One of the first things I remember from this class was the first lecture where we were told about a plant that was believed to be extinct and was later found again in the Presidio. I can’t imagine what it was like for scientists or botanists a few years back when they found out this extinct plant was no longer extinct. Now in 2011the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing that the Franciscan Manzanita should be listed under the Endangered Species Act. In an article written last week, the writer gives a brief history of the plant, which was thought to be extinct after a cemetery was built bulldozing the entire plant life in that area. He later goes on to explain that designating the Franciscan Manzanita as an endangered species would mean that anyone who tamers with the plant could face fines and criminal prosecution.
There is currently a 60-day public comment period going on for the proposed designation, but to me this should be a no brainer. I know it’s just a plant and I assume there were more plants that were sent to extinction due to human expansion, but when have a chance to save one we shouldn’t hesitate to do so. I also learned in the article that the Wild Equity Institute had sued Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for failing to protect the last remaining specimen in the wild. If that is the case that he was not doing enough to save the plant in the wild, than he should face consequences. We are talking about an extinct species that had reappeared in the Presidio, I’m not sure why anyone would want to dismiss this as anything but amazing.
I had never heard of this Manzanita until the first lecture but I hope that by this time next year this plant will be under the protection of the Endangered Species Act and at least try to help this plant survive in the wild.
Full Article: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/07/BAG51L1E1Q.DTL#ixzz1XlQVqjxb