FWS considering changes to critical habitat for clay-loving wild buckwheat
74 Fed. Reg. 29456 / Vol. 74, No. 118 / Monday, June 22, 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 Revise Critical Habitat for Eriogonum pelinophilum (Clay-Loving Wild Buckwheat) / ACTION: Notice of 90-day petition finding and initiation of critical habitat review.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), announce a 90–day finding on a petition to revise critical habitat for Eriogonum pelinophilum (clay-loving wild buckwheat) under the Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973, as amended. Following a review of the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that revision of the critical habitat for E. pelinophilum may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this notice, we are initiating a review of the critical habitat for the species, and will subsequently issue a 12-month finding to determine if revisions to the species’ critical habitat are warranted. To ensure that the review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding this species. DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on June 22, 2009. To be considered in the 12-month finding for this petition to revise critical habitat, data and information must be submitted to us by July 22, 2009.
Clay-loving wild buckwheat is a highly endangered plant found only on the Adobe Hills east of Delta and Montrose, Colorado. Urban growth there is transforming this landscape - from 1990 to 2004, the population of Montrose grew by 73 percent. Photo from the Center for Native Ecosystems.
EXCERPT: The petitioners state that 16 populations of Eriogonum pelinophilum existed in 2006, containing 30,000 to 60,000 individuals total, and that 8 historical occurrences have been fully extirpated (Reveal 2006, p. 2). The petitioners describe general threats to the species’ habitat, and specific threats to each of the 16 E. pelinophilum populations. The petitioners give reasons why revising critical habitat for E. pelinophilum is prudent and determinable, and describe the need as immediate because several of the threats the species faces are growing in magnitude and immediacy. The petitioners claim that critical habitat must be revised because the currently designated habitat omits an area that is now known to contain the largest and most biologically important populations of the species. Further, they say that the current designation is inadequate for ensuring recovery of the species. The petitioners made recommendations of critical habitat locations in their petition.
RESOURCES: See the petition filed with FWS, and a worthy article in the High Country News.