Federal Protection Weighed for Plant in Gypsum Prospect Area
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A small area of prairie straddling the Wyoming-Montana line is the only place where the thick-leaf bladderpod can be found.
The area is also a promising source of gypsum, a mineral used to make fertilizer, cement, paper, and plaster.
Mexico-based building materials company Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua wants to conduct exploratory drilling there.
The Center for Biological Diversity has asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to grant the thick-leaf bladderpod federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The Casper Star-Tribune reports the Fish and Wildlife Service agreed this week to review the proposal.
Listing the plant as endangered or threatened could preclude mining in the area.