Service Identifies Habitat Essential to Five Endangered Southeastern Fishes
Chucky madtom - photo credit: Conservation Fisheries Inc.
After reviewing and incorporating information from the public and the scientific community, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today identified approximately 228 river miles and 29 acres of critical habitat in, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama; and Arkansas, that contain aquatic habitat essential to the conservation of the Cumberland darter, rush darter, yellowcheek darter, Chucky madtom, and laurel dace, five species of fish protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
News Release (.pdf)
Final Rule (.pdf)
Service Proposes to Protect the Neosho Mucket and Rabbitsfoot under the Endangered Species Act
Current evidence suggests that the Neosho mucket mussel is in danger of becoming extinct and the rabbitsfoot mussel may become threatened with extinction in the foreseeable future, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today. As a result, the Service has proposed to protect the species under the Endangered Species Act, and is seeking new information from the public and the scientific community that will assist the agency in making a final determination.
News Release (.pdf)
Proposed Rule (.pdf)
Service Proposes to Protect the Fluted Kidneyshell and Slabside Pearlymussel under the Endangered Species Act
photo credit: Brett Ostby
Current evidence suggests that the fluted kidneyshell and slabside pearlymussel are in danger of becoming extinct in the foreseeable future, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today. As a result, the Service has proposed to protect the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and is seeking new information from the public and the scientific community that will assist the agency in making a final determination.
News Release - Notice of Availability (.pdf)
Notice of Availability (.pdf)
Economic Analysis (.pdf)
News Release (.pdf)
Proposed Rule (.pdf - 20mb)
Free Flow Restored to the Harpeth River
Since 2004, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has cooperatively worked with the Harpeth River Watershed Association, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and other partners to address water quality impairments and habitat degradation in the Harpeth River Watershed. These collaborative efforts have produced innovative strategies designed to improve the overall health of the watershed while providing enhanced recreational opportunities for the region.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state agencies, and non-governmental organizations are restoring the free flow of the river and important habitat on the Harpeth River. This project will remove the only barrier on the Harpeth River to reconnect the entire river for fish passage, restore natural fish habitat, stabilize eroding river banks in the 2,000 feet of the river in the vicinity of the lowhead dam, and maintain the City of Franklins drinking water withdrawal. The Harpeth River is a State designated Scenic River and is one of the most archeologically and historically-significant rivers in the State.
The Service provided approximately $350,000 through the Fish Passage Program, National Fish Habitat Action Plan, and Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership. The Service is also making in-kind contributions by monitoring aquatic habitats after removal of the dam and the restoration of this reach of the Harpeth River. Many partners were involved in making this project a model for conservation success. A "Dam Cam" has been set up to record the removal with time lapse photography and is available online at http://www.harpethriver.org/
Centennial Park Restoration Project
(L to R) Debbie Duren (NRDAR Program Manager, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation); Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill (TDEC Bureau of Parks and Recreation); Dennis Gregg (Obed Watershed Community Association); Mayor J.H. Graham III, Moria Painter (NPS Obed Wild and Scenic River): Niki Nicholas (Superintendent, Big South Fork NRRA), and Steve Alexander (FWS, Tennessee Field Office)
In 2002, there was a significant oil and natural gas well blowout and spill into Clear Creek, a tributary of the Obed Wild and Scenic River in Tennessee. A Trustee Council comprised of the National Park Service, the State of Tennessee, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was formed to assess natural resource injuries pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (“OPA”), 33 U.S.C. §§2701, 2706, and 15 CFR Part 990. The Trustee Council developed a Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan (DARP) and an Environmental Assessment that documented natural resource injuries associated with the spill and presented to the public potential restoration projects to compensate for those injuries. One of the restoration projects proposed in the DARP involves active stormwater management through the modification of existing drainage channels and the construction of wetlands/rain gardens within the City of Crossville’s Centennial Park. These stormwater drainage channels discharge to a tributary of the Little Obed River at several locations within the park. The Obed River downstream of Crossville is also federally designated critical habitat for the threatened spotfin chub.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Two Freshwater Mussels as Endangered
A mature and juvenile spectaclecase mussel found during a mussel survey. Spectaclecase mussels are gone from more than half of their historical range.
Photo by USFWS; Tamara Smith
March 12, 2012
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the sheepnose and spectaclecase, two freshwater mussels found in river systems in the eastern half of the United States, as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
Sheepnose are currently found in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The sheepnose occurs in 25 streams, down from 76, a 67 percent decline. Very few of these populations are known to be reproducing.
Read more in the News Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Two Freshwater Mussels as Endangered Species
Snuffbox in McElroy Creek Photo by Mike Hoggarth
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed two freshwater mussels – the rayed bean and the snuffbox – as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. The two mussels are found in river systems in the eastern United States.
The rayed bean is currently found in rivers in Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia, as well as Ontario, Canada. The snuffbox occurs in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Ontario, Canada.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Finds 374 Aquatic-dependent Species May Warrant Endangered Species Act Protection
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will conduct an in-depth status review of 374 rare southeastern aquatic, riparian and wetland animal and plant species to determine if any or all of them warrant federal protection as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The Service made this decision, commonly known as a 90-day finding, after reviewing a petition seeking to add a total of 404 species to the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants and analyzing information about these species in its files. While this initial review found evidence to suggest that ESA protection may be warranted for 374 of these species, the Service will now undertake a more thorough status review before determining whether to propose any of them for listing.
View the petition
Table of 374 species
Tennessee Purple Coneflower Delisted
Photo Credit: Geoff Call - USFWS
Thanks to the efforts of many partners who have worked together for more than 30 years to expand and protect this sunflower’s colonies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is removing the Tennessee purple coneflower from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants in 30 days, by September 2, 2011. This plant is found in the limestone barrens and cedar glades of Davidson, Rutherford, and Wilson Counties.
Read More (News Release)
Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan
Listen to a podcast about the story of recovering the coneflower.
Final Recovery Plan for Endangered Pyne's Ground-Plum Availalble
The recovery plan for the for the Pyne’s ground-plum, a federally listed, endangered plant, is now available. The plan describes actions considered necessary for the plant’s recovery, establishes criteria for downlisting and delisting the species, and estimates the time and cost for implementing the needed measures.
Read the News Release
Read the Final Recovery Plan
Golden-winged Warbler May Warrant Protection Under the Endangered Species Act
The golden-winged warbler, a small songbird found in the north-central and eastern United States, may warrant federal protection as a threatened or endangered species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today. The announcement follows an initial review of a petition seeking to protect the golden-winged warbler under the Endangered Species Act.
Read the news release
Berry Cave Salamander Placed on Federal Candidate Species List
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed the Berry Cave salamander on its Candidate Species List for federal protection.
As a result of a status review, called a 12-month finding, the Service finds this aquatic, cave-dwelling salamander warrants addition to the federal list of threatened and endangered species. However, for now, the Service must focus its limited funding for species at greater risk. The salamander’s addition to the Candidate List means its status will be reviewed annually.
FAQs about the 12 Month Finding
Read the Notice from the Federal Register
Structured Decision Making - Adaptive Resource Management on Tennessee’s Elk River
In late 2005, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) prepared a biological assessment (BA) (insert web link), concerning operation and maintenance of their dams, in accordance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to support formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Because the activities proposed in the BA affect flow, habitat, temperature and other water quality issues, there is a potential to affect federally listed species under the ESA.
Tackling Climate Change in Tennessee’s State Wildlife Action Plan
Tackling climate change may seem like an impossible feat, like trying to find a tiny needle in an enormous hay stack. But, if you take a small handful of hay and begin sifting through it, suddenly the challenge seems less monstrous. This is exactly how our Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency planning team felt as we attempted to incorporate climate change in Tennessee’s State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). As part of the State Wildlife Grants Program (SWG), each state had to complete a plan that identified species and habitats of greatest conservation need and outlined the steps to conserve them.
Early in January of 2005, Our SWG planning team met to begin discussions on species and habitat threats for inclusion in Tennessee’s SWAP. Our team was quite diverse and possessed the knowledge and years of experience needed to accomplish the task at hand. However, when it came to the topic of climate change, we scratched our heads. Climate change was beginning to get headlines in the national media and, to be honest, that was about the extent of our knowledge. We agreed climate change was a potential threat to Tennessee’s wildlife, but we also realized the enormity of the issue and decided to tackle this topic some other day.
Premier Hunting Experiences Accessible
Where is the closest National Wildlife Refuge that offers turkey hunting for people with disabilities?
You don’t need to guess or start phoning names on a long list. A new National Wildlife Refuge System interactive Web site, Your Guide to Hunting on National Wildlife Refuges, (http://www.fws.gov/refuges/hunting) provides hunters with an easy search mechanism to find a refuge by special interest, such as game species (i.e. deer, waterfowl, big game), zip code, youth or\ special needs (i.e. universally accessible), or using any combination of topics. You can also search by a refuge name or state name.