The October 2013 federal
government shutdown suspended many activities of the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, including the review of projects
for effects on listed species. Because the shutdown lasted
16 days, it has added 16 days to the Service's normal 35-day
review period, for projects submitted during the shutdown
or as many as 34 days prior to the shutdown. The Service's
normal 35-day review period is reinstated for projects received
on October 17, 2013, or later. Project proponents with questions
about the status of reviews for specific projects may contact
the Service for additional information.
This is the web site of the Oklahoma Ecological Services
Field Office. Use the links to the left or at the bottom to
browse the sections of this and related sites. Below are some
news and updates regarding the activities of this office.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Lists Two Freshwater Mussels, Neosho Mucket (as Endangered)
and Rabbitsfoot (as Threatened)
The Federal Register listing is located here
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is listing the Neosho
mucket as endangered and the Rabbitsfoot as threatened under
the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Both species are freshwater
mussels found in river systems in the eastern half of the
The Neosho mucket has been eliminated from about 62 percent
of its historic range with only nine of 16 historic populations
remaining. Only one of these populations is known to be reproducing.
The Neosho mucket is currently found in Arkansas, Kansas,
Oklahoma, and Missouri.
The Rabbitsfoot has disappeared from about 64 percent of
its historic range. While 51 of the 140 historic populations
remain, only 11 populations (22 percent of its existing populations
or eight percent of the historic populations) are viable;
23 populations (45 percent of the existing populations) are
at risk of elimination; and 17 populations (33 percent of
the current populations) show limited reproduction with little
evidence of sustainability. The Rabbitsfoot is currently found
in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
and Tennessee. The Rabbitsfoot is no longer found in Georgia
and West Virginia.
The complete news release can be found here
General Conservation Plan for
Pipelines and Well Field Development in Oklahoma and Texas
The public notice is located here
Public scoping meetings for the General Conservation Plan for
American Burying Beetles for Pipelines and Well Field Development
in Oklahoma and Texas will take place at the following dates/locations:
the scoping process for the Environmental Impact Statement on
the American Burying Beetle General Conservation Plan will not
consider Garfield and Major Counties, but will consider Murray
County along with the other counties mentioned in the Notice
- February 19, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Oklahoma State University – Tulsa Campus
Room 150 (North Hall)
700 North Greenwood Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74106
- February 20, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Southeast Expo Center
4500 W. Hwy 270
McAlester, OK 74501
Gulf Coast Pipeline Project Habitat
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and TransCanada Company
are working together to develop a Habitat Conservation Plan
(HCP) for the American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus)
on the Gulf Coast Pipeline Project. The timeline and relevant
documents can be viewed in the table below; the documents
are large, so please allow time for download.
Healthy Forests Reserve Program
Helps Protect Habitat for Federally-listed Species in the
Ozark Highlands of Northeastern Oklahoma
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working in cooperation
with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and
Oklahoma Forestry Services to implement the Healthy Forests
Reserve Program (HFRP) in northeastern Oklahoma. The HFRP
is a Farm Bill program for private landowners. The purpose
of the HFRP is to assist landowners, on a voluntary basis,
in restoring, enhancing and protecting forestland resources
on private lands through conservation easements, 30-year contracts
and 10-year cost-share agreements. The program is being offered
in five counties in northeastern Oklahoma: Adair, Cherokee,
Delaware, Sequoyah, and Ottawa counties. The federally-listed
species that are being targeted for habitat and population
recovery activities include the gray bat, the Ozark big-eared
bat, and the Ozark cavefish. The HFRP is administered by the
NRCS. For more information about HFRP, please contact your
local U.S. Department of Agriculture - NRCS Service Center.
Additional information also is available here.