Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Service Announces Public Scoping Process For American Electric Power’s Proposed Conservation Plan for the American Burying Beetle
Project Covers 62 Counties in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas

January 18, 2017

Contact(s):

Lesli Gray, (972) 439-4542


A black beetle with bright orange spots.

American burying beetle. Credit: Lindsay Vivian, USFWS.
Higher Quality Version of Image

American Electric Power is developing a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) to address impacts to the endangered American burying beetle (ABB) that may result from the construction, operation and/or maintenance of electric transmission and distribution lines or other associated infrastructure in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. The draft HCP would accompany American Electric Power’s request for an Incidental Take Permit (ITP).  

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will prepare a draft Environmental Impact Statement (dEIS) to evaluate the impacts associated with alternatives associated with issuing the ITP to American Electric Power. The Service’s dEIS will consider the proposed issuance of an Incidental Take Permit, supported by an HCP and a no action alternative.  We are requesting public comment on the scope of the issues that the Service should consider in its environmental review of the proposed permit under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Service will use the comments as part of the development of the environmental review as required by NEPA. 

Written comments on alternatives and issues to be addressed must be received by the close of business on February 21, 2017.  Comments may be submitted to the Service in one of the following ways:

  • Electronically: OKES_HCP_EIS@fws.gov; or
  • Fax: 918-581-7467, Attn: OKES HCP EIS; or
  • U.S. Mail: Field Supervisor, Oklahoma Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 9014 E. 21st Street, Tulsa, OK 74129.  

During the 30-day public comment period, four public scoping meetings will be held from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the following locations:

Monday, February 6th

Eastern Oklahoma State College
McAlester Campus
Conference Center 
1802 E College Avenue
McAlester, OK  74501

Tuesday, February 7th

Texarkana College
Truman Arnold Student Center
Levi Hall Conference Room
2500 N. Robinson Road
Texarkana, TX  75599

Wednesday, February 8th

River Park Events Building
121 Riverfront Drive
Fort Smith, AR  72901

Thursday, February 9th

Central Center
Auditorium
1028 E 6th Street
Tulsa, OK  74120


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 www.fws.gov.

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