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Arkansas' congressional delegation opposes mussel plan

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 10, 2014 at 4:12 p.m.

Members of Arkansas' congressional delegation want federal wildlife officials to reduce the size of a "critical habitat" area for two types of rare mussels.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last Sept. 17 proposed the designation along 769 miles of streams, saying the mussels are indicators of water quality. Listing the Neosho mucket as endangered and the rabbitsfoot mussel as threatened makes it illegal to kill, harm, harvest or possess them.

The state's senators and four congressmen say 42 percent of Arkansas' surface area could be impacted by new regulations. On Friday, they said the "critical habitat" designation was flawed and asked that the size of the area be reduced.

The Fish and Wildlife Service says the mussels' habitat is being threatened by channelization, chemicals, mining and sedimentation.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more details.

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Lakeview says... January 11, 2014 at 4:37 p.m.

I wish that I knew the answer. I certainly do not always agree with our Government intrusion into our lives but once in a while it becomes valid. Used to be that we could go near where The Spring River runs into Black River to swim and gather Muscles to search for Pearls. No more. There is so much runoff from farming operations that there are few Muscles in the area.
We need the Farms, the chemicals that produce our food, etc. You can't pick up the chemicles and simply put them back in a bucket for next year.
There has to be an answer. If it can be produced, it can be disposed of in a safe manner

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