Plight of imperiled Glacier National Park insect draws lawsuit

Vince Devlin, The Missoulian

There are approximately 3,500 species of stoneflies. One of them – one so rare it’s found only in Montana – is at the heart of a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity wants a judge to force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to decide if the western glacier stonefly should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

It’s an issue tied directly to climate change. The species depends on extremely cold glacial meltwater for its survival, the reason it is only found in five small streams in Glacier National Park.

Glacier’s remaining glaciers are predicted to completely disappear in as few as 15 years.