Deal Reached to Halt Endangered Listing for Utah Flowers | The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brian Maffly

May 6, 2014

“The long-awaited decision on whether to protect two rare desert flowers could hinge on a proposed deal federal authorities have reached with state and Uintah County officials.

Occurring only in the Uinta Basin, the Graham’s and White River beardtongue species of penstemon grow on oil shale outcroppings, so some fear a listing under the Endangered Species Act could stymie Utah’s nascent oil shale industry.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on Monday released a draft conservation agreement, which identifies federal and state lands where surface-disturbing activities would be severely limited. The idea is to preserve core areas and demonstrate that beardtongue does not warrant listing, according to John Harja of the state Public Lands Policy Coordination Office.

The areas “will be refuges for the plants,” he said. “We did this for the purpose of addressing the threats.””

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Gov. Herbert’s Summit to Explore Utah’s Energy Future | The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brian Maffly

January 7, 2013

“Hundreds of energy industry professionals, scientists and policy experts are gathering in Salt Lake City this week for Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s Energy Development Summit, an annual forum addressing some of the energy issues confronting the Intermountain West.

“This conversation will help position Utah for an exciting energy future that embraces a diversity of resources and proceeds with a dual focus on responsible practices and economic growth,” Herbert’s office said in a news release.

The summit, which opens Thursday at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center, is an outgrowth of the governor’s 2011 strategic energy plan designed to put Utah at “the forefront of solving the world’s energy challenges.””

Read full story | The Salt Lake Tribune