Op-ed: Penstemon Agreement Saves More Flowers than ESA Would | The Salt Lake Tribune

By Mike McKee, Mark Raymond, and Darlene Burns

July 11, 2014

“When faced with the prospect of yet another endangered species listing in the Uintah Basin, many would expect that as elected officials tasked with protecting our local community we would take off the proverbial gloves and begin to fight. In the case of the Graham’s beardtongue and White River beardtongue (penstemon species) in Eastern Utah, we along with other stakeholders met this challenge with a proposed conservation agreement that goes above and beyond the protections afforded these flowering plants under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Some critics claim that this conservation plan — negotiated between local, state and federal agencies ­— is voluntary and so does not provide “real” protection for these plants. Uintah County wants to be clear that this is incorrect. The agreement is enforceable by law.”

Read full story | The Salt Lake Tribune

Wild Horses on Public Lands

The County Seat episode discussing the Wild Horse program administered by the BLM. The issues on the ground affect many users of both public and private lands.

“The Wild Horse is an icon of the American West. As such they were protected under the Horse and Burro Act in 1971. 43 years later that very protection may be one of the biggest threats to Wild Horses.”

Read more | The County Seat

Visit the BLM’s website for more information on this issue.

Utah Submits Comments on Graham’s and White River Beardtongue Listing Under ESA

Penstemon 1

July 7, 2014 – The State submitted comments on proposed listing and proposed designation of critical habitat for Graham’s Beardtongue and White River Beardtongue after reviewing draft economic analysis prepared by Fish and Wildlife Service. Read full text of the State Comment Letter.