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Federal Protection For Bladderpod Plant Pushed Back

The federal government has pushed back the possible threatened listing of two rare plants that could affect farmers in southeast Washington. Umtanum desert buckwheat and the White Bluffs bladderpod have become very controversial, because part of the plants’ habitat spans valuable crop ground.

It’s a big topic of conversation at the Country Mercantile restaurant where many Franklin County farmers lunch. Ami MacHugh is an area cherry and horse farmer whose land could be affected by the possible federal protections.

She says even with the delayed decision she’s still upset. “Everyone is so down on government. Our farmers, it’s really hard, just difficult to comply. There are so many things out there it’s almost impossible to comply.”

The new deadline to comment on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s proposed designation is in two months.

On the Web:

White Bluffs bladderpod - US Fish and Wildlife Service 
Umtanum Desert Buckwheat - US Fish and Wildlife Service 

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.