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Piping Plover Critical Habitat Redesignation
Southwest Region, January 30, 2009
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On July 10, 2001, the Service designated 142 areas along the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas as critical habitat for the wintering population of the piping plover.  The Texas General Land Office filed suit on March 20, 2006, challenging the designation of 19 critical habitat units along the mid and lower Texas coast, encompassing 231,280 acres, due to concerns for oil and gas development.  In a July 26, 2006, stipulated settlement agreement and court order, the court vacated and remanded the designation of the 19 units for reconsideration.  CCESFO staff completed drafting the final rule to re-designate 18 of the units, or 138,881 acres of vacated critical habitat.  The size of the units changed from fine-tuning of mapping the primary constituent elements with National Wetlands Inventory data and also due to shifts in coastal habitat patches since the 2001 mapping.

Contact Info: Sharon Becton, 361-994-9005, sharon_becton@fws.gov



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