News Release
Southeast Region

 

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Service Considers Economic Impact of Critical Habitat Designation for Kentucky Glade Cress
Reopens Proposed Listing Comment Period

January 6, 2014

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The Kentucky Glade Cress in bloom.

Kentucky Glade Cress.
Photo credit: James Gruhala - USFWS

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced the availability of the draft economic analysis for the proposed critical habitat designation for the Kentucky glade cress.

The glade cress, a plant proposed for listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, is only found in Bullitt and Jefferson Counties, Kentucky, where the Service is proposing to designate about 2,053 acres as its critical habitat. At the same time, the Service is re-opening the comment period for the proposed listing of the glade cress with critical habitat for 30 days, also through February 6, 2014. The public is invited to submit their comments to either or both issues.

For more information on the glade cress visit: http://ecos.fws.gov/speciesProfile/profile/speciesProfile.action?spcode=Q12F and http://www.fws.gov/southeast/news/2013/027.html.

The Kentucky glade cress is a small, winter annual with a white to lilac colored flower which grows in areas with flat, thin soil, such as cedar glades. It needs sunny areas with green, leafy vegetation that are wet in late winter to early spring, but then dry quickly. Natural areas surrounding the glades that are protected from disturbance are crucial in maintaining the plant’s habitat.

The entire range of Kentucky glade cress is currently undergoing rapid residential and commercial development as the greater Louisville metropolitan area expands southward into southern Jefferson and northeastern Bullitt Counties. New residential developments are being added throughout the plant's range, along with associated road and utility construction.

Designation of critical habitat does not affect land ownership or establish a refuge, reserve, preserve, or other conservation area. Although most of the areas within the proposed critical habitat designation are located on private land, activities on these lands will not be affected, unless activities on these lands are authorized, funded, or carried out by a federal agency. If federal funds are involved in a project in the area, the government agency involved will federal funds are involved in a project in the area, the government agency involved will need to consult with the Service to help landowners avoid, reduce, or mitigate potential impacts to the plant or to ensure actions do not negatively affect the glade cress or modify its critical habitat.

Citizens are invited to comment on the draft analysis that discusses the economic impacts that may result from the glade cress’ proposed critical habitat designation through February 6, 2014. Citizens are invited to comment on the draft analysis that discusses the economic impacts that may result from the glade cress’ proposed critical habitat designation through February 6, 2014.

The analysis concluded the economic impacts of the proposed designation are likely to range from $400 to $9,000 per consultation. Based on feedback from several federal agencies, the number of future consultations is likely to be under a dozen per year throughout the entire range of the plant. Critical habitat is not likely to generate additional consultations and in circumstances where consultation does occur, additional project modifications beyond what is required to avoid jeopardizing the glade cress are unlikely.

Designating critical habitat informs landowners and the public of the specific areas that are important to the conservation of the species. Identifying this habitat also helps focus the conservation efforts of other conservation partners, such as state and local governments, non-governmental organizations, and individuals.

The Service’s identification of critical habitat areas is based on the best scientific information available, and considered all relevant information provided by the public, government agencies, the scientific community, industry and other interested parties during the public comment period.

The Service offers willing landowners a number of voluntary and non-regulatory conservation programs to help the glad cress survive as they live and work on their lands.

Landowners interested in helping the Service recover the Kentucky glade cress, or seeking more information about the potential implications of the listing and critical habitat designation, please contact the Service’s Kentucky Field Office at 330 W. Broadway, Suite 265, Frankfort, Kentucky, 40601, or contact Jennifer Garland at 502/695-0468 ext. 115, or via e-mail at jennifer_garland@fws.gov.

The public may mail comments and materials concerning the draft economic analysis and/or the proposed listing and critical habitat rule to Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R4–ES–2013–0015; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203. Comments also can be filed electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, using the docket number listed above.

All comments must be received by February 6, 2014, and must include a first and last name, city, state, country and zip code. Any comments and materials the Service receives, as well as supporting documentation used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment during normal business hours at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office in Frankfort, Kentucky, at 502-695-0468.

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. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/southeast.  Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usfwssoutheast, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwssoutheast, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws, and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast.

 

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Last updated: February 20, 2014