Walter G. Wright
Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law
The Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) sent a June 8th letter to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) urging completion of Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) status reviews and listing proposals for 23 southeastern United States species.
The targeted species include 9 plants, 8 insects, 4 crayfish, and 2 mollusks which are stated to originate from the following southeastern states:
- Florida (13 species)
- North Carolina/Tennessee (5 species each)
- Alabama/Georgia/South Carolina (4 species each)
- Kentucky/Virginia (3 species each)
The others are stated to occur in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
CBD references a prior submission to the Service regarding 61 southeastern species for which ESA protection was sought. It states that based on Service determinations the species warrant protection (i.e., positive 90-day findings). The required status reviews are stated to be six years overdue.
Concern is expressed that the Service is considering withdrawing positive 90-day findings for “dozens of species absent completing 12-month status reviews as mandated by the Act.”
CBD offers to take a “more cooperative approach.” As a result, it notes contacting the Service to review the list of species which were under threat of not receiving completed status reviews and to consider withdrawing some if information indicated this is warranted.
The organization’s June 8th letter in fact withdraws 38 species from its prior 2010 petition. However, it requests action on the previously referenced remaining 23 species.
A copy of the June 8th letter (which identifies the 63 species [both withdrawn and those for which action is requested] can be downloaded here.