Special Status Plant Species
The protection of special status species is a high priority in the Challis Field Office. BLM manages for the conservation of special status plants and their associated habitats and to ensure that actions authorized, funded, or carried out on public lands do not contribute to the need to list any species as threatened or endangered.
Special status plants (SSP) are those plants whose survival is of concern due to their limited distribution, low number of individuals and/or populations, and potential threats to habitat. The BLM uses the term "special status plants" to include: 1) Federally-listed and proposed species; 2) Federal candidate species; 3) State-listed species; and 4) BLM sensitive and BLM watch species. BLM sensitive and BLM watch species are those species that do not meet any of the first three criteria, but which are designated by the State Director for special management consideration.
Threats to SSP and their habitats are wide-ranging, including livestock grazing, range developments, exotic plant invasion, land ownership changes, mining, the increasing use of Off Highway Vehicles (OHVs), and environmental changes, such as drought.
Fourteen special status species are known to occur in the Challis Field Office. Two of the globally rare species (wavy leaf thelypody and alkaline primrose) occur with several sensitive species, suggesting that the habitat is rare.
For more information on the SSP known to occur in the Challis Field Office, visit the Special Status Plants Table. This table provides a list of the 14 SSP known to occur in the resource area, along with their current status and habitat requirements, including physical characteristics and associated vegetation. Many of the species are either disjunct from their original populations, endemic taxa, or simply located at the very northernmost extent of their range. Currently, there are three Type 2, seven Type 3 plants and four Type 4 plants. There are no Proposed, listed Threatened or listed Endangered plants (Type 1 plants) or watch species (Type 5 plants) known within the Challis Field Office.
The special status plants are ranked (Type 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) in order to aid management decisions. These ranks are based on the risk of extinction through all or a portion of their range.