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No ruling yet on protecting wildflower

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER – A federal judge is asking for more information before deciding whether the government should protect a wildflower that grows in oil shale outcroppings in northeast Utah and northwest Colorado.

U.S. District Judge Walker D. Miller heard arguments in March about whether the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should have placed the Graham’s penstemon on the endangered species list. He asked both sides Wednesday for more documents.

The agency dropped the flower from its endangered species candidate list in 2006 as efforts were under way to tap an estimated 2 trillion to 2.5 trillion barrels of oil in shale deposits in Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.



Environmentalists say there are only an estimated 6,000 such flowers in the world.