Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

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

 June 9, 2009  

Contacts:  Patty Gelatt 970-243-2778 ext 26

                  Diane Katzenberger 303-236-4578

 

Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Decision on Petition to List

the Narrowleaf Evening Primrose

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today a petition to protect the narrowleaf evening primrose, a plant found in northeastern Utah and northwestern Colorado, under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) does not provide substantial scientific information indicating that protection might be warranted.

 

The narrowleaf evening primrose occurs primarily on the Ashley National Forest in northeastern Utah and on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and private owners in northwestern Colorado.

 

Although the Service will not commence a status review of the narrowleaf evening primrose in response to this petition, it will continue to monitor the plant’s population status, potential impacts, and ongoing management actions that might be important to the conservation of the species.

 

The Service asks the public to submit any new information that becomes available regarding the distribution of and impacts to the narrowleaf evening primrose.

 

The Service made this determination in response to a petition from the Center for Native Ecosystems and the Colorado Native Plant Society seeking to add the narrowleaf evening primrose to the Federal list of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife and Plants.

 

The petition cited damage from livestock grazing as the primary threat to the plant.  However, recent field research indicates the plant’s compatibility with grazing which, in some cases, helps maintain open areas of bare ground where the plant thrives.  Results conclude that abundant plant populations persist in areas with a long history of grazing. 

 

The petition offers generalizations regarding other potential threats to the plant, but fails to provide information to support those generalizations.

 

The narrowleaf evening primrose is a low-growing herbaceous perennial rosette with bright green leaves and bright yellow flowers fading to deep reddish orange.  Blooming season is in June.  Flowers open in late afternoon and close at mid-morning.  Plants grow on sandy and gravelly soils derived from red quartzite of the Uinta Mountain Range.  Occurrences are found in seasonally moist areas in open meadows, depressions, arroyos and rock crevices of conifer forests at 8,500 feet elevation down to sagebrush scrub communities at 3,900 feet elevation.  The narrowleaf evening primrose is similar to many other evening primrose species in its ability to thrive on open, bare soil and disturbed ground.

 

This finding is published in today’s Federal Register and is available on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/plants

 

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.