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The Utah Natural Heritage Program (UTHP) was initiated in late summer 1988 and has functioned as an ongoing biological survey of the state with an emphasis on rare or declining species. It serves as a centralized data repository, acquiring range wide information regarding rare plant and animal species for use by land managers as well as for the evaluation of conservation needs. As well as being used by government agencies, data are used in responding to requests for information from non-government organizations and private interests. Data can be used in the assessment of species’ conservation status state-wide and, in coordination with adjoining states, range-wide. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources developed a plan for a statewide inventory of sensitive species that was approved by the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission in February 1995. A subsequent cooperative agreement funded, early on, a UTHP report (Stone 1998) that summarized “the distribution and status of rare and endemic plants in Utah.” With it as a guide, funding continued to support the acquisition of data from numerous dynamic sources, i.e., herbarium collections, other-source survey reports, in-house completed surveys, published literature and knowledgeable individuals, and then the entry and incorporation of that data into a database of Element Occurrences, i.e., the habitat occupied by a local population. Notable sources of collection data have been the Stanley L. Welsh Herbarium, Brigham Young University, the Garrett Herbarium, University of Utah, and the Intermountain Herbarium, Utah State University. Having management responsibility for Utah’s rare and endemic species, the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have funded and shared the results of countless plant surveys. These herbaria and Federal management agencies have been and continue to be the primary sources for plant data. The state of Utah is unique in the richness of its endemic and rare flora. Only four states, i.e., California, Florida, Texas, and Oregon, equal or exceed Utah in their numbers of rare plant species (Stone 1998). In the recent edition of A Utah Flora (Welsh et al. 2003) forty-one taxa new to science were named. As these new taxa are evaluated for potential addition to a dynamic list of species of conservation concern, there are others that have gone through the process of addition to Federal Agency sensitive species lists, field data gathering, a status reevaluation and, perhaps, the determination that they are not of conservation concern. These taxa are removed; others, however, remain at various levels of concern on agency sensitive species lists, and there are those few of significant enough conservation concern to be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Summarized here is information on 100 of those plants that remain, i.e., all of Utah’s federally listed and candidate species, species for which data are still being gathered, most of which have Federal Agency status, and species that are newly named and potentially of conservation concern.


Cooperative Agreement Number 1-FC-UT-00840