LAS VEGAS — Environmentalists are warning that a planned geothermal energy plant in Northern Nevada could threaten the habitat of a rare toad.
The future of a big-eyed, freckled creature known as the Dixie Valley toad is at the center of an expected fight as environmentalists seek federal protection for the amphibian, the Las Vegas Sun reports.
The toad, whose existence was unknown until a couple of years ago, lives around the thermal springs on the western edge of the Dixie Valley Playa, east of Reno. It’s one of 274 imperiled species — 25 of them in Nevada — at the center of legal action initiated last month under the Endangered Species Act.
Ormat Technologies, the company that plans to build the geothermal energy plant, has proposed mitigation strategies to protect the toad’s habitat.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice of intent to sue the Department of Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to meet a deadline to determine whether species like the Dixie Valley toad should be federally protected.