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Shrub Gets Endangered Status; 300 SF Acres Proposed For Rehabilitation

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Franciscan Manzanita, shown here, was recently found in the Presidio in San Francisco. (Charles Webber/California Academy of Sciences)

Franciscan Manzanita, shown here, was recently found in the Presidio in San Francisco. (Charles Webber/California Academy of Sciences)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) – Federal wildlife officials have added a native San Francisco shrub that was once believed to be extinct to the endangered species list.

The Franciscan manzanita’s new status—conferred on Wednesday— means anyone who tampers with the plant faces potential criminal charges and fines.

A single Franciscan manzanita shrub was spotted near a construction site by a botanist driving over the Golden Gate Bridge in 2009. It was previously thought to have been wiped out when one of its last natural habitats was bulldozed in 1947.

After the shrub was replanted in a safer spot, environmental groups sued the federal government to provide additional protections, including endangered species status.

Officials have proposed setting aside about 300 acres around the city and the Presidio Trust for the ground-hugging shrub to grow again.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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