Fish And Wildlife Service Protects Three Plants Under Endangered Species Act

Friday, August 01, 2014

Three rare plants found in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee are now protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  This protection becomes final on Sept. 2, 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.  The plants, which are listed as endangered, are the fleshy-fruit gladecress, whorled sunflower, and Short’s bladderpod.

Short’s bladderpod is found in Posey County, Indiana; Clark, Franklin, and Woodford Counties Kentucky; and Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Jackson, Montgomery, Smith, and Trousdale Counties. Tennessee.  The whorled sunflower is found in Floyd County, Georgia; Cherokee County, Alabama, and Madison and McNairy Counties, Tennessee.  The fleshy-fruit gladecress is found in Lawrence and Morgan Counties, Alabama.

The Service proposed the three plants for protection last summer due to habitat loss caused by road maintenance and construction; development; industrial forestry and agricultural practices; water-level fluctuations in reservoirs; off-road vehicle use; and competition from native and invasive non-native plants. In addition, many of the plants’ populations are small, making them less resilient to threats and vulnerable to loss of genetic variation.

The Service held one comment period, August 2, 2013, to allow the public to review and give feedback on our proposal to list these plants.  All relevant information received from the public, government agencies, the scientific community, industry, and other interested parties was considered and addressed in the agency’s final listing determination.  The decisions to add these plants to the Endangered Species List are based on the best scientific information available.   For more information, please see http://www.regulations.gov, docket number FWS–R4–ES–2013–0087.

The ultimate goal of the ESA is the recovery of these listed plants so that they no longer need protection under the ESA.  The next step is to develop recovery plans that provide guidance for the Service and its conservation partners to address threats to the plants’ survival and recovery.

Federal landowners must comply with provisions of the ESA to protect these plants on their land.  It is unlawful to remove from federal lands plants that are listed as endangered under the ESA, or to import, export, or sell such plants without first consulting with the Service. 

Landowners interested in helping the Service recover the Short’s bladderpod and the whorled sunflower, or who would like more information about the potential implications of the listing should contact Geoff Call in the Service’s Tennessee Field Office at 931 525-4983, or via e-mail at  Geoff_Call@fws.gov.  For fleshy fruit gladecress, contact Shannon Holbrook in the Service’s Alabama Field Office at 251 441-5871, or via e-mail at Shannon_Holbrook@fws.gov

An example of the Service’s efforts to work with landowners to conserve species is its partnership with Plum Creek, a land and timber company, to protect the whorled sunflower.  In Georgia, Plum Creek has partnered with the Nature Conservancy to cooperatively manage the Coosa Valley Prairie property which protects most of Georgia’s population of the sunflower, while allowing for sustainable timber harvesting.


Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event Fireside at Greenway  Oct. 30 Erin Medley and a starry night Outdoor Chattanooga will finish our 2014 Fireside at Greenway Farm series with a special evening of guitar folk and stargazing this Thurs., Oct. 30, 7 ... (click for more)

Governor Haslam Dedicates Trail At Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area

Governor Haslam joined staff from the Tennessee Division of Natural Areas, Tennessee State Parks and the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation last Friday to dedicate a new trail at Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area. “Tennessee has incredible natural areas that offer something for everyone, and this partnership will help protect and preserve these lands for future generations ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

Cold, Wet Front To Make For Chilly And Damp Trick Or Treating; Snow Showers Possible Saturday

A surge of cold, moist air will make for less-than-ideal trick or treat conditions on Halloween night. Temperatures are expected to dip below freezing this weekend. There is a possibility of snow showers in Chattanooga on Saturday. Here is the latest forecast: Today Showers likely, mainly after 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. Calm wind becoming northwest ... (click for more)

Thanks For Publishing The Stokes Photo Book

I pre-ordered the Stokes Photo Book and picked it up Wednesday . The covers and content are very high quality and contain photos you will not see anywhere else.  This book of photos is worth much more than $35.  I have seen many historic photos of my hometown Chattanooga, but this collection is amazing. My favorites are National Cemetery, Confederate Cemetery near ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saban: ‘Ratings Don’t Matter’

When the first College Football Playoff rankings were released earlier this week, Alabama football coach Nick Saban got it right on the button when he shrugged, “I don't even care, to be honest with you." "To me, none of it matters, What does it matter?” he laughed at the Tide’s No. 6 ranking. “I mean, it only matters where you end up at the end. So what matters to us is how ... (click for more)