November 5, 2005--Posted at 11:00 p.m. CST
SPRINGDALE--The habitat of the endangered Ozark cave fish will not be harmed by the newly recommended route for the U.S.
412 bypass north of Springdale. The move by the Arkansas Highway Department has been lauded by environmental groups like The Nature Conservancy. The endangered two-inch long pale fish has been found in 21 caves in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. About 150 of the fish live near the proposed bypass construction area.
According documents outlining the bypass' environmental impact, the new road would come within a half-mile of the 16-square-mile Cave Springs cave recharge area, which is where the fish lives.
The new route also limits access near the bypass near the recharge area to limit residential and commercial development that could harm the cave fish's habitat.