WHEREAS, the Rigolette Bayou watershed population of the threatened Louisiana pearlshell mussel in Grant Parish was identified at least 15 years ago, and
WHEREAS, the only rangewide survey of this species on this watershed was conducted in 1 999, and
WHEREAS, the Recovery Plan for this species requires a rangewide survey every three years, and
WHEREAS, the Louisiana Natural Heritage Program of LDWF was contracted to conduct the survey on private lands, but was unable to carry out the survey in 2006 due to adverse weather, and
WHEREAS, changing weather patterns, including increased hurricane and heavy rain activity the past two years, have jeopardized carrying out the survey during the traditional August-September period, and
WHEREAS, highway construction, land clearing and logging are putting this population at risk on its most productive streams, and
WHEREAS, without this survey, providing up-to-date population and trend data figures, it will be impossible to gauge the impact of adverse land use activities or develop criteria for delisting, and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) had final responsibility for the species.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the LWF urges the US Fish and Wildlife Service to work with the Louisiana Natural Heritage Program to conduct a survey of the range of the Louisiana Pearlshell Mussel on private lands at the earliest possible date in 2007 when conditions are suitable, and to utilize data gathered to develop criteria for delisting.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in convention assembled, 4 March 2007, in Gonzales, Louisiana.