- Associated Press - Friday, December 8, 2017

MIAMI (AP) - A federal judge has temporarily blocked a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision that would have allowed the destruction of a rare forest near Miami to build a shopping center and apartments.

U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro issued an order Friday stopping the clearing of about 50 acres of pine rockland forest that is home to about 20 endangered species, including the Miami tiger beetle.

She said the lawsuit filed Friday by the Center for Biological Diversity against the service will likely succeed, so she stopped bulldozers that had begun tearing down trees this week shortly after the wildlife service approved the development.

The group’s Florida director, Jaclyn Lopez, told The Miami Herald , “We are elated.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com

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