FWS rejects petition to list Narrowleaf evening primrose
74 Fed. Reg. 27266 / Vol. 74, No. 109 / Tuesday, June 9, 2009 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service / 50 CFR Part 17 / Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List Oenothera acutissima (Narrowleaf Evening-primrose) as Threatened or Endangered / ACTION: Notice of 90-day petition finding.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list Oenothera acutissima (narrowleaf evening-primrose) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We find that the petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing O. acutissima may be warranted. Therefore, we will not initiate a further status review in response to this petition. We ask the public to submit to us any new information that becomes available concerning the status of O. acutissima or threats to its habitat at any time. This information will help us monitor and encourage the conservation of the species.
Oenothera acutissima is a member of the Onagraceae (evening-primrose) family. Plants are low-growing, herbaceous, perennial rosettes with a long, branching taproot that can produce new shoots. Leaves are bright green, and stiff, with short pointed teeth along each edge. Flowers are bright yellow fading to deep reddish orange, 1–2 inches long. Blooming season is in June, and flowers open in late afternoon and close at mid-morning. Photo from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, an Organized Research Unit of the University of Texas at Austin.
EXCERPT: The petitioners state that nearly all Oenothera acutissima occurrences are on active grazing allotments, open to ORVs, and near roads, and cite generalized information about potential impacts that can occur due to these situations. However, few negative impacts to the plants have resulted or been documented from the potential threats cited in the petition. Little information is presented in the petition regarding the magnitude of potential impacts, or whether they may have population-level effects. The Petitioners state that, when little information is available about population trends and impacts of threats to specific occurrences, the presence of alleged threats such as grazing, combined with scientific information available about the typical effects of grazing on such habitat, lead to the conclusion that plant occurrences are likely to be negatively affected. However, we find that speculation about potential threats and hypothetical impacts, without data supporting these claims, does not meet the criteria described in the Act on making a finding as to whether a petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that a petitioned action may be warranted.