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Recommended best management practices for Grand Mesa penstemon (Penstemon mensarum): practices developed to reduce the impacts of road maintenance activities to plants of concern




Smith, Gabrielle, author
Panjabi, Susan Spackman, author
Colorado Natural Heritage Program, publisher

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Grand Mesa penstemon (Penstemon mensarum) is a tall, dark-blue-flowered plant in the Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family) that is known only from the vicinity of Grand Mesa in Gunnison, Delta, Mesa, and Pitkin counties, Colorado. This distinctive species is not known from anywhere else in the world, and is considered to be imperiled at a global and state level (G2/S2; Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2014). One of the biggest conservation issues for this imperiled plant species is the lack of awareness of its existence and status. Avoiding or minimizing impacts to this species during road maintenance activities will effectively help to conserve its habitat and is unlikely to confer substantial impacts on road maintenance goals and projects. The Best Management Practices (BMPs) included in this document are intended to help increase the awareness of this species for anyone involved in road maintenance activities. The desired outcome of these recommended BMPs is to reduce significantly the impacts of road maintenance activities to the Grand Mesa penstemon on federal, state, and/or private land. The BMPs listed here are intended to be iterative, and to evolve over time as additional information about the Grand Mesa penstemon becomes available, or as road maintenance technologies develop. The intent of these BMPs is to inform people working along roadside areas regarding the importance of Grand Mesa penstemon, one of Colorado's botanical treasures, and to outline some of the ways in which this species can coexist with road maintenance activities. The implementation of these recommendations will help to assure that maintenance activities proceed without unintended harm to the Grand Mesa penstemon.


Prepared for: Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado Natural Areas Program.
May 2014.
Includes bibliographical references (page 9).

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plant habitat
noxious weed management
Grand Mesa penstemon
species profile


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