- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Latest on federal appeals court ruling about endangered frog (all times local):

4 p.m.

An environmental legal nonprofit says endangered frogs and the Endangered Species Act have won a big victory.

A federal appeals court rejected a Louisiana landowner’s attempt to keep the federal government from listing some of his timberland as essential for the future of dusky gopher frogs. The species is currently found only in Mississippi.

Attorney Collette Adkins of the Center for Biological Diversity says the frogs need to be able to return to areas where they used to live, if the species is to survive.

The landowner is represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a property rights legal nonprofit. A foundation blog post calls the designation as critical habitat “a particularly outrageous example of Endangered Species Act abuse.”

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3:30 p.m.

A federal appeals court has rejected a Louisiana landowner’s attempt to keep the federal government from listing some of his timberland as essential for the future of an endangered frog.

The 2-1 decision upheld a district court ruling that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was within the law in declaring 1,544 acres in Louisiana as critical habitat for dusky gopher frogs. The species is currently found only in Mississippi.

The opinion says the agency acted within two environmental laws and the Constitution.

A strongly worded dissent says the majority ruling could let the agency designate virtually any place in the country as critical habitat if the habitat could be changed to make it friendly to an endangered species.

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This story Corrects first item to show Pacific Legal Foundation was talking about the agency’s action, not the court’s opinion, as “outrageous.”

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