WASHINGTON (CN) – The Frisco clover, Oslter’s peppergrass and Frisco buckwheat are three wild prairie plants the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believes should be protected as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act but for which listing is prevented by higher priority listings.
The three plants, endemic to Utah’s San Francisco Mountains, are among 206 species in the mountain prairie region that the conservation group WildEarth Guardians petitioned the agency to list under the act in July of 2007.
The agency found that listing two other plants from the petition, the Hamilton milkvetch and the Flowers penstemon, was unwarranted at this time. The five species were the last of those on the petition.
According to the agency’s 12-month status review, the clover, buckwheat and peppergrass are threatened by the quarrying of the limestone substrate on which they grow. The plants are in danger of being displaced by invasive species.
The agency first determined that listing was warranted for the three species in the 1980s but then dropped them from consideration as listing requirements and the agency’s method of assessing priority of listing actions changed in the 1990s.