FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Vicki M. Boatwright or October 17, 1995 Diana M. Hawkins U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENTS ON A RECOVERY PLAN FOR AN ALABAMA FERN
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comments on a recovery plan written for the fern, thelypteris pilosa var. alabamensis, which grows only along a 4.25 mile segment of the Sipsey Fork River -- a tributary of Winston County's Black Warrior River in Alabama.
This small plant, which also goes by the name of Alabama streak-sorus fern, was listed in July 1992 as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Most of the sites where it grows can be found in the Bankhead National Forest, while a few others are located on private land. The Act defines a threatened species as likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future, while an endangered species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
The Alabama streak-sorus fern clings to crevices and rough rock surfaces of Pottsville sandstone on bluffs along the river. The plants typically occur on "ceilings" of sandstone overhangs, known as rockhouses; on ledges beneath overhangs; and on exposed cliff faces.
The species is considered extremely vulnerable because of its limited distribution and the small number of plants found at many of the sites.
The recovery plan's purpose is to outline those actions that are needed to recover the Alabama streak-sorus fern to the point that it can be delisted. Major tasks include the protection, management, and monitoring of existing sites; searching for additional populations; cultivation of plants; and, where necessary, establishing additional populations.
When completed, the plan will guide the actions of all Federal/State agencies and other interested parties whose actions might affect the conservation of this species. The plan does not affect private landowners, who are under no obligation to protect endangered or threatened plants on their land.
The Service will collect written public comments on the recovery plan until November 15, 1995. Copies of the draft plan can be obtained from the Service by writing to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Office, 6578 Dogwood View Parkway, Suite A, Jackson, Mississippi 39213 or by calling 601/965-4900.
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1995 News Releases