Environmental group sues over protections for 20 species

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An environmental group filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging the federal government has failed to act on petitions to protect nine different species under the Endangered Species Act and failed to designate critical habitat for 11 others. The complaint covers species from Oregon to Delaware and asks the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make decisions on the species after years of delays. The Center for Biological Diversity previously sued over more than 200 species waiting for protection decisions. The group says the average waiting period for an imperiled species to get federal protection is 12 years, and 47 species have gone extinct waiting.