Action timeline

June 4, 1998 – The Center submitted a scientific petition to list the Chiricahua leopard frog as a federally endangered species. The petition went unacknowledged.

August 25, 1999 – The Center filed a lawsuit to compel a response to the petition.

2001 – The Center filed a second lawsuit.

June 13, 2002 – The Center gained a threatened listing for the frog, but the species was still without critical habitat. In fact, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added a unique special rule to the frog's listing, encouraging cattlemen to continue their regular management of livestock tanks harboring Chiricahua leopard frog populations.

2007 – With the leopard frog at risk of becoming an endangered species in the foreseeable future, the Center became part of the stakeholders' group that developed the federal plan to recover the frog. We advocated for lessening cattle, preserving springs, and removing bull frogs on several grazing allotments.

December 28, 2009 – The Center filed a notice of intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service in 60 days to protect the Chiricahua leopard frog from livestock grazing in the Fossil Creek watershed.

July 20, 2010 – The Center sued the U.S. Forest Service for failing to monitor and protect habitat and endangered species in the Fossil Creek watershed of central Arizona — including the southwestern willow flycatcher, New Mexico ridge-nosed rattlesnake, Chiricahua leopard frog, Apache trout, loach minnow, Mexican spotted owl and spikedace.

June 28, 2015 – A federal court ruled in the Center's favor on our 2010 lawsuit, finding that cattle grazing in the Fossil Creek watershed was harming the critical habitat of the Chiricahua leopard frog.

Photo © Erik Enderson