The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is proposing to amend 17 Pa. Code Ch. 45 Conservation Of Pennsylvania Native Wild Plants, to make changes to plant classification lists. These classification lists include plants determined to be extirpated, endangered, threatened, rare, or tentatively undetermined.
The proposed updates to the list of classified plants include:
- 30 plants being removed from the list;
- 24 plants being added to the list;
- 22 plants moving from a lower classification to a higher one; and
- 6 plants moving from a higher classification to a lower one.
“Many people don’t realize that there are many more species of plants in the world than there are animals,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “Pennsylvania is home to about 3,000 plant species – about two-thirds of those are considered native to the commonwealth, and 349 of them are currently listed as rare, threatened, or endangered.”
DCNR is accepting public comment on the proposed regulations until September 26. Comments can be submitted via email to RA-Ch45WildPlant@pa.gov. Click here to view the proposed regulation. Click here to view the press release about the regulation.
The proposed amendments will be incorporated into the Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI). The PNDI is a database of native wild plant and native rare wildlife classifications from the Game Commission, the Fish and Boat Commission, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
PNDI is the primary tool used by the state Department of Environmental Protection during permit processes for the protection of threatened and endangered plant species. This proposed rulemaking will result in updates to the plant data in PNDI but will not affect DEP’s permitting process. DCNR contends that its proposed rulemaking will remove more species from classifications than it adds, potentially leading to fewer classified plant species for prospective DEP permit applicants.