June 22, 2010
Paul McKenzie 573-234-2132 x 107
Georgia Parham 812-334-4261 x 1203
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Critical Habitat for the Endangered Tumbling Creek Cavesnail
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to designate 25 acres in southwestern Missouri as critical habitat for the endangered Tumbling Creek cavesnail. The proposal includes Tumbling Creek and associated springs located near Protem, Missouri.
The Tumbling Creek cavesnail is a small aquatic snail known only from Tumbling Creek and a few of its small tributaries and underground springs within and near Tumbling Creek Cave in Taney County, Missouri.
Under the ESA, critical habitat identifies geographic areas that contain features essential for the conservation of a threatened or endangered species and may require special management considerations or protections. The designation of critical habitat does not affect land ownership or establish a refuge and has no impact on private landowners taking actions on their land that do not require federal funding or permits.
Federal agencies that undertake, fund or permit activities that may affect critical habitat are required to consult with the Service to ensure such actions do not adversely modify or destroy designated critical habitat.
The Tumbling Creek cavesnail was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 2002 because of a sharp drop in its population and declining water quality in Tumbling Creek. Threats to water quality in Tumbling Creek are increased siltation from overgrazing, tree removal, and other activities; and non-point source pollution within the recharge area of Tumbling Creek Cave. The area proposed for critical habitat is owned by a private landowner.
The Service is seeking comments on its proposal to designate critical habitat for the Tumbling Creek cavesnail. The deadline for submitting comments is August 23, 2010. You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
· Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2010-0042.
· U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R3-ES-2010-0042; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203.
For more information on the Tumbling Creek cavesnail, visit the Service’s Midwest Region website at www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/
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