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Aug 9, 2013 10:40 AM by Eugene Daniels

Threatened plants could be boosted in Rio Blanco

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) - The Bureau of Land Management is considering seeding and transplanting two threatened plants in part of northwestern Colorado, a project which would require restrictions on energy development.

The two plants at issue wild mustard plants that are only found in Rio Blanco County - Dudley Bluffs bladderpod and twinpod.

The Daily Sentinel (http://bit.ly/19gor3J ) reports that Colorado State University's Restoration Ecology Lab proposed the idea. Eleven of the 12 proposed study areas in the county have existing oil and gas leases.

The BLM says the study areas include parcels available for oil shale leasing but their layout and topography don't make them attractive to development.

If the project is successful, the plants could be removed from Endangered Species Act protection.

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