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The Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

 

 

 November 13, 2006

Contacts:  Patty Gelatt 970-243-2778 ext 26
                   Diane Katzenberger 303-236-4578   

 U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE TO REVIEW STATUS OF COLORADO RIVER
 CUTTHROAT TROUT 

Informational workshop to be held in Grand Junction on December 6, 2006 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it is initiating a status review of the Colorado River cutthroat trout to determine whether the species warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act.  The Service intends to complete this 12-month review by the court ordered due date of June 7, 2007. 

The Service is seeking the latest scientific and commercial information on the status of the cutthroat from the public, government agencies, tribes, industry and the scientific and conservation communities. After gathering and analyzing this information, the Service will determine whether to propose adding the cutthroat to the federal list of threatened and endangered species. Comments will be received until January 8, 2007. 

“The Service will evaluate all existing and new information to determine whether threats to the species warrant a listing proposal,” said Mitch King, director of the Service’s Mountain-Prairie Region.  “Information from the public or scientific and commercial communities is invaluable in helping the Service determine the cutthroat’s status.” 

In 1999, the Service received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity and others to list the Colorado River cutthroat trout as threatened or endangered in its occupied habitat within its known historical range. In 2004, the Service determined the petition did not present substantial information indicating that listing may be warranted. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a complaint and the court ordered the Service to conduct a status review for the Colorado River cutthroat trout by June 7, 2007. 

The Colorado River cutthroat trout is the only salmonid native to the upper Colorado River basin. It is distinguished by red/orange slash marks on both sides of its lower jaws and relatively large spots concentrated on the posterior part of the body.  The Colorado River cutthroat trout currently occupies portions of the Colorado River drainage in Colorado, southern Wyoming and eastern Utah and may still occur in very limited areas of New Mexico and Arizona. 

An informational workshop will be held on December 6, 2006 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and continuing on December 7 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Holiday Inn, 755 Horizon Drive in Grand Junction, Colorado.  The purpose of the workshop is to provide an opportunity for Service decision makers and other interested parties to discuss and provide information regarding the status of and threats to the Colorado River cutthrout trout.  State and federal resource agencies, the petitioners, and any other interested parties are invited to attend.  Those interested in presenting at the workshop may request a time slot by sending an e-mail to coloradorivercut@fws.gov.  Please indicate the approximate presentation time desired, the name of the presenter, and the organization represented.  It will also be possible to request a presentation time slot in person at the workshop. 

Written comments may be submitted by mail to Colorado River Cutthroat Comments, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 764 Horizon Drive, Building B, Grand Junction, Colorado 81506-3946; or fax to 970-245-6933; or by e-mail to coloradorivercut@fws.gov.  Please submit electronic comments in an ASCII format or Microsoft Word file and avoid the use of any special characters or any form of encryption.  Please include “Attn: Colorado River Cutthroat Trout” and your name and return address in your e-mail. 

For more information about the Colorado River Cutthroat Trout please visit the Service’s web site at  http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/endspp/fish/crct

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies. 

- FWS -

 


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