Rare Manzanita Plant Finally Gets Some Love From the Feds

How much space does a plant need to grow, if its population recently crashed to a single specimen?

In the case of the Franciscan Manzanita, a shrub thought to be extinct in the wild until it was discovered in 2009 growing alongside the Doyle Drive reconstruction project, the federal government thinks the answer is 318 acres in San Francisco.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will list the species as endangered today (yes, it took three years for the government to rule that a species down to its last survivor is “endangered”). It's also preparing to set aside pockets of the city, stretching from the Presidio to Candlestick Park, as critical habitat where the plant could potentially blossom and recover.

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