- Associated Press - Thursday, September 17, 2015

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A federal appeals court rejected an environmental advocacy group’s claim that the federal government failed to properly protect an endangered fish found only in Nevada’s Moapa Valley Wildlife Refuge.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday there was no evidence the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service improperly decided in 2006 that groundwater pumping in the Coyote Spring Valley wouldn’t hurt the imperiled Moapa dace.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority and others wanted to conduct pumping tests while monitoring and managing the rare fish. It lives only in the upper Muddy River and its tributary springs.

Center for Biological Diversity spokesman Rob Mrowka said Thursday’s ruling stemming from a 2010 lawsuit has no effect now, because state water officials last year stopped issuing permits for pumping in the area.

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