Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

 

May 15, 2008

Contacts:          Larry Crist, Field Supervisor 801-975-3330

                           Diane Katzenberger 303-236-4578

             

Maguire Daisy Proposed for Delisting

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to remove the Maguire daisy (Erigeron maguirei), a perennial herb found in southeastern Utah from the Federal list of Threatened and Endangered Species.  The plant occurs from the San Rafael Swell in Emery County, south into Wayne and Garfield Counties through the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef.

 

The best scientific and commercial information available indicates the Maguire daisy has recovered and no longer meets the definition of threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.  Cooperative recovery efforts have substantially increased the known number and distribution of Maguire daisy populations range-wide, stabilized populations, addressed threats, and provided adequate protection and management to ensure the plant’s long-term persistence.

 

“It is fitting that we are announcing our proposal to remove the Maguire daisy from the list of threatened and endangered species on the eve of Endangered Species Day – a day set aside by Congress to celebrate America’s commitment to protecting and recovering native species,” said Steve Guertin, Director of the Service’s Mountain-Prairie Region. 

 

Because the Service intends that the final decision resulting from this proposal to be as accurate and effective as possible, we are soliciting comments and information from the public, other governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties concerning this proposal to delist the Maguire daisy.

 

Comments particularly are sought concerning: current or likely future impacts to the plant, its range and distribution and locations of additional populations, information concerning current or planned activities in the plant’s habitat and possible impacts from these activities, and the draft post-delisting monitoring plan.

 

The proposal will be published in tomorrow’s Federal Register.

 

Other information regarding this proposal can be found at the Service’s web site at: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/plants/maguiredaisy.

 

Comments regarding the proposed rule and post-delisting monitoring plan must be received by July 15, 2008.  All comments will be considered before a final determination is made.

 

Comments and information may be submitted electronically via the federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov; or hand delivered or mailed to - Public Comments Processing, Attn:  RIN 1018-AU67; Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222, Arlington, VA 22203.  We will not accept comments via e-mail or fax.

 

The Maguire daisy was listed as an endangered species in September 1984.  In 1994, the Service accepted a taxonomic revision of E. maguirei that included the plant variety formerly known as E. maguirei var. harrisonii.  Combining the two varieties into one species increased the total known populations for the Maguire daisy.  Based on the new genetic information and the combining of the two varieties, the Service proposed to reclassify the species from endangered to threatened and downlisted the plant in 1996.

 

Since the plant was listed, Federal land management agencies have worked collaboratively to ensure long-term protection of the Maguire daisy and its habitat.  Approximately 97 percent of the plant’s range occurs on Federal lands with substantial protective measures in place. To further ensure conservation efforts continue post-delisting, an Interagency Rare Plant Team has developed a conservation strategy – a multi-year joint project by the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service.  The conservation strategy can be viewed at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/species/plants/maguiredaisy. 

 

Mineral exploration and development and off-road vehicle recreation were listed as threats to the Maguire Daisy when it was listed in 1984 and downlisted in 1996.  Since the last Federal action, recovery efforts have increased our understanding of the plant, its habitat, distribution, and abundance.  The species occurs predominately within the Navajo Sandstone formation which has low potential for oil and gas development and uranium mining.  Most mineral resources occur on the periphery of mapped populations and, therefore, are not likely to significantly impact any of the populations.  Land management protections throughout most of the species’ range have reduced the impacts of recreational use.  While potential impacts to individual plants could occur when either accessing mineral resources or during recreational use, these activities are considered unlikely to materialize in a meaningful way in the foreseeable future.

 

If the Maguire daisy is delisted, the Service, in cooperation with our Federal partners, will continue to monitor the status of the plant through at least 2017.  The Service can reinitiate listing the plant if it again becomes imperiled.

 

A member of the sunflower family, the Maguire daisy is a perennial herb with a branched woody base.  Its stems and spatulate-shaped leaves are densely spreading and hairy.  Its flowers are dime sized with white or pink petals.

 

Native plants are important for their ecological, economic and aesthetic values.  Plants play an important role in development of crops that resist disease, insects and drought.  At least 25 percent of prescription drugs contain ingredients derived from plant compounds, including medicine to treat cancer, heart disease, juvenile leukemia and malaria, as well as those used to assist in organ transplants.  Plants are also used to develop natural pesticides.

 

A species can be listed as endangered if it is in danger of extinction within all or a significant portion of its range.  A species can be listed as threatened if it is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future.

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

 

-FWS-