Fish and Wildlife decides rare plant not in need of protection
Courtesy                    A skiff milkvetch plant is seen here.
Courtesy A skiff milkvetch plant is seen here.

On top of miles of mountain bike trails and worldclass rock climbing, Hartman Rocks Recreation Area also has a lesser known claim to fame. Skiff milkvetch — a rare, wispy plant found only in Gunnison and Saguache counties — is located throughout a portion of Hartman’s.

This past week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the plant is not warranted for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). After years of study, the federal agency found that the species is maintaining a stable, long-term population.

Although no federal protections will be put in place for the plant, singletrack advocacy group Gunnison Trails still intends to treat skiff milkvetch as a species of concern. The organization has worked closely with the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to build and maintain trails throughout the county — a partnership that aids in identifying skiff milkvetch habitat prior to trail work.



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