Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It
was here first.
If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
Always do what you are afraid to do.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than
you seem, and smarter than you think.
Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone
going faster than you is a maniac?
I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge
you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Many of our readers have noticed that the world seems to be getting more and
more peculiar. They’re right.
Our story begins in October 2009 in San Francisco, when Dr. Daniel Gluesenkamp,
the Director of Habitat Protection for something called the Audobon Canyon Ranch,
noticed a particular bush in an area being cleared for a highway improvement project.
At first glance he thought it might be a Franciscan manzanita.
This particular manzanita goes for less than twenty bucks in San Francisco
nurseries and is apparently pretty popular in gardens in the area. But the beauty
Dr. G noticed in the median strip of the highway was deemed to be the last of its
kind ‘in the wild’.
To give the plant legal protection, three organizations -- the Wild Equity Institute,
the Center for Biological Diversity, and the California Native Plant Society -- filed
an emergency petition for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
A biologist from the Presidio Trust and an ecologist from the National Park
Service confirmed that Dr. G’s discovery was indeed a ‘wild’ Arctostaphylos franciscana.
All the agencies apparently did their part, because the Interior Department
was able to report that ‘the translocation of the Arctostaphylos franciscana to an
active native plant management are of the Presidio was accomplished, apparently successfully
and according to plan on January 23, 2010’. Who says the government can’t get anything
The whole translocation only cost $205,075.
A final report from the Interior Department in September 2011 wrapped things
up. ‘A single trampling event could result in the damage or death of the wild plant’
so ‘the National Park Service and the Presidio Trust have made continuous efforts
not to reveal the location of the Arctostaphylos franciscana. They are concerned
that public knowledge of the A. Fransicana location would attract large numbers of
plant enthusiasts who may damage A. Fransicana and compact the soil’. Yup, the little
rascal is now safe behind a fence in a secret location.
Gives you a nice warm feeling, don’t it?
Once Upon a Time in America - or When Did We Lose Our Minds?
With admirable cooperation, the Presidio Trust, the California Department of
Transportation, the National Park Service, and the California Department of Fish
and Game developed a ‘Memorandum of Agreement’ (MOA) to save the bush. The MOA,
titled ‘Memorandum of Agreement Regarding Planning, Development, and Implementation
Plan for Franciscan Manzanita’ was signed on December 1.
The plan spelled out what was to be done, when, and by what agency. Included
were plans for removing and transporting the bush, and for ‘nurturing and monitoring
the Mother Plant in its new location for a period not to exceed ten (10) years’.