Several livestock grazing permits in Emery and Wayne Counties have been held up for nearly a decade because of disparate listed cactus data (and differing interpretations) between the BLM, National Park Service and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
BLM seeks an independent third
party to assist with scientific investigation to resolve these differences between sister agencies and to aid in the possible down listing or delisting of Wright Fishhook cactus.
Much has been accomplished by the BLM and other agencies toward the recovery of Wright Fishhook Cactus since its listing in 1979, yet two important questions regarding their conservation remain unanswered.
These unknown factors are:
1) How many individuals are on the landscape (quality science-based estimate); and 2) what are the impacts of livestock grazing and trampling to individuals and the population as a whole? This announcement provides an opportunity for an organization with scientific expertise through a reputable third party to assist with both the design and carrying out of appropriate monitoring and sampling to answer questions regarding population extent, numbers, and trend, and the effects of livestock grazing.
BLM expects the recipient to design and implement necessary sampling and monitoring with assistance from BLM staff in 2019 and 2020, at a minimum, with peer reviewed and published results to follow.
The public will benefit in several ways from the Threatened and Endangered (T&E) species cacti monitoring that will be conducted through this agreement.
It will provide transparency to the public about population trends of T&E species and the impacts of BLM management on them.
Populations of these species occur within the boundaries of several grazing allotments and the BLM has not had sufficient data about these species to make decisions about permit renewals.
The project will allow the BLM to move forward with permit renewal decisions by providing information based on sound scientific data.
The information obtained from the monitoring will also allow the BLM and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to evaluate the status of these species and make decisions about downlisting or delisting them.
The public would receive an immediate benefit if new data resulted in a delisting of these species, which would mean fewer consultations with the USFWS.