A small flowering plant known as Slickspot Peppergrass won't be listed as a "threatened species" any more under the Endangered Species Act. A U.S. District Court ruled today in favor of the state of Idaho and Governor Butch Otter to remove the plant's designation. There's been a decade long legal battle over whether Slickspot Peppergrass warranted such protection.
In 2009, the plant was listed as a threatened species. Otter and Idaho protested, saying a species can only be listed if it's likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future. Today's court decision finds that the federal government did not adequately define "foreseeable future." The judge reversed the threatened listing.
Otter issued a statement after the court’s ruling. “I am encouraged that the Court agreed with my argument that the federal government’s decision, to list the species was flawed under the ESA.”
Slickspot peppergrass is only found in Southwest Idaho. The small flowering plant falls in the mustard family.
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio
You can read the decision below.