Endangered or threatened species in the Santa Ana River Wash
Santa Ana River woollystar: Listed as an endangered species by the U.S. and California, which means killing or possessing the plant is prohibited. Some of the woollystar’s habitat was disturbed by the construction of the Seven Oaks Dam in the late 1900s and early 2000s.
The plant grows no taller than 3 feet. It has light grey-green stems and leaves with bright blue funnel-shaped flowers. It flowers between May and August, most heavily in June, and fruits from July to mid-October.
The exchange plan would increase the Santa Ana River Woollystar Preservation Area to 574 acres. A 20-acre corner of the preservation area once disturbed by lumber mill would be designated a mining area in exchange for 47 acres owned by Robertson’s Ready Mix that is more suitable for the plant.
Slender-horned spineflower: Also listed as a state and federal endangered species, this annual herb grows in 22 places in foothill drainage areas of San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties. It blooms between April and June.
Cactus wren: It’s not yet listed as endangered, but Land Resource Manager Jeff Beehler predicts it will be if residential development continues to grow in the San Gorgonio Pass.
San Bernardino kangaroo rat: This federally protected endangered species has large hind feet with four toes for jumping, long tail for balance while jumping and cheek pouches for foraging. It grows to about 3.7 inches.
California gnatcatcher: This endangered bird lives in California’s coastal scrub brush. It grows to about 4 inches. It is dusky gray with a black crown and a thin black beak.