Endangered Fish in West Virginia Gets New Protection

More than 120 miles of river habitat for an endangered fish are now under federal protection in West Virginia. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the protection of the diamond darter's habitat this week, saying the "critical habitat'' designation covers 28 miles of the lower Elk River in Kanawha and Clay counties in West Virginia along with space in Kentucky. It requires federal agencies to ensure that federally funded or permitted activities will not harm darters or their habitat. The diamond darter was protected under the Endangered Species Act last month. The tiny fish was considered extinct until scientists rediscovered it in West Virginia in 1980. Fewer than 125 of them have been seen over the past 30 years.