The delisting of Tennessee purple coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis) from the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) marks a major conservation milestone. Its removal from the ESA demonstrates the purpose of the law and how it is intended to work. It is a conservation success story that celebrates the recovery of a species once considered extinct but now protected in 10 Tennessee Designated State Natural Areas and on other conservation lands in Middle Tennessee. The rediscovery of the species and the protection of its five populations is the legacy of many dedicated people over decades. This effort utilized best science practices and important land protection measures in partnership with state and federal government, universities, and The Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy to accomplish a significant conservation goal. It is a testimony to conservation law that protects species at the federal and state level under the ESA and the Tennessee Natural Areas Preservation Act of 1971.
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Vol. 31 • No. 4