Bladderpod Plant Endangered Spieces Listing Won’t Affect Farmers – Only Applies to Federal Land
Score one for Franklin County farmers!
After months of wrangling, and intense discussion and debate, the federal government says it's designation of the yellow bladderpod plant will only apply to those found on federally controlled lands.
Earlier this year, the government tried to slip the plant onto the Endangered Species list, and claimed the affected area would include several hundred acres of Franklin County - White Bluffs farmland. They tried to enact the rule at the last minute, without notifying the several dozen farmers who would have been affected - and without proper hearings.
Once Rep. Doc Hastings got wind of the reports, including stories from Newstalk 870, the situation "hit the fan," so to speak. Hastings pressured the government and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to justify how they could take away farmers' land without justification.
The bladderpod is a form of sagebrush that supposedly only has been found in the White Bluffs and Hanford Reach areas. A plan to take away at least 419 acres of private farmland to provide habitat for the plant was backed off from by the government, and this week's announcement appears to be a victory for farmers. The farmers were able to prove with their own study that bladderpods are not widely found on their farmland, and the acreage should not be included as part of the "safe-zone" to protect the species.
So, it will be considered an endangered species, but only protected on the federally-controlled land on the Hanford side of the river, and wherever else the government oversees the acreage.