Feds consider protection for Utah/Ariz. wildflower

Feds consider protection for Utah/Ariz. wildflower

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) - Federal officials say special protections for a wildflower could complicate gypsum mining on the Utah/Arizona border.
ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) - Federal officials say special protections for a wildflower could complicate gypsum mining on the Utah/Arizona border.

The Spectrum of St. George reports that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is looking at protecting the delicate Gierisch mallow under the Endangered Species Act.

Officials say protections could defeat plans to expand Arizona's Black Rock Gypsum Mine, where most of the plants are found. They also could interfere with the leasing of other public lands for mining in the area.

The delicate plant has orange flowers and grows off the nutrients of gypsum deposits.

The Fish and Wildlife Service says it will take public comment until Oct. 16 on its proposal to list the wildflower.

Officials say a decision could follow a year after that.

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Information from: The Spectrum

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