|Topic:||Endangered and Threatened Species of the Platte River|
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
National Research Council
Division of Earth and Life Studies
Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology
Water Science and Technology Board
Committee on Endangered and Threatened Species in the Platte River Basin
Tuesday, April 27, 2004 -- 2:00 p.m.
HC-7, The Capitol Building
Endangered and Threatened Species of the Platte River
Conflicts over the protection of federally listed species and water management in the Platte River Basin have existed for more than 25 years. In recent years, the Fish and Wildlife Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior issued a series of opinions requiring that new water depletions would have to be balanced by mitigation measures, and a lawsuit forced the designation of "critical habitat" for the piping plover. These and other controversies prompted the Department of the Interior and the Governance Committee of the Platte River Endangered Species Partnership to request that the Research Council examine whether the current designations of "critical habitat" for the whooping crane and piping plover are supported by existing science. The Research Council was also asked to assess whether current habitat conditions are affecting the survival of listed species -- including terns and pallid sturgeons -- or limiting their chances of recovery, and to examine the scientific basis for the department's instream-flow recommendations, habitat-suitability guidelines, and other decisions.
This briefing was for members of Congress and congressional staff only. The report was publicly released on April 28, 2004 and can be found, in its entirety, on the Web site of the National Academies Press.