News Release

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Re-opens Public Comment Period on its Proposal to List the Franciscan Manzanita as an Endangered Species

June 5, 2012

Media Contact: Robert Moler, robert_moler@fws.gov, (916) 414-6606

Sacramento –The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced it is reopening the public comment period on its proposal to list the Franciscan Manzanita, an extremely rare shrub native to Central California, as an endangered plant under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

In September 2011, the Service found that after a 12 month review of the plant’s status, listing the plant as an endangered species was warranted and opened a 60 day public comment period on the proposed rule and submit information on the status of the species. The comment period is being reopened for two weeks to ensure the Service has the best available science and information about the plant and its habitat before making a final decision under the ESA.

Copies of the proposed rule can be found on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS–R8–ES–2010–0049 or on the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office website at http://www.fws.gov/sacramento.

The two-week comment period closes June 20, 2012. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted. All submitted comments will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule.

Comments may be submitted electronically by going to http://www.regulations.gov, entering FWS–R8–ES–2010–0049 in the Keyword box, and clicking on the Proposed Rules link in the Search panel under the Document Type heading. Information can also be hand delivered or submitted through the U.S. mail to:

Public Comments Processing
Attn: FWS–R8–ES–2010–0049
Division of Policy and Directives Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203

The last known wild specimen of the of the Franciscan Manzanita, (Arctostaphylos franciscana) was identified in the fall of 2009 when a botanist spotted the plant, previously thought to be extinct in the wild, in an area adjacent to Doyle Drive in San Francisco. That same year, environmental organizations petitioned the Service to list the plant on the Endangered Species List. The plant had first been discussed for protection in 1976, but was not listed at that time because it was thought to be extinct in the wild since 1947.

The Endangered Species Act 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.