The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in its annual Endangered Species Act report card out today, is recommending that Idaho's Christ's Paintbrush be removed from its list for ESA protection.
Christ's paintbrush is a perennial that grows 6- to 20-inches tall and is easily spotted by its yellow splendor, with its peak flowering from July through September.
Christ's paintbrush, technically known as
Catilleja Castilleja christii, is found on the U.S. Forest Service's Sawtooth National Forest, in a 200-acre area at the summit of Mount Harrison in the Albion Mountains. The single population of the plant occurs on Mount Harrison. The plant was threatened by destruction and modification of its habitat, including off-highway vehicle use, trespassing livestock and recreational activities.
But conservation efforts—including seeding, plantings and off-road and trail closures—have allowed the USFWS to say today that Christ's paintbrush could be removed from its ESA candidate list.
Nationwide, there are now 192 species recognized by the USFWS as candidates for ESA protection, the lowest number in more than 12 years.