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Phil Carroll (503-231-6179) 
Sam Friedman (541-957-3478)

Final Recovery Plan Published for Endangered Southwestern Oregon Flower

 A final plan to guide the recovery of the federally listed endangered rough popcornflower was released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The plant occurs in only 17 small patches near Wilbur, Sutherlin, and Yoncalla in Douglas County, Oregon.

 “This recovery plan is our suggested road map of steps toward removing this species from its endangered status,” said Pacific Regional Director Dave Allen. “By following the carefully crafted actions in this plan, we and the land managers will be able to protect this species and the ecosystem it inhabits - just as envisioned in the purpose of the Endangered Species Act.”

 The goal of the Endangered Species Act is to recover listed species to the point where they are secure, self-sustaining  members of their ecosystems and no longer need federal protection.  A recovery plan is a blueprint providing guidance for actions by federal, state and other public agencies and private interests that will lead to the recovery and delisting of a species. Recovery plans are advisory only. They do not obligate the expenditure of funds or require that the recommended actions be implemented.

 The rough popcornflower has white and yellow flowers that can look like buttered popcorn.  It grows one to two feet tall, and is found only  in the vicinity of Wilbur, Sutherlin, and Yoncalla in Douglas County.  Fifteen of the 17 habitat patches are on private land, while the remaining two patches are on state land managed by the Oregon Department of Transportation.  Three of the private parcels are owned and managed specifically for this plant by The Nature Conservancy’s Popcorn Swale Preserve.
 Most populations of the rough popcornflower are small.  The 17 known habitat patches are estimated to contain a total of 6,347 individual plants with a combined area of about 40 acres.  The plant was considered extinct until it was rediscovered in 1983 during intensive field surveys. This gives biologists hope that additional populations may come to light during the recovery implementation process.

 The species is threatened by habitat loss due to urban development, spring and summer livestock grazing, competition from native and non-native plants, and roadside mowing and spraying.

 Like all recovery plans written under the Endangered Species Act, this plan is not regulatory, but simply provides guidance on how land managers can achieve recovery of the endangered species. The plan suggests criteria to use in determining when the species will be recovered, and no longer need the protections of the law.  It also lists actions needed to achieve recovery, and projects costs of those actions. Copies of the plan are available online at or from the Service at the address above.

 Native plants are important for their ecological, economic, and aesthetic values. Plants play an important role in development of crops that resist disease, insects, and drought. At least 25 percent of prescription drugs contain ingredients derived from plant compounds, including medicine used to treat cancer, heart disease, juvenile leukemia, and malaria, as well as that used to assist organ transplants. Plants are also used to develop natural pesticides.

 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses 542 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

- FWS -

For more information on The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Oregon,
visit our internet home page at:
or the Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Regional home page at
or our national home page at




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