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Posted by: In: Uncategorized 19 Dec 2016 0 comments

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black_capped_vireo_male2The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has proposed to remove the black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapilla) from the endangered species list. The Service listed the black-capped vireo as endangered in 1987, noting only 164 mating pairs. After decades of conservation efforts, experts now estimate a population of about 14,000.

 

Dr. Benjamin N. Tuggle, the Service’s Southwest Regional Director said, “Today’s announcement illustrates exactly how the ESA (the Endangered Species Act) works to protect species on the brink of extinction and to successfully recover them.”

 

The Service will take public comment (here) until February 13, 2017 and is anticipated to make a final determination by December 2017. The bird remains protected under the Endangered Species Act; however, if the bird is delisted, the Service would continue to work with partners to monitor its status for a minimum of five years.

 

 

A Brief History:

12/30/1982 – Review of Vertebrate Wildlife for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species

12/12/1986 -Proposed Endangered Status for Black-capped Vireo to be Endangered

10/06/1987 -Determination of Black-capped vireo to be Endangered Species

04/25/2000 – Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment foe Receipt of a Safe Harbor Application to Enhance the Propogation and Survival of the Black-Capped Vireo and the Golden-Cheeked Warbler in the Hill Country of Texas

02/02/2005 -5-Year Review of Black-capped Vireo

09/09/2013 – 90-Day Finding on a Petition to Delist or Reclassify from Endangered to Threatened Five Southwest Species

wolverine-feature-photoThe U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced Tuesday that they are re-opening the comment period for the Proposed Rule to list the North American wolverine as threatened. This announcement comes after the District Court for the District of Montana vacated the Service’s withdrawal of their proposed rule to list the distinct population segment of wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus). The North American wolverine is known to inhabit areas of California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The Comment Period is open until November 17, 2016.

A Brief History:
61 FR 4722      Detailed Evaluation Detailed Population Segment
73 FR 12929    12-month Finding on Petition to List as Endangered or Threatened
75 FR 19591     Initiation of Status Review
75 FR 78030    12-month Finding on Petition to List as Endangered or Threatened
78 FR 7864      Proposed Listing as Threatened
78 FR 7890      Establishment of Nonessential Experimental Population
78 FR 65248   Comment Period on the Proposed Listing Re-Opened
79 FR 6874      6-month Extension of Final Determination
79 FR 47522    Withdrawal of Proposed Rule to List as Threatened
81 FR 71670    Comment Period Re-Opened

Read the Federal Register Announcement

Posted by: In: Endangered Species 20 Oct 2016 0 comments

Texas HornshellThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released the draft Endangered Species Act Compensatory Mitigation Policy this morning. The draft policy is open for public comment until October 17, 2016.

The USFWS states, “The draft ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy, if adopted, would cover permittee-responsible mitigation, conservation banking, in-lieu fee programs, and other third-party mitigation mechanisms, and would stress the need to hold all compensatory mitigation mechanisms to equivalent and effective standards.”

While it is difficult at first glance to determine what the draft policy will change, it appears that USFWS will place more emphasis on impacts to potential habitat as opposed to identifiable adverse effects to species, possibly require a no net loss standard for potential habitat destruction (similar to wetlands), and place greater emphasis on “landscape level” solutions.

Posted by: In: Conferences 24 Aug 2016 0 comments

OmniCome visit us at the TxDOT Environmental Conference from Tuesday, September 12th through Thursday, September 15th in Corpus Christi, TX.

The three-day conference will provide these educational opportunities:

  • Disruptive Technology
  • The Urban Mobility Scorecard
  • Agency Public Involvement Initiatives and Outcomes
  • Environmental Achievement Award Finalists
  • The Harbor Bridge Sustainability Program
  • Climate Issues
  • Air Quality Training for Roadways

The event includes a general session, break-out sessions and a third day devoted to training experiences.

This year’s event will be held at the Omni Corpus Christi, located at 900 North Shoreline Boulevard, Corpus Christi, TX 78401.

Source: (USFWS)U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2016. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for Texas Hornshell. Federal Register, vol. 81,p. 52796

Source: (USFWS)U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2016. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for Texas Hornshell. Federal Register, vol. 81,p. 52796

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced yesterday that it is proposing to list the Texas Hornshell as an Endangered Species. The public comment period will be open for 60 days.

The Texas Hornshell has been on and off the candidate species lists for more than 25 years, and in 2001 the Service entered into two settlement agreements regarding the species.

Efforts are being made in Texas and New Mexico to preserve the species. In New Mexico, the state is working with the Bureau of Land Management and industry along the Black River to develop a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances. In Texas, the Nature Conservancy and state wildlife regulators are managing their lands in the Devils River watershed to reduce sediment and contaminant runoff.

aci consulting performs surveys and relocation of the Texas Hornshell and other mussel species.

Read the Federal Register Announcement

 

 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has officially removed the Lesser Prairie-Chicken from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. This decision comes after years of data evaluation regarding this species which is found in Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.

“The storied prairie landscape of the Southwest is of tremendous economic and cultural importance. It is also a critical area for the birds, mammals, reptiles and other animals that rely on this unique habitat,” Service Director Dan Ashe said in a statement. “Responding to this court ruling by removing the bird from the federal list does not mean we are walking away from efforts to conserve the lesser prairie chicken. Far from it. We are undertaking a new status review to determine whether listing is again warranted, and we will continue to work with our state partners and others on efforts to protect vital habitat and ensure this flagship of the prairies survives well into the future.”

The Lesser Prairie-Chicken was listed on April 10, 2014. The move comes after a 2015 court challenge by the oil and gas industry requested the agency remove the bird from the list. Read the Federal Register