Wildflower gets federal protection as endangered

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- A wildflower found in northern Arizona and southern Utah has been listed as endangered.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the announcement Tuesday for the Gierisch mallow, publishing its final rule in the Federal Register.

The tall, wispy plant with orange flowers primarily is found on federal land in Utah's Washington County and Arizona's Mohave County. The federal government has set aside nearly 13,000 acres as critical habitat for the plant that grows on gypsum outcrops.

The 18 known populations are threatened by gypsum mining, off-road vehicle use and other activities.

Environmentalists had petitioned to have the plant added to the list of endangered species.