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 six months.
On the Web:
White Bluffs bladderpod - US Fish and Wildlife Service
Umtanum Desert Buckwheat - US Fish and Wildlife Service