Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with support from the states of Utah and Colorado, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and many others, withdrew a proposal to list Graham's beardtongue and White River beardtongue wildflowers under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Although an ESA listing provides protections to plants that are in danger of or threatened with extinction, in some cases the best conservation occurs when multiple partners work together to protect a species on federal, state and private lands, which is exactly what we have done.
In August 2013 we proposed to list both plants as threatened under the ESA because of potential threats they faced from energy development, livestock grazing, invasive weeds, small population sizes and climate change.
After our proposal, we worked with Uintah and Rio Blanco counties, the state of Utah, Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), Utah Public Lands Policy Coordination Office, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and BLM in Utah and Colorado to develop conservation measures to protect these rare wildflowers in the Uintah Basin in Utah and on the Colorado/Utah border.