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San Francisco Examiner, June 23, 2010

Agency proposes protecting 3 Colo. wildflowers
By The Associated Press

GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is recommending federal protection for three western Colorado wildflowers, two of which it says are threatened by energy development.

The agency is proposing adding the flowers to the endangered species list.

The Parachute penstemon and Pagosa skyrocket have been candidates for the list at least 1990. The De Beque phacelia has been a candidate since 1980.

The agency will take public comments.

Josh Pollock of the Denver-based Center for Native Ecosystems says the flowers are a vital part of Colorado's natural heritage.

The Parachute penstemon, with lavender and white flowers, and the DeBeque phacelia, with yellow flowers, are found only around the Roan Plateau in western Colorado.

The Pagosa skyrocket, with pinkish-white flowers, is found only near Pagosa Springs.

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton