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Phoenix to manage wetlands for endangered species

PHOENIX -- Phoenix has reached an agreement with federal wildlife managers to develop habitat along several miles of city-owned wetlands to benefit endangered species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Monday it had approved a permit that will allow the city to enhance conditions in the Tres Rios area to help the southwestern willow flycatcher and the Yuma clapper rail.

The city has committed to maintaining more than 900 acres of native wetland and riparian vegetation along portions of the Salt and Gila rivers.

Federal officials say efforts to plant more cottonwoods and willows on the city property are expected to attract the flycatchers and rails. They say bald eagles and yellow-billed cuckoos could also benefit.

Under the 50-year agreement, the city must submit annual monitoring reports to federal officials.

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