FWS Proposes Critical Habitat Designations for Three Species of Mussels

On July 25 and 26, 2023, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published two proposed rules in the Federal Register designating critical habitat for three different species of mussels – the Salina mucket, the Mexican fawnsfoot and the green floater. The agency also proposed to declare the Salina mucket and Mexican fawnsfoot as endangered species and the green floater as a threatened species.

FWS proposes to designate approximately 200 river miles in Brewster, Terrell, and Val Verde Counties, Texas as critical habitat for the Salina mucket and approximately 185 river miles in Maverick, Webb, and Zapata Counties, Texas as critical habitat for the Mexican fawnsfoot.

For the green floater, FWS proposes to set aside approximately 1,586 miles of streams in Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia as critical habitat.

FWS has certified under the Regulatory Flexibility Act that none of the proposed critical habitat designations will have an impact on small businesses.

Comments on the proposed rules are due September 25, 2023.