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PACIFIC SOUTHWEST REGION: Columbia Spotted Frog, Tahoe Yellow Cress Among 17 Species Removed From Candidate List for ESA Protections
California-Nevada Offices , October 7, 2015
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The Tahoe yellow cress, a small flowering plant in the mustard family, flourishes on the pristine, high-elevation shore of Lake Tahoe.  Due to successful conservation efforts by federal, state, local and private partners, the plant was removed from the ESA candidate species list.
The Tahoe yellow cress, a small flowering plant in the mustard family, flourishes on the pristine, high-elevation shore of Lake Tahoe. Due to successful conservation efforts by federal, state, local and private partners, the plant was removed from the ESA candidate species list. - Photo Credit: Dan Hottle/USFWS
A Columbia spotted frog and its egg clutch.
A Columbia spotted frog and its egg clutch. - Photo Credit: Chad Mellison/USFWS
A Columbia spotted frog, a small amphibian located in northeastern Nevada, and southern Oregon and Idaho, in its natural Great Basin habitat. Due to successful conservation efforts by federal, state, local and private partners, the frog was removed from the ESA candidate species list.
A Columbia spotted frog, a small amphibian located in northeastern Nevada, and southern Oregon and Idaho, in its natural Great Basin habitat. Due to successful conservation efforts by federal, state, local and private partners, the frog was removed from the ESA candidate species list. - Photo Credit: Chad Mellison/USFWS
An enclosure boundary fence helps protect the Tahoe yellow cress, a small flowering plant in the mustard family, from human recreational impacts on the pristine, high-elevation shore of Lake Tahoe.  Due to successful conservation efforts by federal, state, local and private partners, the plant was removed from the ESA candidate species list.
An enclosure boundary fence helps protect the Tahoe yellow cress, a small flowering plant in the mustard family, from human recreational impacts on the pristine, high-elevation shore of Lake Tahoe. Due to successful conservation efforts by federal, state, local and private partners, the plant was removed from the ESA candidate species list. - Photo Credit: Dan Hottle/USFWS

By Dan Hottle

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced 17 species nationwide that now have sufficient enough protections in place for them to be removed as candidates for federal protections under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Two of these species -- a tiny little mustard family plant that grows only along an iconic western American lakeshore, and an equally tiny amphibian who tenaciously makes its aquatic home in one of the most bone-dry landscapes in North America – are included in that roster, and can be found thriving in the Service’s Pacific Southwest Region.

The Tahoe yellow cress, found only around the pristine, high-elevation shores of Lake Tahoe (both Nevada and California sides) and the Columbia spotted frog, found in northeastern Nevada and southern Oregon and Idaho, are no longer candidates for listing under the ESA thanks to the work of long-term, multi-partner conservation organizations in both states that are comprised of federal, state, local agencies and private citizens dedicated to protecting imperiled species and their valuable habitats across both public and private lands.

"The  efforts that went into protecting Tahoe yellow cress and the Great Basin population of the Columbia spotted frog represent what can truly be achieved through collaborative conservation," said Ted Koch, Reno Fish and Wildlife Office supervisor.  "Our dedicated California and Nevada partners should be proud of what they've accomplished for these two species."

The states of California and Nevada are no strangers to cross-boundary collaboration to protect their respective fish, wildlife and plants that may in trouble due to any number of various human and ecological threats. Intra-state partnership efforts between agencies and private groups who may at one time have even been wary of each other are coming together one after another in a successfully positive and almost unprecedented way to address threats to multiple imperiled species throughout the two states. None of these conservation wins have been more evident than in the protection of the Bi-state sage-grouse along the California-Nevada border, or the Greater sage-grouse across the Great Basin and 11 western states, all of which were removed from federal protection candidacy within the past year.

They’re well-thought, strategic conservation plans that are being identified, outlined and implemented by concerned citizens who are addressing the most basic tenant of the Endangered Species Act – and the mission of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service: to protect and conserve ecosystems and the species that depend upon them for future generations. This conservation ethic is not new. But is driven by a basic desire to conserve, protect and restore habitats BEFORE species require the regulatory safety net provided by the ESA. The result is a win-win, both for species and people involved.

The protected species enjoys a bright, sustained, healthy future, and those who worked on the ground to put the plans into place carry the distinction of being able to know they put their differences aside to work together for the enjoyment of our planet’s natural resources for our country’s future generations.

Click here to learn more about how the work that was done to help Tahoe yellow cress, Columbia spotted frog and 15 other species avoid ESA regulation:  Seventeen Candidate Species Found to No Longer Warrant Listing Due to Conservation Successes

View photo galleries of the the Columbia spotted frog and Tahoe yellow cress on our Flickr site.

Listen to our partners talk about how collaboration efforts led to these successes on our Youtube channel.

More information about the life history, range and status of Columbia spotted frog.
More information about the life history, range and status of Tahoe yellow cress 

-- FWS --

 

Dan Hottle is a public affairs specialist in the Reno Fish and Wildlife Office, Reno, Nevada.


Alison Stanton, an independent research botanist working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, explains how sound scientific research conducted over the past 15 years helped keep Tahoe yellow cress off the ESA candidate species list.
https://youtu.be/S6_r_vtQe_I
Contact Info: Jon Myatt, 916-414-6474, jon_myatt@fws.gov
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