RENO, Nev. -- Federal wildlife officials have agreed to consider Endangered Species Act protection for more than two dozen species of tiny snails in Nevada, Utah and California that environmentalists say are threatened by a big water pipeline project for Las Vegas.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it found enough scientific evidence during a preliminary 90-day assessment of listing petitions to move ahead with a year-long status review of 32 species of springsnails in the Great Basin and Mojave Desert.
Backers of the 300-mile pipeline said Tuesday they are not concerned that any federal listing would jeopardize the project.
But opponents say the move bolsters their bid to stop the transfer of billions of gallons of water a year from aquifers beneath east-central Nevada and western Utah to Las Vegas.