Public Invited to Comment on Permit & Agreement Package to Protect 14 Aquatic Species in Kansas
For Immediate Release
September 15, 2021
DENVER– The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is inviting the public to review and provide comments on a proposed programmatic Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) and Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA) for 14 aquatic species within the state of Kansas. The purpose of this proposed CCAA/SHA is for the Service to join with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) and participating non-federal property owners to implement conservation measures for the 14 aquatic species. The proposed covered species are designated as “Species in Need of Conservation” by the State.
CCAAs and SHAs are voluntary agreements between private landowners and the Service to reduce threats to federally listed or at risk species. The five federally-listed species that would be covered by the SHA in this application are: Topeka shiner, Neosho mucket, Arkansas River shiner, rabbitsfoot musssel, and Neosho madtom.
CCAAs provide protections for species that are not listed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, but are considered at risk. They provide assurances that if enrolled landowners implement various conservation activities, they will not be subject to additional restrictions if the covered species becomes listed under the Endangered Species Act. The nine species that would be covered by the CCAA are: Alligator snapping turtle, Peppered chub, Plains minnow, Silver chub, Hornyhead chub, butterfly mussel, Fluted shell, Cylindrical papershell, and Flat floater.
If finalized, the programmatic CCAA/SHA would allow KDWP to enroll interested non-federal landowners across the state of Kansas and allow or continue proactive conservation of the covered species. Proposed conservation measures include the introduction, reintroduction, augmentation, and translocation of the covered species, and habitat protection or enhancement for the covered species. Incidental take of the covered species may occur as a result of the implementation of conservation measures or ongoing land management activities on enrolled lands. By working with partners to identify threats to candidate species, develop agreements, and design and implement conservation measures, these aquatic species have a reduced likelihood of becoming further at risk.
The Notice of Availability of documents will be available in the Reading Room on September 14, 2021 and published in the Federal Register on September 15, 2021. Associated draft documents will be on Regulations.gov. Comments will be accepted for 30 days after publication date. To submit comments, please use one of the following methods, and note that your information requests or comments are in reference to the Kansas Aquatic SHA/CCAA.
Online: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket Number FWS–R6–ES–2021–0056.
U.S. Mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS–R6–ES–2021–0056; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: PRB/3W; 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.
Information about Safe Harbor Agreements, Candidate Conservation with Assurances, and this project is available at: https://www.fws.gov/kansases/landownertools.php. For further information, contact Gibran Suleiman, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, via phone: 785–539–3474 ext. 114, via email: email@example.com, or via the Federal Relay Service: 800–877–8339.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, 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 in the West, visit our website, or connect with us through any of these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Instagram.
– FWS –