Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Reduction of Threats to Tiny Mountain Plant Leads to Proposed Removal from Endangered Species Act Protection

January 4, 2017


Jane Hendron, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – 760-431-9440 ext. 205

Gloria Sandoval, California State Parks – 916-651-7661

Carlsbad, Calif. Hidden Lake bluecurls, a tiny plant that only occurs along the perimeter of a montane vernal pool in Riverside County, California, is being proposed for removal from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants, following successful conservation efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and partners.

A copy of the proposed rule is on view today at the Federal Register. It will officially publish on January 5. Comments will be accepted on the proposed rule and draft Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan through, from January 5 through March 6, 2017. In the Search box enter Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2016–0127 and click the “Search” button.

Located within California Department of Parks and Recreation’s Mount San Jacinto State Park (State Park), the plant was impacted for decades by recreational uses including hiking, swimming, and horseback riding. The Service listed the plant as threatened in 1998.

“Southern California is home to numerous plants found nowhere else in the world,” says Paul Souza, Regional Director for the Service’s Pacific Southwest Region. “We appreciate the efforts of our partners to conserve the bluecurls and numerous other rare and endangered plants that maintain functioning ecosystems.”

In the 18 years since it was listed under the Endangered Species Act, the Service has worked with the State Park to identify ways to reduce impacts to the plant while seeking to provide recreational access. Additionally, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, California, conducted research on the plant to increase understanding of its biology and life history such as germination requirements and seed bank viability.

“California State Parks is pleased that our efforts, along with those of our partners have proven fruitful, says Ken Kietzer, Senior Environmental Scientist for California State Parks. “We look forward to being able to continue to provide for the preservation of this species while providing park visitors with a unique recreational experience by allowing them access to this sensitive site and sharing a message of conservation success.”

Hidden Lake bluecurls grows about four inches high and produces dark blue flowers. It was first collected by Martha Luella Hilend in 1941, but was not described until 1945. The plant is a member of the mint family.

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