Forest Service actions lead to delisting threatened species

The Daniel Boone National Forest is being credited with securing recovery of the white-haired goldenrod.  Here is what the forest plan says:

1.C-Goal 2. Bring about the delisting of white-haired goldenrod.
1.C-Objective 2.A. Complete recovery plan recommendations relating to white-haired
goldenrod sites.
1.C-Objective 2.B. Participate in the delisting procedure for white-haired goldenrod.

That’s pretty simple, but it does incorporate the requirements of the recovery plan as objectives (plan standards couldn’t have controlled recreational users causing the impacts).   This then led to projects to protect the species from the human activities that threatened it.  The results drew kudos from the Center for Biological Diversity, saying that the Endangered Species Act works (but failing to note that so does the National Forest Management Act).

This article also discusses the Kentucky arrow darter, a fish species that is part of the settlement agreement with CBD requiring a listing decision to be made.

The darter’s habitat has been “severely degraded” by pollution, siltation and loss of tree cover from surface mining, oil and gas exploration, logging, agricultural run-off and poor sewage disposal, according to the agency.  The conservation plan for the fish will include replacing some culverts on federal land that impede the movement of the fish and setting up a monitoring plan, officials said.

Delisting of the goldenrod is possible because results have been achieved on the ground.  That is usually not possible for pending listings because species are usually on a downward trend at that point.  A “conservation plan” incorporated into a forest plan by the Forest Service may contribute to avoiding listing as a regulatory mechanism if it protects the species against the threats identified in the listing process.

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