The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently made a 90-day finding (PDF) that a petition to list the plant species Arctostaphylos franciscana presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing this species may be warranted. Arctostaphylos franciscana is a low, spreading to ascending evergreen shrub in the heath family that is endemic to the San Francisco peninsula in California. The species was presumed extinct since 1947 when it was last seen in the wild, but, in October 2009, an ecologist identified a plant growing in a concrete-bound median strip along Doyle Drive in the Presidio (a former army post located in San Francisco) as Arctostaphylos franciscana.
Soon after discovery of the individual specimen of the species in October 2009, the Wild Equity Institute, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the California Native Plant Society petitioned (PDF) for its listing as endangered on an emergency basis. At the same time, they asked the Service to proceed to designate critical habitat for the species under the Act.
The Service is seeking input to inform its review on or before October 12, 2010.