Carlsbad landowners chide federal proposal to protect endangered mussel

Alisa Ogden worried a small river mussel could impede her ranching operations in southern Eddy County near the Village of Loving.

Her land sits along the Black River, one of the last known habitats of Texas hornshell mussel which the federal government is working to conserve from extinction.

Ogden said her family worked the land since 1890, and long took steps to prevent damage to the land and nearby ecosystems, work that continued today successfully without federal action as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a critical habitat listing for the mussel.

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“This type of declaration is a slap in the face of all the measures which we have voluntarily implemented so far,” Ogden said. “Declaring critical habitat does not make for more collaboration.”