June 10, 2019—A draft Recovery Plan for Peirson’s milk-vetch has been released for public review and comment. Listed as a threatened species under the ESA in 1998, the plant is found only in portions of the Algodones Dunes in Imperial County, California, and the Gran Desierto in Mexico.

The draft plan identifies actions that will guide recovery of the plant to the point at which protection under the ESA is no longer needed.

Peirson’s milk-vetch is a perennial member of the legume family. It has a long tap root that can penetrate deep into the sand to reach moisture and functions as an anchor for the plant in shifting sands. The plant has delicate pale purple flowers and produces large fruits containing seeds. Plants may flower in their first year and produce relatively few fruits, while older plants produce significantly more fruits.

In the United States, the plant occurs within a narrow band running 40 miles northwest to southeast along the western portion of the Algodones Dunes. Nearly all of the lands in the dunes are managed by the Bureau of Land Management as the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.

To be recovered, adequate amounts of high-quality habitat should be restored, protected, and managed. The BLM’s Recreation Area Management Plan for the Algodones Dunes balances off-highway vehicle recreation with conservation of Peirson’s milk-vetch by designating areas open to varying levels of recreation intensity with areas set aside for conservation of the plant. The Service will continue working with the BLM and other partners to further recovery of this native dune species.

The draft recovery plan is composed of three documents: the draft recovery plan, a species status review and a recovery plan implementation timeline. All documents are available on our ECOS webpage for Peirson’s milk-vetch – Peirson’s milk-vetch ECOS page

Recovery plans are not regulatory documents and do not require any agency or landowner to implement specific actions.

Comments and information on the draft Recovery Plan will be accepted until July 8, 2019. Submit comments and information electronically at fw8cfwocomments@fws.gov. Written comments should be mailed or hand delivered to: Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad, California 92008

If you need additional assistance, please contact the Carlsbad Office at 760–431–9440.

Photos of this species and its habitat may be found on Flickr: Peirson’s milk-vetch and its habitat

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/cno or connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.