Bush in the way 7

Much that the environmentalists do goes beyond common sense, but this goes beyond sanity.

Thomas Cloud reports at CNSNews:

The government spent at least $205,075 in 2010 to “translocate” a single bush in San Francisco that stood in the path of a $1.045-billion highway-renovation project that was partially funded by the economic stimulus legislation President Barack Obama signed in 2009.

“In October 2009, an ecologist identified a plant growing in a concrete-bound median strip along Doyle Drive in the Presidio as Arctostaphylos franciscana,” the U.S. Department of Interior reported in the Aug. 10, 2010 edition of the Federal Register. “The plant’s location was directly in the footprint of a roadway improvement project designed to upgrade the seismic and structural integrity of the south access to the Golden Gate Bridge. The translocation of the Arctostaphylos franciscana plant to an active native plant management area of the Presidio was accomplished, apparently successfully and according to plan, on January 23, 2010,” the Interior Department reported.

The bush — a Franciscan manzanita — was a specimen of a commercially cultivated species of shrub that can be purchased from nurseries for as little as $15.98 per plant. The particular plant in question, however, was discovered in the midst of the City of San Francisco, in the median strip of a highway, and was deemed to be the last example of the species in the “wild.” …

On Oct. 16, 2009, Dr. Daniel Gluesenkamp, a botanist who was then the director of Habitat Protection and Restoration for Audubon Canyon Ranch, noticed the manzanita when he was driving along Doyle Drive. … The manzanita had been previously hidden by other vegetation but was uncovered as the area was being cleared in preparation for road construction.

With help from a biologist from the Presidio Trust … and an ecologist from the National Park Service, Gluesenkamp’s discovery was determined to be a Franciscan manzanita.

Shortly thereafter, the Presidio Trust, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the California Department of Fish and Game developed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for saving this one bush from the highway project … 

The agreement of Dec. 21, 2009 – Memorandum of Agreement Regarding Planning, Development, and Implementation of the Conservation Plan for Franciscan Manzanita – explains how, why, and when the bush would be moved and which agencies would be responsible for which aspects of the move.

While the MOA did not detail all the costs for moving the bush, it did state that in addition to funding removal and transportation of the Franciscan manzanita, Caltrans agreed to transfer $79,470 to the Presidio Trust “to fund the establishment, nurturing, and monitoring of the Mother Plant in its new location for a period not to exceed ten (10) years following relocation and two (2) years for salvaged rooted layers and cuttings according to the activities outlined in the Conservation Plan.”

Furthermore, …  the “hard removal”—n.b. actually digging up the plant, putting it on a truck, driving it somewhere else and replanting it–cost $100,000.

The MOA also stated that Caltrans agreed to “Transfer $25,605.00 to the Trust to fund the costs of reporting requirements of the initial 10-year period as outlined in the Conservation Plan.”

The $100,000 to pay for the “hard removal,” the $79,470 to pay for the “establishment, nurturing and monitoring” of the plant for a decade after its “hard removal,” and the $25,605 to cover the “reporting requirements” for the decade after the “hard removal,” equaled a total cost of $205,075 for “translocating” this manzanita bush.

But those were not the only costs incurred by taxpayers on behalf of the bush. According to the MOA, other costs included:

–“Contract for and provide funding not to exceed $7,025.00 for initial genetic or chromosomal testing of the Mother Plant by a qualified expert to be selected at Caltrans’ sole discretion.”

–“Contract for and fund the input, guidance, and advice of a qualified Manzanita expert on an as-needed basis to support the tending of the Mother Plant for a period not to exceed five (5) years, provided that said expert selection, retention and replacement at any point after hiring rests in the sole discretion of Caltrans.”

“Provide funding not to exceed $5,000.00 to each of 3 botanical gardens (Strybing, UC, and Tilden) to nurture salvaged rooted layers and to monitor and report findings as outlined in the Conservation Plan.”

–“Provide funding not to exceed $1,500.00 for the long-term seed storage of 300 seeds collected around the Mother Plant in November 2009 as outlined in the Conservation Plan.”

The plant is now protected by a fence and its location is kept secret, in part because the Presidio Trust and the National Park Service fear that nature-lovers seeking to see the rare wild Manzanita might trample it to death.

“[A] single trampling event could result in damage or the death of the wild plant,” the Interior Department noted in the Federal Register for Sept. 8, 2011. “As noted …, the Presidio Trust and NPS have made continuous efforts not to reveal the location of Arctostaphylos franciscana. They are concerned that public knowledge of the A. franciscana location would attract large numbers of plant enthusiasts who may damage the A. franciscana and compact the soil.” …

One California nursery currently allows customer to purchase Franciscan manzanitas online for $15.98 per bush. Another sells them for $18.00 per bush.

Manzanta La Panza makes a tight ball of gray with masses<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
of white flowers.
Manzanita plants need little water and care in coastal California. Most shrub manzanitas do well in the interior valleys.
Arctostaphylos franciscana
the sort of common manzanita bush that was moved, and is being nurtured by a specialist team, at a cost of well over $200,000 of tax-payers’ money

  • cheongyei

    Sad what the religion of the liberals has done to this once-great country.

  • Liz

    A perfect example of the gigantic scam that masquerades as “environmentalism”. 
    Someone is snickering all the way to the bank, while our holy and spiritual Gaia worshippers congratulate themselves on the profound impact they are making through their noble efforts to raise everyone’s consciousness and save the world.  

  • Frank

    Having spent most of my engineering career working for defense contractors I am not longer shocked by any government spending horror story. And the amount of money we’re talking about here is chump change compared to what I have seen.

  • George

                   Well Jillian , it’s like this ——-that bush is obviously soaking up a lot of  CO2 and is preventing global warming .    So the bush is now considered a high priority protected species of plant.   You see Jillian , that bush alone could very well save the planet.    But we dumb  a** conservatives just can’t seem to understand this because we all know that only LIBERALS care about the environment and nature, unlike us backwards conservatives.  
                            I heard that the liberals gave that bush a name . They have now  named the bush  “George”  , so it’s now named George Bush   ( get it ) —ok ok ok –bad joke.   Anyway Jillian  we  knuckle-dragging  conservatives just don’t seem to understand the value of a bush  because we all live in the bush so to speak.   Only LBERALS care about anything in the world —unlike us   “insensitive”  conservatives who are so anti-bush and nothing but a bunch of bush-haters who are always beating around the bush as they say.
                         I just wanted to give a brief explanation Jillian to the readers of why the liberals are protecting the bush . They actually worship the bush.  It’s their new religion    called   ” Bushianity ”  according to wackopedia  it  is defined as  [ the worship , praying to and exalting of the  BUSH  ].  Oh , one more question Jillian ————  Where’s Harold ?

    • George

      It doesn’t take $100,000.00 to dig up a plant and transport it to another location. What a bunch of BS.   This is the biggest rip off ever lately.  That plant could be dug up in a short time by any expert from a nursery ( or a “tree” doctor ) , placed in protective film /or plant containers , taken to another suitable location and replanted or even transported to a botanical garden where special care and attention would have been given it. The idea of hindering progress of a roadway improvement because of a singular plant is outrageous and totally assinine.  Typical liberal environmentalist  insanity !

      • jegarh

        This must be one of those shovel ready projects we have heard so much about that were to turn the economy around.

        • George

                                 Ha ha !    I like that Jegarh.   Don’t laugh , but this was indeed financed by the   “stimulus”    money by President Otrauma . You see Jegarh  , by leaving that plant there , we are providing jobs for the gophers who will have steady work digging tunnels around the plant . It keeps the gophers and moles employed and working steady.  We don’t want a bunch of gophers and moles protesting , do we ?  Not only that  Jegarh , but the caterpillars and bees will have  a place to eat and polinate , which gives work to the bees which in turn  helps nature and animal life ( including insects ).  If only we  closed-minded conservatives could just understand this , the world would be so much better.
                                  You see Jegarh ,  this is President Otrauma’s plan to bring about CHANGE .  He’s gonna transform nature itself and socialize Mother Nature.  If only we mean-spirited conservatives would just leave President Otrauma alone and let him revise nature from Mother Nature to Marxist Nature the world would be a better place.  You see Jegarh , we conservatives just don’t get it —-because we all know that only liberals have the answer to everything concerning the environment and nature , unlike we evil conservatives who keep getting in the way .  Just think  Jegarh , if  we  mean ole conservatives had not interfered , it would only have taken a few more hundred thousand dollars and that plant could have been moved across the county line to a better field , but we damn conservatives  got in the way and hindered progress.    Now don’t you feel bad  Jegarh ? I’m reeling with guilt right now and I’m  going into deep depression just thinking about it .  I think I’m gonna cry.  Boooooh hooooooo !!!     Sniff sniff .