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Trust buys land to protect fish near north Alabama car plant

December 19, 2019 GMT

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A state trust is purchasing a nearly 500-acre tract in north Alabama for $10 million to protect the habitat of a tiny fish that had endangered work on a $1.6 billion car plant.

The Forever Wild Land Trust bought land where the rare spring pygmy sunfish lives near the Mazda Toyota plant being built in Limestone County, news outlets reported.

The fish is listed as a federally threatened species and is known to exist in only two locations in Alabama, including the Beaverdam Spring area near the factory.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Tennessee Riverkeeper had threatened to sue to protect the sunfish and its habitat before reaching a deal to protect the fish a year ago. The land purchase was part of that agreement.

The car factory is projected to begin production in 2021 with as many as 4,000 employees.