Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Another Attempt to Thwart Texas Border Security Efforts: MUSSELS; Texas Land Official Reels In Biden's Fish and Wildlife Attempt to Sink Border Buoys

Eric Gay | AP
Another attempt to thwart Texas border security efforts: mussels
The Biden administration has taken another approach to block Texas law enforcement officers from accessing the Rio Grande River, according to Texas officials: protecting freshwater river mussels.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing listing two species of freshwater mussels – the Salina mucket and Mexican fawnsfoot – as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. It’s also proposing designating critical habitats for each in two areas of the border where Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star is actively interdicting illegal activity.
The proposal to list these species under the ESA “is based on the best scientific and commercial data available and recently completed Species Status Assessment,” USFWS said. “After careful examination of the best available scientific information for the two freshwater mussels, including estimates of current and future conditions, the Service determined that Salina mucket and Mexican fawnsfoot are in danger of extinction throughout all of their range and meet the definition of endangered under the Endangered Species Act.”
The Biden administration also sued the state of Texas last month in an attempt to stop it from implementing certain border security measures.
The Salina mucket lives in the Lower Canyons and Martin Canyon portions of the Rio Grande downstream of Big Bend National Park. USFWS is proposing designating nearly 200 river miles of critical habitat for it in the Texas border counties of Brewster, Terrell, and Val Verde, where heavy foot traffic of illegal activity is occurring from mostly military age men engaged in human and drug smuggling.
Former Border Patrol agent and Terrell County Sheriff Thad Cleveland told The Center Square, “Past administrations worked with various federal agencies to ensure Border Patrol Agents could exercise their authorities to the fullest extent by exempting them from various acts and laws protecting endangered species and delicate lands. This administration again shows its unwillingness to secure our southern border with Mexico by trying to prevent Governor Abbott and the State of Texas from filling the gap President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas have created. They continue to dismantle the most secure border the United States has ever had. --->READ MORE HERE
Texas Land Official reels in Biden's Fish and Wildlife attempt to sink border buoys
The state's top land official denounced the Biden administration's attempt to protect a mussel species as a "political" shell game aimed at stopping Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) from deploying buoys in the U.S.-Mexico water border to curb illegal immigration.
“Unfortunately, the Biden administration is turning the Endangered Species Act into a political tool to push an agenda rather than ensuring true conservation efforts are implemented," Texas General Land Office Commissioner Dawn Buckingham said in a statement Friday about her complaint to the Biden administration over the endangerment declaration. "This administration is proposing to roll back reasonable improvements made to this law and are simply ignoring the successful accomplishments of private preservationists, state, and local land managers by adding more federal red tape regulations."
The Justice Department took sudden action in late July to shut down Abbott's water buoys, which were installed weeks earlier to block immigrants from crossing the Rio Grande into Eagle Pass, Texas. The DOJ argued that the buoys posed "threats to navigation and public safety and present humanitarian concerns." The buoys stretch 1,000 feet in length, roughly one-fifth of a mile on the 2,000-mile southern boundary.
The Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service announced within 24 hours of the lawsuit that it would list two species of freshwater mussels, including the Mexican fawnsfoot, as endangered. In its proposal to deem the species endangered, FWS cited research that predicted the mussel population would decline “from a ‘low’ current condition to ‘very low’ over the next 25 years" and "be extinct 50 years into the future.”
If successful, the endangerment declaration could force Abbott to take down the buoys and prevent the state from dropping more buoys in the border river in an effort to protect the mussels. Buckingham sent FWS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service a letter opposing the federal action.
A Texas congressman said the government's concern for mussels in the Rio Grande would be ironic given that tens of thousands of noncitizens have trampled through the same spot of river to illegally enter the United States since 2021.
"Clearly, Biden is more concerned about disrupting the habitat of the Mexican mussels than disrupting the operations of Mexican cartels who are destroying the lives of Americans and migrants alike," House Budget Chairman Jodey Arrington, a Republican, said in a statement in early August. "Where was Biden's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s concerns when millions of migrants trampled the mussel’s 'critical habitat' while illegally crossing the Rio Grande?" --->READ MORE HERE
If you like what you see, please "Like" and/or Follow us on FACEBOOK here, GETTR here, and TWITTER here.

No comments: