Endangered Species | Plants
Mountain-Prairie Region
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Five Utah plants


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  • Frisco buckwheat. Credit: USFWS.

    Frisco buckwheat. Credit: USFWS

  • Frisco clover. Credit: USFWS.

    Frisco clover. Credit: USFWS.

  • Ostler pepperplant. Credit: USFWS.

    Ostler pepperplant. Credit: USFWS.

Frisco Buckwheat (Eriogonum soredium)
Frisco Clover (Trifolium friscanum)
Ostler Pepperplant (Lepidium ostleri)

2018 Update

Using the best available science, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a 12-month finding, determining that the Frisco buckwheat, Ostler’s peppergrass, and Frisco clover are not warranted for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Prior to making this determination, the Service completed an in-depth Species Status Assessment for these three southern Utah plant species. This assessment provided the scientific analysis needed for the Service to make this decision.

The assessment evaluated current conditions and potential threats to all three plants. The analysis determined all three have mostly intact habitat, stable population size, and minimal disturbance by adjacent mining activity. The assessment also analyzed the future condition of these plants based on the potential impacts of two main threats: precious metal exploration and stone mining. The analysis concluded there would be minimal negative impacts to all three species if these activities occurred in and around the plants’ habitat. As a result, the assessment concluded the plants are not in danger of becoming extinct now or in the foreseeable future.

2011 Update

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that that the Frisco buckwheat, Ostler pepperplant, and Frisco clover warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act, but that proposing the plants for listing is delayed at this time by the need to address other high priority actions.

We have also determined that the Hamilton milkvetch and Flowers’ beardtongue do not warrant protection under the Act because we found no factors that cause these species to be endangered or threatened.

The Frisco buckwheat, Ostler pepperplant, and Frisco clover are perennial herbs endemic to Beaver and Millard counties in southwestern Utah. All three species are located on Ordovician limestone substrate, which is mined for limestone and precious metals. The Service determined that the primary threat to all three species was habitat loss and fragmentation from activities related to mining. Other threats included nonnative invasive species, inadequate regulatory mechanisms, and small population size.

The Hamilton milkvetch and Flowers’ beardtongue are perennial, herbaceous plants found only in the northeast corner of Utah in the Uinta Basin. In our analyses, we found no evidence that any factor affects these plants to such a degree that either species meets the definition of threatened or endangered under the Act.

The Frisco buckwheat, Ostler pepperplant, and Frisco clover have been added to our list of candidate species and we will review their status annually. While candidate species receive no statutory protection under the Act, inclusion on the candidate list promotes cooperative conservation efforts for these species. Our ultimate goal, which is shared by many state wildlife agencies, private organizations and individuals, is to intervene and successfully address the needs of candidate species so that listing is no longer needed.

For example, we provide technical assistance and competitive matching grants to private landowners, states and territories undertaking conservation efforts on behalf of candidate species. We also work with interested landowners to develop Candidate Conservation Agreements. These voluntary agreements allow citizens to manage their property in ways that benefit candidate species, in some cases precluding the need to list the species. These agreements can also be developed to provide regulatory certainty for landowners should the species become listed under the Act.

Addressing the needs of candidate species before the regulatory requirements of the Act come into play often allows greater management flexibility to stabilize or restore these species and their habitats. In addition, as threats are reduced and populations are increased or stabilized, attention can be shifted to those candidate species in greatest need of the Act’s protective measures.

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.
Last modified: January 06, 2021
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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