decades.
On Tuesday, the 5th Circuit sent the case back to District Judge Martin Feldman for further proceedings, including whether to send the matter back to Fish and Wildlife.