On August 4, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced its decision to list two small Texas minnows -- the sharpnose shiner (Notropis oxyrhynchus) and smalleye shiner (N. buccula) -- as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The two Texas minnows, which have been candidates species since 2002, measure less than 2 inches and have a life span of less than three years. According to the announcement issued by the Service, the "two primary factors affecting the status of the shiners are river fragmentation and alterations of the natural stream flow regime (caused by dams, groundwater withdrawal, saltcedar encroachment and drought)." In a FAQ issued with the announcement, the Service acknowledges that as a result of the listing there will likely be impacts to water management in the area.
In addition to listing the two minnows, the Service also announced the designation of approximately 623 miles of critical habitat in the Upper Brazos River Basin and the upland areas. The FAQ issued with the announcement also states that the Service expects that the impacts from the critical habitat designation will be less than $84,000 per year.
The final rule will become effective 30 days after publication.
Ben Rubin assists developers, public agencies, landowners, and corporate clients on a variety of complex land use and environmental matters. He counsels clients on matters dealing with the Federal and State Endangered Species ...
Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions.
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