Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Jennifer’s Monardella Formally Removed From Endangered Species Act Protection

Mar 05, 2012

For Release: March 5, 2012

Contact: Jane Hendron, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office – 760-431-9440 ext. 205,  Jane_hendron@fws.gov

 

Revised Critical Habitat Designated for Willowy Monardella
Jennifer’s monardella formally removed from Endangered Species Act Protection

CARLSBAD, CA -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a revised critical habitat designation for Monardella viminea (willowy monardella) that includes 122 acres of private and water district land in portions of San Diego County.

The Service also determined that Monardella stoneana (Jennifer’s monardella) does not meet the definition of a threatened or endangered species and is removed from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Plants.

At the time the plant was listed under the ESA in 1998, it was identified as Monardella linoides ssp. viminea, one of several subspecies of Monardella linoides. New taxonomic information indicates the listed entity is actually comprised of two separate species – Monardella viminea (willowy monardella) and Monardella stoneana (Jennifer’s monardella).

The June 9, 2011, proposed rule to revised critical habitat for willowy monardella included 348 acres of land that are essential to the conservation of the plant. Approximately 177 acres of essential habitat are covered by the City of San Diego Subarea Plan under the Multiple Species Conservation Program and 32 acres are covered by County of San Diego’s Subarea Plan.

The Secretary exercised his discretion and excluded all essential habitat covered by the City and County Subarea Plans from the revised designation, recognizing the voluntary, proactive conservation measures undertaken by both the City and County to protect willowy monardella. 

An additional 1,563 acres of essential habitat for willowy monardella on Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, is exempt from critical habitat designation because the Air Station has completed an Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan that provides a conservation benefit to the plant and its habitat.

The economic impact of the designation of 122 acres of critical habitat is negligible and only $10,000 in administrative costs are anticipated over the next 19 years.

The habitat characteristics required by willowy monardella include riparian channels with ephemeral drainages and adjacent floodplains with natural hydrologic regimes where water flows only after peak rainstorms, that experience periodic scouring from high runoff events which redistribute alluvial material creating new channels, benches and sandbars, and do not have long-term standing water; and the surrounding vegetation is semi-open with little or no herbaceous understory or canopy cover. The ephemeral drainages are composed of course, rocky, or sandy alluvium and have terraced benches, stabilized sandbars, channel banks, or sandy washes.

The Service’s priority is to make implementation of the ESA less complex, less contentious and more effective.  The agency seeks to accelerate recovery of threatened and endangered species across the nation, while making it easier for people to coexist with these species.

An advance copy of the final rule is on view today at the Federal Register Public Inspection. It officially publishes on March 6, 2012, at which time you can access it through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.  In the search box enter Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2010–0076.

The ESA provides a critical safety net for America’s native fish, wildlife and plants. This landmark conservation law has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species across the nation and promoted the recovery of many others.

-- FWS --


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