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Big Country minnows face extinction

By Chelsea Humphrey, chumphrey@ktxs.com
Published On: Aug 20 2013 07:26:53 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 21 2013 11:46:48 AM CDT

The Sharpnose Shiner and Smalleye Shiner could soon be endangered species living in a critical habitat.

That's what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing.

Over the last few years more than half of their habitat has been lost due to drought.

In addition to adding these minnows to the endangered species list, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes designating 623 miles of the Brazos River as a critical habitat.

Portions of the critical habitat will be found in Fisher, Kent, Stonewall, Haskell, Throckmorton, Knox, and King Counties.

According to Lesli Gray with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, "for private landownwers it doesn't have any or impose restrictions beyond what might occur as a result of the species being listed".

If you still have questions or concerns regarding the proposals, the service wants to hear from you.

A public meeting and hearing will be held at the Abilene Civic Center on September 4th.

The meeting will explain the details of the proposals and stars at 5:00 p.m.

The hearing allows the public to comment and ask questions. This portion will begin at 6:30 p.m. and last until 8:00 p.m.

While the hearing and meeting will be held September 4th, public comments can be submitted online at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home through October 7, 2013.