The US Fish & Wildlife Service has re-opened a public comment opportunity before making a decision as to if the TX Horned Shell Mussels belong on the Endangered Species Act list*. MEANWHILE a push by a group called Texans for Natural Gas (funded “by four of the state’s leading energy producers – Devon Energy, EnerVest, EOG Resources, and XTO Energy”) is emailing people to sign a petition TO NOT PROTECT ….
the mussels even after it was found that these mussels are occupying 85% LESS of its historical U.S. range. “Habitat fragmentation and loss as a result of impoundments and reduced water quality and quantity are negatively impacting the Texas hornshell and other freshwater mussels across the Southwest”.
YOUR comments are needed NOW to get the protections for the Texas Hornshell Mussel to join the five others already on the state protected list that share habitat and therefore conservation benefits (Rio Grande River cooter, gray redhorse, blue sucker and Pecos springsnail).
Use this link here, https://www.regulations.gov/searchResults?rpp=25&po=0&s=FWS%E2%80%93R2%E2%80%93ES%E2%80%932016%E2%80%930077&fp=true&ns=true and comment now on the Proposed Rule ID: FWS-R2-ES-2016-0077-0067″
Or you may submit comments by one of the following methods:
(1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R2-ES-2016-0077. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”
(2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R2-ES-2016-0077; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803
*correction, per ESA Policy Analyst, Megan Hope 512 936 8554 this study that is being done by TSU does NOT include the TX Horned Shell mussels (“Researchers will study five species of Central Texas freshwater mussels – the False Spike, Smooth Pimpleback, Texas Fatmucket, Texas Fawnsfoot, and the Texas Pimpleback”) and is for Central TX…so the “science” submitted to the Fish & Wildlife officials only includes the 2-3 yr study done previously by Texas A & M which included the Rio Grande area.