one man's petition to save a salamander

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The amount of land that the Tejon Ranch Company holds is large, very large, and a significant portion of the land is prime for development. According to the Tejon Ranch Company Web site, the ranch is nearly 270,000 acres (422 square miles), the largest contiguous expanse of private land in California - larger than the City of Los Angeles - and about 40% the size of Rhode Island. Future development projects include a resort, industrial complex and a sustainable new town community. The Tehachapi Slender Salamander is only found in a small region of California, small enough that it is found almost no where else but within land held by the Tejon Ranch Company.

Because most of the known Tehachapi Slender Salamander population occurred within the Tejon Ranch company land and high potential for development on that land, in 2006, Jeremy Nichols petitioned the government to list the salamander as an endangered species. According to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, any citizen may petition the government to list a species as endangered or threatened. Jeremy's petition presented substantial information on the distribution, biology and threats to the species and due to his petition on April 22, 2009 US Fish and Wildlife Service completed a 90-day finding on the salamander. Based on information from the 90-day finding, The Service will conduct a 12-month finding to determine if the salamander will be listed as threatened or endangered.

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