TEXAS HORNSHELL MUSSEL PROGRAM
In 1989, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was petitioned to list the Texas hornshell mussel (Popenaias popeii) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. In 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ruled that listing the Texas hornshell was warranted but precluded because of other higher priority species. On August 10th, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposed rule to list the Texas hornshell under the Endangered Species Act. Finally, on February 9th, 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services officially listed the Texas hornshell under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
In response to the proposed listing in 2016, CEHMM partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico State Land Office, and several other state and federal agencies to develop a Candidate Conservation Agreement and a Candidate Conservation
Agreement with Assurances for Texas hornshell and other impaired aquatic species in southeastern New Mexico and west Texas. This allowed voluntary participation of entities or individuals holding permits, leases, grants, and other authorizations issued by the BLM to conduct activities on Federal lands or minerals to address the conservation of these imperiled species.
These voluntary agreements facilitate cooperation and conservation from stakeholders to protect the Texas hornshell and the other covered species. When enrolling in the conservation agreements, stakeholders agreed to follow conservation measures that, when fully implemented, reduce or eliminate threats to hornshell and the other covered species. The agreements are based on adaptive management principles. They are constantly evolving and using the best available science to protect the species.
CEHMM and the New Mexico State Land Office have enrolled 102 Participates into the agreement through Certificates of Inclusion or Certificates of Participation. Participants have enrolled more than 400,000 acres in the agreement. The conservation agreements have raised more than four million dollars to be used to conserve the Texas hornshell and the other covered species. The agreements have funded multiple research and habitat restoration projects with these funds.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
FLUME DRAW EROSION CONTROL PROJECT
The Texas hornshell program at CEHMM recently wrapped up an extensive erosion control project along the Flume Draw near the Black River. CEHMM utilized natural materials and wire panel fencing to build sixteen new erosion control structures. With these structures in place there should be an improvement in the upland vegetation and a reduction in sediment making it to the Black River and threatening the Texas hornshell mussel.
SECOND QUARTER PROJECT PROPOSALS
CEHMM and the New Mexico State Land Office are now accepting project proposals to fund projects related to research and monitoring, or habitat restoration for the Texas hornshell and the programs Other Covered Species. Proposals are ranked and funded on a quarterly basis. The remaining deadlines to submit project proposals in 2022 are July 1st (Q3 funding review) and October 1st (Q4 funding review). Please contact Matt Ramey (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.