The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a long tradition of scientific excellence and always uses the best-available science to inform its work to conserve fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitat for the benefit of the American public.
Created in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, today's National Wildlife Refuge System protects habitats and wildlife across the country, from the Alaskan tundra to subtropical wetlands. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Refuge System's 560-plus refuges cover more than 150 million acres and protect nearly 1,400 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
While national wildlife refuges were created to protect wildlife, they are for people too. Refuges are ideal places for people of all ages to explore and connect with the natural world. We invite you to learn more about and visit the national wildlife refuges and wetland management districts in Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
The Mountain-Prairie Region's Office of Ecological Services (ES) works to restore and protect healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and plants and the environments upon which they depend. Using the best available science, ES personnel work with Federal, State, Tribal, local, and non-profit stakeholders, as well as private land owners, to avoid, minimize, and mitigate threats to our Nation's natural resources.
Providing leadership in the conservation of migratory bird habitat through partnerships, grants, and outreach for present and future generations. The Migratory Bird Program is responsible for maintaining healthy migratory bird populations for the benefit of the American people.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program in the Mountain-Prairie Region helps conserve, protect, and enhance aquatic resources and provides economically valuable recreational fishing to anglers across the country. The program comprises 12 National Fish Hatcheries.
Law enforcement is essential to virtually every aspect of wildlife conservation. The Office of Law Enforcement contributes to Service efforts to manage ecosystems, save endangered species, conserve migratory birds, preserve wildlife habitat, restore fisheries, combat invasive species, and promote international wildlife conservation.
External Affairs staff in the Mountain-Prairie Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides support to the regional office and field stations to communicate and facilitate information about the Service's programs to the public, media, Congress, Tribes, partners, and other stakeholders in the 8-state region.
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.
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.