Calif. Judge Steps Up Protection for 40 Species
Feds not doing enough for wildlife in national forests, judge rules
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2011 8:07 AM CDT
A California condor prepares for flight after being released from a condor recovery program in the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in southern California.    (AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Scott Frier, File)

(Newser) – Endangered birds, fish, frogs, butterflies, and even a species of sea lion are set to benefit from a judge's ruling that federal authorities need to do more to protect some 40 species in southern California's national forests. The judge ordered three federal agencies to "take all necessary measures" to devise and implement safeguards for the species, which include the California condor, the San Joaquin fox, and the Santa Ana sucker, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The judge's decision follows a 2009 ruling that government plans involving four national forests in California did not do enough to protect endangered species from human activity. "The lesson of this ruling is this: These federal agencies can no longer get by simply saying, 'Nothing is going to happen to these species—trust us.'" the California program director for the Defenders of Wildlife said.