Service Seeks Public Comment on Draft Recovery Plan for Slickspot Peppergrass

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has announced the availability of a draft recovery plan for slickspot peppergrass and a 60-day public comment period. The draft plan provides recovery criteria and actions based on the best available science to improve the status of the species and guide conservation work. 

The public is invited to provide comment on the draft plan through January 3, 2024 

Slickspot peppergrass is a flowering plant native to southwestern Idaho. It occurs primarily in a specialized soil type known as “slick spots” in portions of five Idaho counties. The plant occurs in a very small geographic range in Idaho and nowhere else in the world. Slickspot peppergrass is impacted by several threats, including wildfires and competition from invasive annual grass. 

This plant was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2016 and approximately 78,000 acres of critical habitat for the species was designated earlier in 2023. The slickspot peppergrass recovery plan seeks to: 
1.    Improve sagebrush sagebrush
The western United States’ sagebrush country encompasses over 175 million acres of public and private lands. The sagebrush landscape provides many benefits to our rural economies and communities, and it serves as crucial habitat for a diversity of wildlife, including the iconic greater sage-grouse and over 350 other species.

Learn more about sagebrush
steppe habitat in the vicinity of slickspot peppergrass occurrences. 
2.    Protect and enhance the species’ population and its ability to withstand catastrophic events.  
3.    Secure existing populations and residual habitat from development or other disturbance with long-term planning, agreements, and implementation of best management practices. 
4.    Maintain and expand genetic and ecological diversity through management actions and research. 

The Endangered Species Act provides a critical safety net for fish, wildlife and plants and has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species, as well as promoted the recovery of many others, and conserved the habitats upon which they depend. 

Today, hundreds of species are stable or improving thanks to management actions of Tribes, federal agencies, state and local governments, conservation organizations and private citizens. Working with our partners, the Service uses a range of conservation tools to recover threatened and endangered species. Recovery plans are one such tool, providing a roadmap for recovery of listed species in coordination with public and private partners.  
The announcement comes as the Endangered Species Act The turns 50 years old in 2023. Throughout the year, the Department of the Interior is celebrating the Act's importance in preventing imperiled species' extinction, promoting the recovery of wildlife and conserving the habitats upon which they depend. 

Learn more about the successes, challenges, and bright future of conservation work powered by the Endangered Species Act here.