The government doled out more than $200,000 in 2010 to “translocate” a bush that was blocking the path of San Francisco’s $1.05-billion highway project — partially funded by President Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus law — adding to the laundry list of “shovel-ready” projects that resulted in a cesspool of taxpayer waste.
“In October 2009, an ecologist identified a plant growing in a concrete-bound median strip along Doyle Drive in the Presidio as Arctostaphylos franciscana,” (pictured at left) the U.S. Department of Interior wrote in an Aug. 10, 2010 Federal Register journal entry. “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 agency added. CNSNews.com explained the purported “significance” of this particular plant:
The bush — a Franciscan manzanita — as 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.”
Prior to the discovery of this “wild” Franciscan manzanita, the plant had been considered extinct for as long as 62 years — extinct, that is, outside of people’s yards and botanical gardens.