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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
NEVADA: Duckwater Shoshone Tribe Celebrates Safe Harbor Agreement and Reintroduction of Railroad Valley Springfish
Region 8, September 19, 2007

Jeannie Stafford, Nevada FWO

The Duckwater Shoshone Tribe and partners celebrated the signing of a Safe Harbor Agreement and the reintroduction of Railroad Valley Springfish into the fish’s restored native habitat Sept. 26, at Big Warm Spring southwest of Ely, Nev.  The Tribe entered into a cooperative conservation partnership with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, The Nature Conservancy, and U. S. Geological Survey Biological Resources Division and has been working to recover the threatened Railroad Valley springfish.

The conservation partners’ efforts include the removal of a catfish farm, reconstruction of a stream channel to its natural flow regime, and removal of non-native fish.  Native upland and riparian vegetation has been re-established at Big Warm Spring, which is also a very important cultural area for the Tribe.  Altogether, an estimated $700,000, plus staff time and equipment have been expended to support the project.

There are only six known populations of Railroad Valley springfish in the world. All found within 30 miles of each other in Railroad Valley.  Prior to reintroduction of the springfish back into its historic habitat at Big Warm Spring, the Tribe and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service will enter into a Safe Harbor Agreement.  Safe Harbor agreements guarantee that landowners will not incur any new restrictions on the use of their land if they improve, restore, maintain, or create habitat for an endangered or threatened species.


Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov