In Sonoma County the endangered tiger salamander, which is federally protected, lives in a 74,000-acre area which is part of the Santa Rosa Plain. Officials feel that this area, which is already set aside for the tiger salamander, is much too large and maybe even four times too large.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has now proposed that the entire plain should now be set aside as a protected area for the tiger salamander. The plain stretches out from Windsor Creek to northern Petaluma and from Highway 116 to Petaluma Hill Road and the county is objecting to this plan.

Sonoma County officials have just completed an environmental study on the tiger salamander in this area and evidence shows that the tiger salamanders are occupying a much smaller area which is close to only 17,000 acres and not the 74,000 acres already set aside for them.

County officials are concerned that if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposal is passed then it would designate way too much of an area that is truly more than the tiger salamander needs.

The county's report is one of many that are going to be filed in advance of the October 19th deadline.

The federal agency plans to make a decision on the protection area of the tiger salamander on July 1, 2011 only after it has collected public comments and completed an economic analysis of the critical habitat area.

Sonoma County as well as Santa Rosa will continue to comply with the Conservations Strategy guidelines that prevents development entering into tiger salamanders habitat while the federal agency continues to study the issue.

Property I.D. has been including the site specific protected species and habitats determinations at no additional charge as a standard component in its reports.

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