Colorado: The Mouse That Roared

A tiny jumping rodent is cramping development at the foot of the Rockies

Up and down the front range of the Rockies, one of the nation's hottest growth zones, a tiny, obscure rodent named the Preble's meadow jumping mouse is upsetting land planning, forcing developers to alter construction schedules and snarling highway and utilities projects.

Not bad for a creature hardly anyone has seen.

All the fuss has come about not because the little mouse with the 5-in. tail is an officially endangered species--it isn't--but because it might soon be declared so. On that presumption, federal and local regulators are requiring developers to make elaborate surveys in wetland areas where the mouse allegedly...

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