No ruling in rare penstemon case

A Colorado judge declined to rule this morning on whether a rare northwest Colorado wildflower should be reconsidered for Endangered Species Act protection.

U.S. District Court Judge Walker Miller had been expected to issue a decision, but instead asked both sides to submit more documents by early July.

At issue is a suit by the Center for Native Ecosystems and other environmental groups who want the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be forced to rethink its decision not to list the Graham’s penstemon as a threatened species.

The Graham’s penstemon is a member of the snapdragon family, and its known global population of about 6,000 plants is found only on oil shale outcrops in Rio Blanco County in Colorado and three counties in Utah.

A threatened species listing would have consequences for energy development, livestock grazing, off-road vehicle use and other activities in those areas.


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