Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Fish and Wildlife Service Determines Two Plants on San Clemente Island No Longer Endangered

Jul 25, 2013

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

For Release:  July 25, 2013

Fish and Wildlife Service Determines Two Plants on San Clemente Island No Longer Endangered

Carlsbad, CA – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it is reclassifying two plants on San Clemente Island from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Both the San Clemente Island lotus and the San Clemente Island paintbrush have expanded their range on the island, and ongoing management by the U.S. Navy is reducing threats to these plants.

An advance copy of the final rule is available online today at the Federal Register.

Located 64 miles off the coast of San Diego, San Clemente Island is managed by the U.S. Navy, and is the primary maritime training area for the Navy Pacific Fleet and Navy Sea, Air and Land Teams (SEALS).

The Navy’s implementation of natural resource management through a Natural Resource Management Plan includes numerous conservation actions to reduce or manage threats to the lotus and the paintbrush on San Clemente Island, including surveys and monitoring; erosion and fire control; and nonnative species removal.

The reclassification of these plants from endangered to threatened allows more management flexibility for the Navy than is permitted for an endangered species.

Although some military training activities, along with erosion, nonnative plants, and fire still pose a threat to these plants, imminence, intensity and magnitude of these threats has been reduced such that the plants are no longer in danger of extinction.

The final rule will officially publish in the Federal Register on July 26, 2013, and will be available at Look for the Search box and enter the Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2012–0007, or type in one of the common plant names – San Clemente Island lotus or San Clemente Island paintbrush.

The downlisting of these plants was first recommended in 5-year reviews prepared by the Service in 2007. In 2010, using information contained in those 5-year reviews, the Pacific Legal Foundation petitioned the Service to downlist the lotus and paintbrush as well as San Clemente Island bushmallow from endangered to threatened. In the 12-month finding on the petition, published on May 16, 2012, the Service determined downlisting of the bushmallow was not warranted, but the lotus and paintbrush plants were proposed for downlisting.

Photos of the plants may be viewed in the Service’s Pacific Southwest Region plant set on Flickr.

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