1998 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the golden sedge a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
1999 – The Service proposed to list the golden sedge as endangered.
2001 – The Center, the California Native Plant Society, and the Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project negotiated an agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to expedite the protection of 29 species — including the golden sedge — under the Endangered Species Act.
January 23, 2002 – The Service declared the golden sedge to be officially endangered, but no critical habitat was designated for the plant.
December 19, 2007 – The Center filed suit against the Service for failing to designate critical habitat for the golden sedge, as well as 12 other endangered species.
March 10, 2010 –Responding the Center's lawsuit, the Service proposed designation of 189 acres of critical habitat in Onslow and Pender counties, North Carolina, for the endangered golden sedge.
February 28, 2011 – The Service finalized protection for 202 acres of critical habitat for the golden sedge in Onslow and Pender counties.