FWS De-lists One California Desert Plant, Down-lists Another

On February 27, 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) finalized a regulation removing Eureka Valley evening-primrose (Oenothera californica ssp. eurekensis) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants.  The delisting, originally proposed in 2014, is based on the elimination of threats to the subspecies, accomplished largely as a result of the 1994 designation and ongoing management of its dune habitat as federal wilderness within Death Valley National Park.  The National Park Service manages the federal wilderness area under the Park Service’s Organic Act and the Wilderness Act, and limits off-highway vehicle and other potentially impactful recreational activities, thereby significantly reducing potential threats to the plant’s survival and recovery.  The elimination of human-caused threats to the subspecies through federal lands management lead the FWS to find that the plant is no longer either threatened or endangered.

In the same regulation FWS also downlisted from endangered to threatened the Eureka Valley dune grass (Swallenia alexandrae), another plant species endemic to the dune habitat of Death Valley.  The downlisting of the Eureka Valley dune grass was also based on a reduction in human-caused threats.

Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions.

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