18 known populations of the plant – 17 on Bureau of Land Management and one on Arizona State Land Department administered land – are found in northern Mohave County, Arizona and southern Washington County, Utah. Primary threats to the mallow include unauthorized off-road vehicle use, gypsum mining and other recreational activities.
In areas under federal jurisdiction, the ESA prohibits malicious damage or destruction of threatened or endangered plants. Federal agencies that undertake, fund or permit activities that may affect critical habitat must consult with the Service to ensure such actions are conducted in a manner that does not adversely affect designated critical habitat. Critical habitat designations have no effect on actions taking place on non-federal lands unless proposed activities involve federal funding or permitting.
A total of 12,822 acres has been identified as potentially eligible for critical habitat designation for the Gierisch mallow. Critical habitat is a term in the ESA that identifies geographic areas containing features essential for the conservation of a threatened or endangered species.
The Service is seeking biological, commercial trade, or other relevant information concerning any threats to the Gierisch mallow, and regulations and conservation activities that may be addressing those threats. An economic analysis and environmental assessment of the effects of critical habitat designation will be conducted and made available at a later date.
Native plants are important for their ecological, economic, and aesthetic values. Plants play an important role in development of crops that resist disease, insects, and drought. Plants can also used to develop natural pesticides.