Scaled-down critical habitat designations for mussels announced
LITTLE ROCK — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday it has finalized critical habitat designations for the Neosho mucket and rabbitsfoot mussels in Arkansas and 11 other states that are smaller than the designations it initially proposed.
Members of Arkansas’ congressional delegation said they were pleased with the reductions but expressed concerns that the agency had underestimated the economic impact of the designations.
“The most notable reduction occurs in Arkansas,” Chris Davidson, supervisor of the agency’s Endangered Species Program in Arkansas, said in a conference call with reporters. “The final designation for rabbitsfoot in Arkansas was reduced by 27 percent from what was originally proposed.”