Wildflower protection decision expected in weeks
DENVER – A federal judge says he’ll decide quickly whether the government erred in not giving protection to a wildflower that grows only in oil shale outcroppings in northeastern Utah and northwestern Colorado.
U.S. District Judge Walker D. Miller told attorneys he’ll take weeks, not months to consider arguments from environmental groups about whether the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should have placed the Graham’s penstemon on the endangered species list.
Attorneys from both sides argued their case in court Tuesday. An attorney for the environmental groups says the agency did not consider the harm to the plant from energy development, off-road vehicles and grazing. Attorneys for the agency say the plant did not warrant protection based on consideration of the threats.