A federal judge has agreed with a homebuilders´ group in Northern California and has withdrawn four million acres of protected habitat for the endangered red-legged frog.
The Home Builders Association of Northern California challenged the protected acres and sued last year. They claim Fish and Wildlife officials never proved the area was vital to the frog´s survival.
The settlement keeps in place two areas – 124-thousand acres in Tuolumne and Mariposa counties, and 75-thousand acres in the Angeles National Forest near Los Angeles.
The Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to redraw the boundaries by 2005. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington signed the settlement Tuesday.