Conservation Group Not Necessarily Opposed to Moving 'Extinct' Plant From Doyle Drive's Path

SF Weekly has written a little bit about the jaw-dropping recent discovery of a Franciscan Manzanita beneath mounds of overgrown plants abutting the Doyle Drive highway project. While finding a manzanita plant in coastal California is a bit like spotting a rabbit in a rabbit hutch, no one had seen a Franciscan Manzanita in the wild since 1947. This is a once-in-a-lifetime find — and the plant is right in the path of the highway project. That's irony for you.

The tentative plan for the manzanita we're hearing from those involved in crafting it is to move the plant — which may be 40 to 70 years old — to a location where it could become part of a breeding population once again (while previously considered extinct in the wild, a number of Franciscan genotypes descended from clippings made in '47 reside in local botanical gardens). While, theoretically, the botanists and government officials crafting a quick turnaround conservation plant for the lone Franciscan Manzanita could order the billion-dollar highway rebuild to be drastically altered, it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

As a result, some have anticipated that the Center for Biological Diversity will file suit. But Jeff Miller, a local conservation advocate with the CBD, said that's not necessarily so.

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