Federal court backs protections for rare Utah wildflowers

By: Amy Joi O’Donoghue, Deseret News Utah
10/27/2016

SALT LAKE CITY – A federal court ruled Wednesday that a conservation agreement does not go far enough to protect two rare types of wildflowers that grow only in oil shale formations in Utah and Colorado.

The U.S. District Court in Colorado vacated the decision by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to refrain from adding the White River and Graham’s beardtongue populations to protections under the Endangered Species Act.

 Instead, attorneys from environmental groups that challenged provisions of a 15-year conservation agreement were directed to sit down by late February with attorneys from the federal government, the state of Utah, Uintah County and other parties to see if the agreement can be modified to their satisfaction.

The court faulted the agreement on one level for failing to have an automatic renewal provision, citing reasoning by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that a “better understanding” of threats and impacts as insufficient.

Read more at Deseret News Utah.

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