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Wildflower protection plan paves the way for oil shale

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Mary Bernard – Vernal Express

Two wildflowers that grow in isolation on oil-bearing shale in southern Uintah County may avoid being on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service endangered species list through an agreement reached on Monday among federal and state agencies.

The agreement is a draft-15-year conservation plan to protect the Graham’s beardtongue and White River penstemons in their native habitat.

It was reached among the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife, the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration and Uintah County.

Proposed are specific areas where surface-disturbing activities will be limited to protect the plants, “while protecting the long-term economic sustainability of the area through predictable regulation of land use in Utah and Colorado,” states the report. (…)

To read more, please visit the Vernal Express.