[Federal Register: November 29, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 228)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 66600-66601]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AF57

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of Public 
Hearing and Reopening of Comment Period on the Proposed Rule To List 
the Scaleshell Mussel as Endangered

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of public hearing and reopening of 
comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, pursuant to the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), provide notice that we are 
holding a public hearing and reopening the comment period on the 
proposed rule to list the scaleshell mussel (Leptodea leptodon) as an 
endangered species. We invite all interested parties to submit comments 
on this proposal. The reopening of the comment period will further 
opportunity for all interested parties to submit comments on the 
proposal, which is available (see ADDRESSES).

DATES: The public hearing will be held from 7 PM to 10 PM on Wednesday, 
December 8, 1999, in Jefferson City, Missouri. The comment period is 
reopened on November 29, 1999, and will close on January 7, 2000. In 
the final decision on this proposal, we will consider any comments 
received by the closing date.

ADDRESSES: The public hearing will be held at the Runge Conservation 
Nature Center Auditorium located in Jefferson City, Missouri, 
approximately 0.5 miles north of Highway 50 on Highway 179. You may 
submit written comments and materials concerning the proposal at the 
hearing or send them directly to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 608 East Cherry Street, Room 200, Columbia, Missouri 

[[Page 66601]]

Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours, at the above 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service address.

573/876/1911, extension 110; facsimile 573/876/1914.



    The scaleshell mussel (Leptodea leptodon) historically occurred in 
13 states in the eastern United States. Currently, the species is known 
from a few scattered populations within the Mississippi River basin in 
Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Scaleshell inhabits medium-sized to 
large rivers with stable channels and good water quality. The abundance 
and distribution of scaleshell has decreased from habitat loss and 
adverse effects associated with water quality degradation, reservoir 
construction, sedimentation, channelization, and dredging. These 
habitat changes have resulted in significant extirpations, restricted 
and fragmented distributions, and poor recruitment.
    On August 13, 1999, we published a rule proposing endangered status 
for the scaleshell mussel in the Federal Register (64 FR 44171). 
Section 4(b)(5)(E) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires that we 
hold a public hearing if it is requested within 45 days of the 
publication of the proposed rule. We received numerous requests for a 
hearing from the public within the allotted time. Public hearings are 
designed to gather relevant information that the public may have that 
we must consider in determining the status of and threats to this 
species. We invite the public to submit information and comments either 
at the hearing on December 8, 1999, or in writing on or before the 
close of business January 7, 2000.
    The hearing will be at the Runge Conservation Nature Center, 
Jefferson City, Missouri on Wednesday, December 8, 1999, from 7:00 PM 
to 10:00 PM. An informal open forum will be held prior to the public 
hearing from 5:00 to 6:30 PM at the public hearing location. The 
purpose of the forum is to answer specific questions regarding the 
proposed rule. All interested parties are invited to attend. We 
encourage persons wishing to comment at the formal hearing to provide a 
written copy of their statement at the start of the hearing. Oral 
statements given at the formal hearing may be limited in length, if the 
number of parties who wish to comment necessitates such a limitation. 
There is no limit on the length of written comments. Persons may also 
send written comments to our office (see ADDRESSES section) at any time 
during the open comment period. Equal consideration is given to oral 
and written comments. We are publishing legal notices announcing the 
date, time, and location of the hearing in newspapers, concurrently 
with this Federal Register notice. The comment period on the proposal 
initially closed on October 13, 1999. To accommodate the hearing, we 
are reopening the public comment period upon publication of this 
notice. The public comment period will close on January 7, 2000.
    Author: The primary author of this notice is Andy Roberts (see 
ADDRESSES section).

    Authority: The authority for this action is the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
    Dated: November 8, 1999.
Charles M. Wooley,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services.
[FR Doc. 99-29821 Filed 11-26-99; 8:45 am]