[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Joshua Trees Would Be Protected Under New Fed Rule | 09-15-2016
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
66°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
December 4
1962- Actress and future Soledad Canyon big-cat rescuer Tippi Hedren, "Hitchcock's New Grace Kelly," makes cover of Look magazine for upcoming thriller, "The Birds" [story]


| Thursday, Sep 15, 2016
joshuatree_probdeh1
Photo: Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel

(CN) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that four petitioned species, including the iconic Joshua tree, may warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act. In a 90-day finding, the agency determined that petitions from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the WildEarth Guardians (WEG) presented substantial evidence that the Joshua tree, Florida scrub lizard, lesser Virgin Island skink and the Lassics lupine merit a 12-month status review, the second step in the process for listing protected species under the ESA.

The CBD petitioned the agency on behalf of 52 amphibians and reptiles, including the Florida lizard, in July 2012, and petitioned on behalf of nine skink species, including the Virgin Islands skink, in 2014. The group says the Florida lizard is threatened by habitat loss due to development, agriculture, logging and mining, and the skink, also a lizard, is threatened by introduced feral cats and mongooses, development and climate change-induced sea level rise.

“Endangered Species Act protection is the best hope of saving these little lizards from the very big threats they’re facing,” CBD’s senior scientist Tierra Curry said. “The Act has a nearly perfect record of stopping animals from going extinct, and in the face of the global reptile and amphibian extinction crisis, it’s hands-down our best tool for saving these guys.”

The CBD cited a recent study that said researchers have predicted up to a 40 percent rate of extinction of lizard species by 2080 due to global warming.

The listing process for the two lizards is being handled by the Southeast Region of the USFWS, which maintains that is has an aggressive at-risk conservation program with its partners that has been responsible for keeping more than 70 species from needing ESA protection, while improving the status of a dozen more species, and recovering some, such as the Louisiana black bear.

“Conservation of diverse and rare ‘at-risk’ plants and animals can only be achieved through partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies, private organizations, businesses, universities, and landowners,” Leopoldo Miranda, Southeastern Assistant Regional Director for Ecological Services said. “We will be soliciting and studying data obtained from our research and our partners’ work to decide whether the Lesser Virgin Islands skink and the Florida scrub lizard require protection under the Endangered Species Act.”

The CBD also petitioned the agency for emergency protection for the Lassics lupine in January. Due to fires in July and August 2015, the entire population of 500 to 1,000 plants dropped to an estimated 60 surviving individuals, the group said. This rare pink lupine is found in less than four total acres on Mount Lassic and Red Lassic Mountain in Humboldt and Trinity counties in northern California.

“We are at great risk of losing the Lassics lupine to extinction so protection and recovery actions can’t some soon enough if we are to save this beautiful flower,” David Imper, former plant ecologist for the Arcata office of the Fish and Wildlife Service and leading researcher of the flower, said. “We urge the Service to grant emergency protective measures for this wildflower.” The Service said that an emergency listing was not necessary.

In September 2015, the WildEarth Guardians petitioned the agency on behalf of the Joshua tree, a giant member of the agave family that dots the desert landscape in southern California, Nevada, Arizona and the southwestern corner of Utah. The tallest tree in Joshua Tree National Park is 40 feet high. The group also asked for an emergency listing, which the agency decided was unnecessary.

Noting that climate models predict that up to 90 percent of Joshua tree habitat may disappear by 2100, the Guardians also said that Joshua trees reproduce and disperse slowly, take decades to recover from the increasing rate of wildfires and need wet periods to reproduce as well as cold periods to thrive.

“Joshua trees are an irreplaceable part of the Southwest and we are thrilled they are one step closer to receiving the protections they need,” WEG’s endangered species advocate Taylor Jones said. “Our changing climate is a threat to these magnificent trees, and they will need safeguards to ensure they are here for future generations.”

In the same 90-day petition finding, the agency determined that petitions to list the Fourche Mountain salamander, American pika, Ricord’s rock iguana and Wyoming pocket gopher, and to delist the spectacled eider and the Alaska population of Steller’s eider were not warranted, so the agency will take no further action on those petitions.

The agency requests that information on the two lizards, the alpine flower and the Joshua tree be submitted by Nov. 14, to be considered during the 12-month status review.

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
Loading...
Related Content
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Dec 2, 2016
LACoFD Battle 2 Brush Fires, Both Now Under Control
Santa Clarita Valley firefighters handled a pair of brush fires Friday, officials said, leaving none injured and no structures threatened.
Friday, Dec 2, 2016
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Petty Theft in Stevenson Ranch
Stevenson Ranch Crime Report: November 21, 2016 - November 27, 2016
Thursday, Dec 1, 2016
Motorcyclist Sustains Major Injuries in Hit-and-Run Crash
A 23-year-old woman was arrested after she attempted to flee the scene of a hit-and-run crash that left one man in the hospital with major injuries.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1962- Actress and future Soledad Canyon big-cat rescuer Tippi Hedren, "Hitchcock's New Grace Kelly," makes cover of Look magazine for upcoming thriller, "The Birds" [story]
1887 - Prohibitionist Henry Needham purchases land in Newhall, attempts to establish "dry" colony [story]
The Latino Business Alliance will be hosting a "Posada Breakfast" on December 6, which will be an opportunity to network with others in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Dec. 6: Network with Fellow Business Owners at the Posada Breakfast
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Los Angeles, or CASA/LA, a non-profit organization that drastically improves the lives of abused and neglected foster children in LA County through trained volunteer advocates, will be hosting its first CASA Book Fair in collaboration with Barnes & Noble of Valencia December 8.
Dec. 8: CASA/LA Book Fair Fundraiser to be Held at Barnes & Noble in Valencia
The County Interim Health Officer is issuing a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures.
Cold Weather Alert for Antelope Valley, L.A. County Mountain Areas
Just as people plan for retirement, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) urges them to plan for changing needs and abilities in their driving as they age.
CHP Recommends Planning for Senior Drivers
Here it is the end of the year and the culmination of a lot of programs, services and projects for us at the city
Message from the City Manager
Santa Clarita Valley firefighters handled a pair of brush fires Friday, officials said, leaving none injured and no structures threatened.
LACoFD Battle 2 Brush Fires, Both Now Under Control
Stevenson Ranch Crime Report: November 21, 2016 - November 27, 2016
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Petty Theft in Stevenson Ranch
1972 - Five wounded in Vagos biker gang shooting at Curtis & JoAnne Darcy's Acton '49er Saloon [story]
A 23-year-old woman was arrested after she attempted to flee the scene of a hit-and-run crash that left one man in the hospital with major injuries.
Motorcyclist Sustains Major Injuries in Hit-and-Run Crash
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Princess Cruises has agreed to plead guilty to seven charges stemming from its deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up. Plus, retiring L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich shares some inspiring words about achieving your dreams and moving forward. See these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Thursday, December 1, 2016
Pocock Brewing Co. will host their 1st Anniversary Beer Festival benefiting the Castaic and SCV Education Foundations this month.
Pocock Brewing to Host Fundraiser for Castaic, SCV Education Foundations
The Valley Industry Association will review and close the 2016 year, and formally install the 2017 Valley Industry Association Board of Directors at their upcoming meeting.
Dec. 20: VIA to Install New Board of Directors
The ALDI grocery store chain is coming to Santa Clarita this month.
Dec. 15: ALDI Grocery Store to Open in Santa Clarita
The Santa Clarita Public Libraries are providing families with plenty of occasions to embrace the spirit of the holidays through the month of December.
Santa Clarita Libraries Embrace Holiday Spirit with Family-friendly Events
The Transportation Research Board announced Thursday that Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty will become chair of its Executive Committee, effective January 12, 2017.
Caltrans Appoints Chair of Executive Committee
An artist named "Six" is hosting an opening reception for the installation piece "Ghost Band."
‘Ghost Band’ Art Installation Comes to ARTree
The 16 Santa Clarita Valley LDS congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are inviting the public to attend their annual Community Christmas Concert.
SCV Latter-day Saints Congregations Host ‘When Love Was Born’ Performance
The Southern California Football Association has announced its 2016 All-League Teams and seven players from College of the Canyons are included among the honorees from the National Division, Northern League.
SCFA Honors Seven COC Football Players
A Valencia man got the chance to participate in as a featured “Trader” in an attempt to avoid “Zonks” and win a sensational selection of prizes on the game show "Lets Make A Deal".
Valencia Man to Appear on ‘Lets Make A Deal’
Bakkavor Foods USA, Inc. is voluntarily recalling Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Hummus and Trader Joe’s White Bean & Basil Hummus with “USE BY” date codes up through and including "12/15/2016," because these products have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
Recall: Two Types of Trader Joe’s Hummus Potentially Contaminated by Listeria
The death occurred in a middle-aged man, from the northern part of Los Angeles County, who had significant pre-existing medical conditions.
First Flu Death in LA County Confirmed
Princess Cruises has announced a settlement Friday, after a three-year Department of Justice investigation to a charge the company broke environmental laws by discharging sewage illegally.
Princess Cruises to Pay Fine for Illegally Dumping Sewage
Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together, but that also means a greater risk for fire.
Steps to a Fire-Safe Holiday
It has been my honor to serve as your Mayor this year. The city of Santa Clarita is one of California’s best cities and it just keeps getting better and better.
Monthly Message from Mayor Bob Kellar
1929 - Saugus train robber "Buffalo" Tom Vernon apprehended in Pawnee, Okla. [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, we see how friends and family are remembering actor, Paul Walker. Plus, a firefighters and local dignitaries celebrated Fire Station 143 in Castaic today. See those stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Two years ago, I took the oath to lead the nation’s largest Sheriff’s Department in a manner that put public trust at the core of what we do. I also made a promise to the 18,000 men and women at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) that this could, and would, be done by focusing on our future together and closing the door on the divisiveness and factions that once threatened this great organization.
Sheriff Jim McDonnell Announces New Executive Team
Valencia Marketplace officials are inviting families and community members to a tree lighting ceremony this Thursday.
Dec. 1: Valencia Marketplace Tree Lighting Ceremony
Henry Mayo hosts training program to help community become more aware of the signs of suicide and how to help.
Henry Mayo Hosts SafeTALK to Prevent Suicide, Create Awareness
California State University, Northridge’s Valley Performing Arts Center has hosted several world-renowned artists since opening its doors in 2011.
CSUN VPAC Celebrates Five Years of World-Renowned Artists
Princess Cruises has won four awards from the readers of Porthole Cruise Magazine, receiving Best Central America Itineraries, Best South Pacific Itineraries, Best Onboard Shopping and Best Signature Cocktail in the magazine’s 18th annual Readers’ Choice Awards.
Princess Cruises Wins Four Awards from Porthole Cruise Magazine
[District Attorney] A 72-year-old convicted rapist was sentenced Wednesday to 520 years to life in state prison for sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl under his care in Canyon Country.
Canyon Country Man Gets 520 Years to Life for Sexual Assaults
An Agua Dulce man pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence Tuesday.
Agua Dulce Man Pleads Not Contest to DUI, Vehicular Manslaughter
Associated Students Sustainability and Recycling Services at California State University, Northridge recently hosted its annual America Recycles Day.
Students at CSUN Participate in America Recycles Day