Federal wildlife officials say preserving habitat areas for Yadon's piperia, an endangered perennial orchid that primarily grows in Monterey pine forests, could cost up to $13 million during the next 20 years.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service... released a draft economic analysisthat estimates the costs associated with conserving more than 2,000 acresof critical habitat for the endangered plant.
The study says it would cost $9.6 million to $12.9 million over the nexttwo decades to protect habitat areas for Yadon's piperia. In October, thefederal agency proposed designating 2,306 acres as critical habitat forthe... orchid.
About 84 percent of the proposed habitat area consists of private lands onthe Peninsula and other parts of the county. State land comprises 9 percentof proposed habitat area, while 7 percent belongs to local governmentagencies.
Of the private lands, about 25 percent is owned or managed by the ElkhornSlough Foundation and the Del Monte Forest Foundation...
Yadon's piperia, which grows small white flowers on a slender stalk, waslisted as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act in 1998.
The proposed critical habitat area was designated in response to a lawsuitfiled by the Center for Biological Diversity against the federal wildlifeagency.
Federal law requires that wildlife officials consider economic and otherimpacts of proposed critical habitat decisions. If the benefits ofexcluding an area from critical habitat outweigh the benefits of includingit, the wildlife agency may exclude it."
URL : http://www.montereyherald.com/local/ci_6570700