Designation of Nonessential Experimental Population Status for 15 Freshwater Mussels, 1 Freshwater Snail, and 5 Fishes in the Lower French Broad River and in the Lower Holston River, Tennessee
About the Document
Title: Establishment of Nonessential Experimental Population Status for 15 Freshwater Mussels, 1 Freshwater Snail, and 5 Fishes in the Lower French Broad River and in the Lower Holston River, Tennessee
Purpose: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is planning to reintroduce 15 mussels listed as endangered under section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act); 1 endangered aquatic snail; 2 endangered fishes; and 3 fishes listed as threatened under the Act into their historical habitat in the free-flowing reach of the French Broad River from below Douglas Dam to its confluence with the Holston River, Knox County, Tennessee, and in the free-flowing reach of the Holston River from below Cherokee Dam to its confluence with the French Broad River. Based on the evaluation of species experts, none of these 21 species currently exist in these river reaches or their tributaries. These species would be reintroduced under section 10(j) of the Act and would be classified as a nonessential experimental population (NEP).
About the Peer Review ProcessType of Review: Influential
Date of Peer Review: Peer review will occur between June 2006 and August 2006.
Estimated Dissemination Date of the Final Rulemaking Document: June 2007.
Process: The Service will conduct external peer review of this document through letters sent to three or more independent scientific reviewers with expertise in mussel and fish biology and conservation, conservation biology, and wildlife biology and conservation.
The Service will make formal requests for peer review from the Tennessee Valley Authority, Virginia Tech University, and Tennessee Tech University. Peer review of the scientific information used in our analysis and the validity of the data will be requested.
The Service will use the information received from the peer review, as appropriate, in the conclusions and recommendations for the designation of NEP status for these aquatic species.
About Public Participation
Public comments on the proposed reclassification were sought with a Federal Register rulemaking on June 13, 2006, and the distribution by mail and press release of this announcement to interested parties. The Service will publish a final notice in the Federal Register regarding the designation of NEP status, including a summary of the results of the peer review. This peer review plan is made available on this website to allow the public to monitor our compliance with the Office of Management and Budget’s Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review.
Geoff Call , U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Cookeville Ecological Services Office, 931/528-6481, Ext. 213