Protection Sought for Rare Wildflowers Threatened by Oil Shale DevelopmentSource: Shale Energy Insider | 14 July 2014
A broad coalition of conservation groups have sent a letter to the US Fish and Wildlife Service urging the agency to grant Endangered Species Act protection to two imperiled wildflowers in Utah and Colorado. The Service proposed to protect the flowers and some of their most important habitat last August.
Unfortunately, in May, bowing to pressure from industrial energy interests, the agency announced it was considering substituting protection under the act with a completely voluntary “conservation agreement” to be executed by the US Bureau of Land Management as well as state and county agencies—the same parties that for many years have worked to block federal protection of the Graham’s and White River beardtongues.
The best available science makes clear that the two wildflowers need the protection of the Endangered Species Act to survive, according to the letter sent to the service this week by the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice, Rocky Mountain Wild, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Utah Native Plant Society, Western Resource Advocates and Western Watersheds Project.