The discovery of opal in central Wyoming has prompted the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to close 360 acres to vehicles to protect a threatened plant.
The desert yellowhead, a sunflower-like plant, is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The closure was announced Thursday, about three weeks after the Wyoming Geological Survey announced the discovery of opal — both the common and precious kinds — in the area.
The closed area does not include the opal deposits. But the closure will remain in effect until the plant is no longer at risk from vehicles, according to a BLM release.
I don’t even understand how this came to be. What happened to NEPAblog? Shouldn’t they have something on this? How does the opal connect with either the plant or the vehicles? Is it concern over miners on ATVs?
So many questions.