Info needed on crayfish and cavefish populations
July 01, 2009
The U.S. Geological Survey and Missouri Department of Conservation, in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Missouri Department of Natural Resources, are conducting two studies this summer to assess injury to natural resources related to the historic mining operations within the Tri-State Mining District in Missouri, an area of Newton and Jasper counties where extensive mining of lead and zinc led to significant contamination of groundwater resources. This information was released by Dave Mosby, of the USFWS in Columbia, MO.

The USGS and MDC will assess mining impacts to crayfish in tributaries to the Spring River in southwest Missouri. The MDC will study the presence of Ozark cavefish relative to groundwater contamination in and around the Tri-State Mining District.

The USFWS and MDNR, acting as trustees for the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration for the and Newton counties mining sites, submitted the “Draft Assessment Plan for Jasper and Newton Counties, Missouri” in May 2008 for initial public review and comment. The crayfish and cavefish studies constitute appendices to the Assessment Plan.

The work plans for these studies as well as the final assessment plan can be found on the MDNR’s website. The executive summary reveals that the agencies are working with limited information about the species in order to assess the extent of injury to the natural resources.

The public is invited to review and comment on these studies until July 31, 2009. Comments should be sent to: Frances Klahr, Natural Resource Damage Assessment Coordinator, Missouri Department of Natural Resources Hazardous Waste Program, 1738 E. Elm St., Jefferson City, MO 65109

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