Critical habitat proposal "too broad"

    6:45 PM, Nov 12, 2013   |    comments
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    Scaleshell mussel (Leptodea leptodon)(Photo: fws.gov)

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - An endangered Arkansas species could soon restrict construction on your property.

    On Tuesday, the Senate and House for Local Affairs, Agriculture and Economic Development discussed a proposal for the endangered fresh-water Neosho Mucket and Rabbitsfoot Mussels.

    The proposal from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services wants to designate more than 40 percent of Arkansas as critical habitat. It would outline the areas where the mussels live.

    "Once that map has been established, you don't have to prove that species ever lived again. If some third party questions them, its puts them in a position of having to show that what they're doing is not harming that species," said Jeff Skiles, Legislative director.

    As of Tuesday's meeting, every member of Arkansas' congressional delegation has deemed the federal proposal too broad.

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