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3 Colorado Wildflowers Protected

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Parachute penstemon (credit: fws.gov)

Parachute penstemon (credit: fws.gov)

PARACHUTE, Colo. (AP) – Three Colorado wildflowers found on the Western Slope are now protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the Pagosa skyrocket in Archuleta County is being listed as endangered. The Parachute beardtongue or penstemon in Garfield County and the DeBeque phacelia in Mesa and Garfield counties are being listed as threatened.

The agency says each flower is found only in western Colorado.

The wildflowers were determined by the Fish and Wildlife Service to be at risk of extinction from a variety of threats associated with oil and gas development including new roads, pipelines and off-road dirt bike and ATV riders.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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