Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Public Hearings Scheduled on the Texas Hornshell Listing Proposal
Comment period on the proposal reopened for 30 days

May 26, 2017


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

Texas hornshell Credit: Joel Lusk, USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will hold public hearings in Laredo, Texas and Carlsbad, New Mexico on the August 2016 proposal to list the Texas hornshell as endangered. We are also reopening the public comment period on the listing proposal for 30 days.

Once abundant throughout rivers in southern New Mexico and the Rio Grande basin in Texas and Mexico, the Texas hornshell, a freshwater mussel, has experienced a dramatic decline. Today, it is the only native mussel remaining in New Mexico and is scarce in Texas, occupying only 15% of its historical U.S. range. River fragmentation and loss as a result of impoundments and reduced water quality and quantity are negatively impacting the Texas hornshell and other freshwater mussels across the Southwest. After thoroughly reviewing the best available science, on August 10, 2016, the Service proposed to protect the mussel as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

The Service will hold two public informational meetings/public hearings to gather public comments on the listing proposal. Public informational meetings will consist of an Open House/Exhibit Review that will provide the attendees an opportunity to learn more about the Texas hornshell and the listing proposal. The formal public hearings will provide the public an opportunity to provide written or oral comments on the proposal. The dates and locations for the informational meetings/public hearings are as follows:



Tuesday, June 13th                                                    Thursday, June 15th  

Informational meeting – 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.           Informational meeting – 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Public hearing – 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.                        Public hearing – 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Student Center Ballroom #203                                   Pecos River Village Conference Center

Texas A&M International University                            711 Muscatel Ave.

5201 University Blvd.                                                Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220

Laredo, Texas 78041                                                                                                             

The Service is committed to providing access to this meeting for all participants. Please direct all requests for sign language interpreting services, close captioning, or other accommodation needs to the Texas Coastal Ecological Services Field Office at 281-286-8282, TTY 800-877-8339 with your request no later than 1 week before the meeting dates.

You may obtain copies of the proposed rule and Species Status Assessment Report at at Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2016–0077, or by mail from the Texas Coastal Ecological Services Field Office, 17629 El Camino Real #211, Houston, TX 77058.

The Service encourages the public to review and provide comments on the listing proposal during the 30-day public comment period. Written comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

(1)  Electronically:  Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: In the Search box, enter FWS–R2–ES–2016–0077. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!” 

 (2)  By hard copy:  Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to:  Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R2–ES–2016–0077; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.

Written comments must be received by June 29, 2017.  

America’s fish, wildlife, and plant resources belong to all of us, and ensuring the health of imperiled species is a shared responsibility. We’re working to actively engage conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species.

More information on Texas hornshell proposed listing and conservation efforts

Information contained in older news items may be outdated. These materials are made available as historical archival information only. Individual contacts have been replaced with general External Affairs office information. No other updates have been made to the information and we do not guarantee current accuracy or completeness.

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. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.