Pennsylvania Field Office News
Eastern massasauga proposed as threatened under Endangered Species Act
In the Northeast, eastern massasaugas are found in New York and Pennsylvania.
Credit: Mike Redmer/USFWS
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to list the eastern massasauga rattlesnake as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The rattlesnake, which has been a candidate for listing since 1999, has declined over the past decades as its wetland habitat has disappeared and as people have intentionally killed it. More than 30 percent of the historical populations are now extirpated and many more (20 percent) are of uncertain status.
Notice of Availability, Draft Restoration Plan Addendum for Jacks Creek Superfund Site and Keystone Sanitation Landfill Superfund Site
August 4, 2015: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on behalf of the Department of Interior, as the sole natural resource trustee, announces the release for public review of the Draft Restoration Plan Addendum for the “Jacks Creek Superfund Site Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment” (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2000) and to the “Keystone Sanitation Landfill Superfund Site Final Restoration Plan” (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2007). Due to the release of hazardous materials at Jacks Creek/Sitkin Smelting Superfund Site and Keystone Sanitation Landfill Superfund Site, migratory bird habitat, such as upland forests and wetlands, were destroyed or injured by contamination. The restoration projects originally selected to compensate for natural resource damages at the two Superfund sites were successfully implemented for less than the projected cost, and a combined total of $59,825 remains for additional restoration projects. Since the natural resource claims for both Sites were injuries to migratory birds and their habitat, the Service proposes to combine the funds for an additional project that will benefit the injured resources. This addendum describes the proposed additional project to create and enhance wetland habitat at three adjacent properties in Mifflin County that are under permanent conservation easement.
Written comments regarding the Draft Restoration Plan Addendum must be submitted on or before September 6, 2015. Submit comments to: Wingyi Kung, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pennsylvania Field Office, 110 Radnor Rd, Suite 101, State College, PA or by email: email@example.com
Draft Restoration Plan Addendum for Jacks Creek Superfund Site and Keystone Sanitation Landfill Superfund Site (PDF - 9.40MB)
Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical Habitat for Two Freshwater Mussels in 12 States
Neosho mucket uses a minnow lure to
attract a host fish (bass) for its larvae.
Credit: Chris Barnhart/Missouri State University
April 29, 2015: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized critical habitat designations for the Neosho mucket and rabbitsfoot mussels in rivers of 12 states under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The final designations are smaller than those proposed nearly three years ago, and include a significant change to what the Service proposed in Arkansas for the rabbitsfoot, reducing the designation there by 27 percent. The final critical habitat designations in Arkansas affect less than two percent of the state’s total perennial stream miles as defined by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.
The Service altered the critical habitat designations after receiving new relevant information from a number of people and organizations including the Association of Arkansas Counties. The final designations result in a net reduction of about two river miles for Neosho mucket and 217 river miles for rabbitsfoot. Both species of freshwater mussels are found in river systems in the eastern half of the United States and are indicators of clean water and healthy rivers. Today’s decision finalizes a proposal released in 2012 and includes the final economic analysis associated with the critical habitat designations.
Read the full release