Protection sought for rare Arizona cactuses
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have proposed federal protection for two rare Arizona cactuses.
The agency announced Tuesday that it proposed to protect the Acuna cactus and Fickeisen plains cactus along 161 square miles of critical habitat.
A 2011 settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity requires the agency to speed protection decisions for 757 species across the country.
The plants are found in southern and northern Arizona. The agency proposed 54,000 acres of critical habitat for Acuna cactuses in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties. 49,000 acres of habitat have been proposed for Fickeisen plains cactuses in Coconino and Mohave counties.
The rare plants have been waiting on a so-called "candidate" list for federal protection for years.