PLF's petition to downlist species successful!

May 16, 2012 | By REED HOPPER

In 2005, PLF entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on behalf of the California State Grange, the California Forestry Association, and the California Cattlemen’s Association, whereby the Service agreed to undertake belated 5-year status reviews of nearly 100 listed species in the State of California.  In 2008, the agency completed reviews for 58 listed species and recommended status changes for many, including three plant species found on an island off the coast of southern California:

San Clemente Island broom (Lotus dendroideus)
San Clemente Island bushmallow (Malacothamnus)
San Clemente Island paintbrush (Castilleja grisea)

Notwithstanding these recommendations, the Service never took action.  In 2010, PLF filed a petition to reclassify these species, and others.  After some foot dragging and a threat of litigation, the Service issued its finding today that the Island paintbrush and Island broom (lotus) have substantially recovered and will be down listed from endangered to threatened status.  Because of ongoing threats to habitat, the Service decided to retain the endangered listing for the Island bushmallow.