Niangua Darter Endangered Species Act Success Story   [open pdf - 14KB]

"The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) routinely consults the services under Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This requires Federal agencies to avoid jeopardizing continued existence of threatened or endangered species. However, many of us bypass Section 7(a)(1) ESA, which requires Federal agencies to use their program for conservation measures. Conservation of a species involves more than just avoiding jeopardy. Starting with a disaster in 2002, FEMA-1412-DR-MO, the Service approached FEMA Region VII with a partnership opportunity to enhance fish passage in Niangua darter critical habitat. Low water crossings provide a barrier to Niangua darter and result in habitat segmentation. In 2008, the Service identified 32 priority low water crossings in Niangua darter habitat; these priority crossings provide the most formidable barriers for the Niangua darter and gauge the magnitude of the benefit that would be realized by improving fish passage based on both proximity and the linear stream miles that would be reopened to unobstructed passage. Over many years, in a very fragmented disaster recovery approach, FEMA has contributed to replacing several of these priority low water crossings."

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