Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Service Revises Critical Habitat for Thread-leaved Brodiaea Plant

Feb 08, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  
February 7, 2011

Contact:  Stephanie Weagley, stephanie_weagley@fws.gov, (760)431-9440 ext. 210

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Revises Critical Habitat for Thread-leaved Brodiaea Plant

CARLSBAD, CA –The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today it has revised critical habitat for the federally threatened plant thread-leaved brodiaea (Brodiaea filifolia). Approximately 2,947 acres of land have been designated in portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, and San Diego counties.

Thread-leaved brodiaea, a purple-flowered perennial herb, grows 8 to 16 inches tall and flowers from late April to early June. It is typically found at elevations ranging from 100 feet to 2,500 feet and occurs on gentle hillsides, valleys, and floodplains within moderately moist plant communities associated with clay soils with varying amounts of sand and silt.

Lands designated as critical habitat consist of 10 units and are subdivided into 23 subunits. All areas are currently occupied by the species with the majority of lands privately owned. The remaining areas are managed by local, state and federal agencies.

Of the 3,786 acres proposed as critical habitat for thread-leaved brodiaea in December 2009, the Service excluded 837 acres: 381 acres covered under the Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP); 193 acres covered by the Orange County Southern Subregion Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP); 102 acres covered under the Orange County Central-Coastal Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP); 157 acres covered by the City of Carlsbad’s Habitat Management Plan under the Northwestern San Diego County Multiple Habitat Conservation Plan(MHCP); and 4 acres covered by the County of San Diego Subarea Plan under the San Diego County Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP). These lands are being conserved and managed for the benefit of thread-leaved brodiaea.

However, the Service has included 1,113 acres covered by the Western Riverside County MSHCP;
732 acres covered by the Orange County Southern Subregion HCP; 11 acres covered by the Orange County Central-Coastal NCCP; 105 acres covered by the City of Carlsbad’s Habitat Management Plan under the Northwestern San Diego County MHCP; and 106 acres covered by the City and County of San Diego Subarea Plans under the San Diego County MSCP.

These areas are included in the designation because: (1) Lands are not currently receiving long-term conservation and management; or (2) Non-covered activities occur throughout these areas. Including these lands will provide additional regulatory protection needed to conserve and manage the plant.

A total of 1,531 acres on military lands located on Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton are exempt from this revised critical habitat designation.

Final estimates of incremental costs associated with the revised designation could range from $500,000 to $600,000 over the next 20 years (using a 7 percent discount rate).

The revised final rule was developed in response to a lawsuit filed against the Service by the Center for Biological Diversity challenging the 2005 designation of 597 acres of critical habitat for the plant.

The official copy, final economic analysis, and map will be posted on the Internet February 8, 2011, at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2009-0073, or can be obtained by mail from the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office. A photo of the plant can be found on Flickr.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/

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