Kentucky’s blooming goldenrod no longer needs protection

After nearly 30 years of conservation efforts, officials say they have removed the white-haired goldenrod from a list of federally-protected plants.
    
The fall-blooming perennial flower was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1988 after nearly disappearing from the Red River Gorge area of eastern Kentucky, which is the only place it grows.
    
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a statement on Friday that a final decision to delist the plant came after a comprehensive review found it blooming in abundance.
    
A recovery plan for the goldenrod stated it should be considered for delisting when 40 geographically distinct, self-sustaining occurrences have been maintained for a decade. The statement says there are now 46 such occurrences.
    
Officials will continue to monitor the plant.

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