Friday, November 8, 2013

It's unanimous: Arkansas congressmen unhappy about new habitat protection for mussels

Posted By on Fri, Nov 8, 2013 at 12:08 PM

click to enlarge endangered.png
I mentioned recently a growing effort to build opposition to federal Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to designate about 40 percent of the state as critical habitat for two species of mussels — the Neosho mucket, listed as endangered, and rabbitsfoot, listed as threatened.

Sen. Mark Pryor weighed in on this issue last May and got an extension of the public comment period to Oct. 28. The Association of Arkansas Counties has taken the lead in building public opposition to the proposal. The fear is that such activities as road building and fill permits can become more expensive when reviews are necessary for potential presence of the endangered species. The argument is that the area designated as critical habitat is overly large.

Now the Association has announced unanimous objections from the Arkansas congressional delegation — both senators and all four House members.

A release on their opposition, with statements, is here. Note that Sen. Missy Irvin, who crusaded against the largely meaningless Blueway designation for the White River, sniffs another opportunity on this issue and plans state legislative hearings. The Association of Arkansas Counties and other groups mostly business lobbies, has proposed a reduction in the habitat designation by 36 percent after studies by analysts it hired.

This is just the beginning of what could be many similar fights. Some 44 other Arkansas species are considered threatened or endangered and future habitat designations might also present more battlegrounds.

These fights have been waged all over the country, with species preservation being pitted against job creation and the economy.

If you really want to dig into this, here's the portal to the Fish and Wildife Service's mapping of existing critical habitats. In Arkansas, There's a protection area in western Arkansas for the leopard darter, for example.
click to enlarge NEOSHO MUICKET - CHRIS BARNHART/FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
  • Chris Barnhart/Fish and Wildlife Service
  • NEOSHO MUICKET

Go here for information on the Neosho mucket.
RABBITSFOOT - USFWS
  • USFWS
  • RABBITSFOOT

Here's information on the rabbitsfoot.

Tags: , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • After the storm open line

    Flooding remains after a deadly storm that left damage over much of Arkansas. An open line for Sunday evening.
    • Apr 30, 2017
  • LR City Board talks about crime and gang violence

    Police Chief Kenton Buckner talked to the Little Rock City Board this afternoon at a special meeting about violent crime and the role being played by gang activities. The police can do more — and will, he said. But police alone are not the solution for problems besetting the most crime-prone neighborhoods.
    • Apr 30, 2017
  • Opponents of Little Rock school tax say construction possible without new taxes

    Opponents of an extension of 12.4 millions in Little Rock School District property taxes at a cost of $600 million or more say critical construction needs in the district can be made without a bond issue that lines the pockets of bond firms and lawyers.
    • Apr 30, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Workers stiffed

    How is it going with the great experiment to make the Republican Party the champion of the sons and daughters of toil instead of the oligarchs of wealth and business?
  • O'Reilly's fall

    Whom the gods would destroy, they first make TV stars.

Visit Arkansas

Fishing the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Fishing the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Arkansas angler and fishing expert Billy Murray shares his extensive knowledge of the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation