Caltrans landscape architect Dave Yam told us that providing funds for watering,
weeding, and expert botanists' fees if one
ever has to be rushed out to administer to the plant at a moment's
notice was the "right thing to do."
But it also warrants mentioning that the quick, generous, and environmentalist-friendly response to the discovery of one of the world's rarest plants in the middle of a highway construction project, while expensive, was a money-saver in even the short run. Quite simply, it kept litigious environmental groups such as the Center for Biological Diversity from filing suit or calling for time- and money-draining environmental reviews of the billion-dollar Doyle Drive project.
In the end, the several hundred thousand dollars that continues to support the Franciscan Manzanita probably doesn't cover the cost of breaktime coffee for the Doyle Drive reconstruction.
Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly