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News & Releases
Mountain-Prairie Region

News Release

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Announces Draft Economic Analysis and Draft Environmental Assessment for the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle

For Immediate Release

March 12, 2014


Photo of a Salt Creek Tiger Beetle. Credit: Bradley A. Mills

Public comment period reopened until March 28, 2014

DENVER – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today the availability of a Draft Economic Analysis and draft Environmental Assessment for the proposed redesignation of critical habitat for the endangered Salt Creek tiger beetle (Cicindela nevadica lincolniana).  We previously published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on June 4, 2013, to redesignate critical habitat for the Salt Creek tiger beetle under the Endangered Species Act in accordance with a June 7, 2011, settlement agreement between the Service and the Center for Biological Diversity, Xerces Society, and Center for Native Ecosystems.

The Salt Creek tiger beetle only occurs in stream and saline wetland habitats in eastern Nebraska.  Loss of suitable habitat for this insect has occurred due to development in and around the City of Lincoln, construction of infrastructure including roadways, alteration to hydrologic cycles and sediment deposition.  Despite these impacts, tremendous efforts including land acquisition, experimental rearing and reintroduction, and population and habitat monitoring have been done to help recover the Salt Creek tiger beetle and restore its habitat. 

We have prepared a draft economic analysis to determine the economic impacts, including costs and benefits, of the proposed rule to redesignate critical habitat.  The draft economic analysis concluded that critical habitat designation for the beetle is unlikely to generate costs exceeding $100 million per year.  This estimate was based on the anticipated costs of consultations under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, and other costs.  We have also prepared a draft assessment of the environmental effects of the proposed critical habitat for the tiger beetle under the National Environmental Policy Act.  The Service is reopening the comment period for the proposal to allow interested parties an opportunity to comment on the two draft documents, as well as the June 4, 2013 proposed rule to revise the critical habitat designation.

Identification of areas containing habitat essential to the Salt Creek tiger beetle, will be based on the best scientific information available.  In addition, the Service will utilize the economic analysis to inform and refine its identification of this habitat.  Only areas that contain habitat essential to the conservation of the species and where the benefits of this habitat outweigh potential economic impacts will be included in the final designation.

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Six populations of Salt Creek tiger beetles were known to exist in the mid to late 1990s along three streams; however, three of these populations have been extirpated since then.  Three populations exist currently, all along a single stream––Little Salt Creek.  These three populations contain a few hundred adults.  There are 35 acres of habitat that are currently occupied by the Salt Creek tiger beetle. 

The Service will open a 15-day public comment period until March 28, 2014, to allow the public to review the two draft documents.  All relevant information received from the public, government agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties will be considered and addressed in the agency’s final identification of habitat essential to the species’ conservation.

Comments and information may be submitted to the Federal Register online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (follow the instructions for submitting comments and use Docket No. FWS–R6-ES-2013-0068) or via U.S. mail or hand delivery to Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R6–ES–2013–0068; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.

More information is available online http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/invertebrates/saltcreektiger/index.htm

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel, and download photos from our Flickr page.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Office of External Affairs

Mountain-Prairie Region

134 Union Blvd

Lakewood, CO 80228

303-236-7905

303-236-3815 FAX

www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/



Contacts

Eliza Hines
308-382-6468
eliza_hines@fws.gov

Steve Segin
303-236-4578
Robert_Segin@fws.gov



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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: March 12, 2014
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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