News and Links

Plants in the News

Graham’s beardtongue (Penstemon grahamii) and White River beardtongue (Penstemon scariosus var. albifluvis):
• August 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service withdrew their proposal to list Graham’s beardtongue and White River beardtongue under the Endangered Species Act. A conservation agreement has been finalized between county, state and federal partners to reduce threats and promote the long-term persistence of these two species across their ranges in the Uinta Basin of Utah and Colorado.

For more information, please visit:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Penstemon Webpage

Copy of the Final Conservation Agreement

Local Penstemon News Articles:
• Salt Lake Tribune, “Deal Reached to halt endangered listing for Utah flowers”
• Courthouse News Service, “Oil Shale Development Threatens Rare Plants”.
• KUER, “Wildflowers Proposed for Endangered Species List”
• Salt Lake Tribune, “Feds propose listing two plants found only over Utah oil shale”

Gierisch’s globemallow (Sphaeralcea gierischii):
• August 2013, The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the globemallow was listed as endangered due to threats from gypsum mining and motorized recreation. Read the article.

Seed Banking
• September 2015, The Washington Post reports on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, and how it is already being used to restore plant genetic diversity to conflict-torn countries. According to Svalbard Director Cary Fowler "… You don’t have to have some kind of global catastrophe for this thing to be useful. We’re losing biodiversity right now, and it isn’t necessarily because of some global catastrophe.” Read the article here

• May 2013, Photography professor Dornith Doherty shares her work documenting international efforts for preserving biodiversity through seed banks, or as she calls them, “libraries of life”, in a 15-minute TEDx talk entitled “Archiving Eden”

Native Plant Materials Research.
• August 2015, the U.S. Interior Department Releases the National Seed Strategy for Landscape Scale Rehabilitation and Restoration. The National Seed Strategy outlines a comprehensive plan to guide ecological restoration across lands damaged by rangeland fires, invasive species, severe storms and drought. The Strategy emphasizes the importance of planting appropriate seeds to help grow plant life and pollinator habitat, which are critical natural defenses against climate change. The vision of the strategy is to ensure that the "right seed is in the right place at the right time". Department of the Interior Press Release

• June 2014, President Obama released a memorandum creating a federal strategy to promote the health of honeybees and other pollinators. This “Pollinator Health Task Force” specifically includes recommendations for the use of native plants and their materials, which directly pertains to our department’s participation in the BLM Seeds of Success program. White House Press Release.

• June 2014, A response to the presidential memorandum on pollinators was published by NatureServe entitled “Confronting the Plight of Pollinators”

Plant Resources:

USDA Plants Database

NatureServe Explorer: An Online Encyclopedia of Life

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