Environmental group ends suit over land for endangered frog

Endangered Frog Louisiana

FILE - This Sept. 27, 2011, file photo shows a gopher frog at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. The Center for Biological Diversity is dropping attempts to keep land in Louisiana designated critical habitat for the gopher frog that now lives only in Mississippi, but says the story’s not over. The settlement between landowners and the Center for Biological Diversity was made public Monday, July 1, 2019 in federal court.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An environmental group has dropped its legal fight over critical habitat for an endangered southeastern frog, but the group also says the story is not over.

A settlement between landowners and the Center for Biological Diversity was made public Monday in federal court.

The dusky gopher frog lives only in Mississippi, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated land in Louisiana as critical habitat for the frogs.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year overturned court decisions upholding the designation. The justices said courts must consider whether the 1,500-acre (610-hectare) tract qualifies as habitat for frogs that haven't lived there for decades.

Center attorney Collette Giese says the federal government could still make the same designation after more scientific and public comment.

Landowners' attorneys didn't immediately return calls for comment.

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