Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Essential Habitat for Two Riverside County California Plants Finalized

Apr 15, 2013

For Release:  April 15, 2013 

Contact:        Jane Hendron, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office - 760/431-9440 ext. 205

Essential Habitat for Two Riverside County California Plants Finalized

Carlsbad, Calif. -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced it completed a revision of critical habitat for two federally endangered plants - Munz’s onion (Allium munzii) and San Jacinto Valley crownscale (Atriplex coronata var. notatior).

A copy of the final rule is on public view at the Federal Register today. The rule will officially publish on April 16, and will be posted online at

The Service determined that about 98 acres out of 889 acres identified as essential habitat for Munz’s onion should be designated as critical habitat. The area designated as critical habitat is located at Elsinore Peak in the Santa Ana Mountains. Approximately 63 acres of the critical habitat unit is managed by the U.S. Forest Service, and the remainder is managed by the California State Lands Commission.

Although 8,020 acres of land was identified as essential to the conservation of San Jacinto Valley crownscale, the Service determined the agency’s long-term partnership with permittees under the Western Riverside Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) provides a greater benefit to the plant than what would be derived from critical habitat designation; therefore, no critical habitat is designated for the crownscale.

Munz’s onion is an herb that sprouts from a bulb. It is only found in Riverside County, specifically below 3,500 feet elevation. It grows in grassland areas, including open coastal and Riversidean sage scrub; outcrops of igneous rock; more rarely it may be found in juniper woodlands.

San Jacinto Valley crownscale is a bushy, erect, annual plant that grows in silty-clay soils in western Riverside County. It is found in wetland areas - primarily floodplains - and is associated with alkali playa, and alkali grassland and scrub habitats.

Only projects being carried out, funded or authorized by a Federal agency require consultation with the Service in areas designated as critical habitat. Over the next 20 years, total costs associated with designated as critical habitat for Munz’s onion are estimated to be $25,000.

The Service will continue to actively engage the public and others in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and protect species and their habitats.

A photo of Munz’s onion is viewable on our Flickr Plants page.

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 Connect with our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at and download photos from our Flickr page at

- FWS -