On August 27, 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a rule in the Federal Register proposing to remove Endangered Species Act protection for running buffalo clover, a plant currently listed as endangered. Publication of this proposed rule means that the Service believes the running buffalo clover no longer faces the threat of extinction. Our proposal opens a 60-day public comment period, which is an opportunity for anyone to provide comments and additional information. After the comment period closes, we will review all comments and any new information we receive. The Service will then make a decision on whether or not to remove running buffalo clover from the endangered species list, based on the best available scientific information. The species will remain endangered until a final decision is made.
Once found in nine states, running buffalo clover was believed extinct prior to 1983, when one population was found in West Virginia. The Service listed running buffalo clover as endangered in 1987. Since then, additional populations have been discovered, and the plant is now found in 154 populations in Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Of the known populations, 83 are on public lands or privately owned lands with conservation agreements.
Running buffalo clover is named for the stolons, or runners, that extend from the base of its stems. The plant requires periodic disturbance and somewhat open habitat, but it cannot tolerate full sun, full shade or severe disturbance. Historically, it was often found in the rich soils between open forests and prairies probably maintained by grazing herds of bison. Today it is associated with areas where mowing, cattle grazing, trampling, logging or other moderate ground disturbance occurs.
The Service is accepting comments on the proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections for running buffalo clover through October 28, 2019.To read the Service’s proposed rule and obtain information on how to submit comments, visit http://www.regulations.gov and search for docket number FWS–R3–ES–2018–0036.
For more information regarding this species and the recovery effort visit: https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/plants/rbcl/index.html. You may also contact Barbara Douglas of my office at email@example.com or 304-636-6586 x19
Sincerely, Daphne Carlson Bremer, DVM, MPVM, PhD.
On Detail July 29 – October 7
Acting Field Office Supervisor
West Virginia Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
90 Vance Drive, Elkins, WV 26241
Phone: 304-636-6586 x 16, Fax: 304-636-7824