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July 10, 7:30 pm: The Wilds of San Francisco & You Slideshow

Thursday, July 10, 7:30pm, at the Randall Museum: San Francisco has 32 pockets of undeveloped land set aside for the preservation of the natural world. These pockets hold the last remnants of wildness once found across the lands where we now live, but do we have room in our parks and our hearts for nature in this city?

The San Francisco Natural History Lecture Series hosted by the San Francisco Naturalist Society welcomes Brent Plater, executive director of the Wild Equity Institute, for a photographic exploration of the remaining wild areas in San Francisco. Brent went on a three day quest to see each of these natural areas for himself, understand what’s proposed for these lands, and identify a plan to save these areas from the City’s mismanagement. Join Brent for a slideshow of his quest, add your thoughts to the conversation, and discover how we can help these areas thrive.

Please RSVP here or on our Meetup group page.


Lakeview/Ashton Mini Park Natural Area.

Federal Judge Tells EPA: No More Delays on Wild Equity Institute's Antioch Dunes Petition

For Immediate Release, July 8, 2014

Contact:  Laura Horton, lhorton@wildequity.org, Wild Equity Institute, (415) 235-0492

Federal Judge Tells EPA: No More Delays on Wild Equity Institute’s Antioch Dunes Petition

San Francisco, Calif.—Yesterday a federal court judge ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to respond to Wild Equity Institute’s concerns over the impacts of PG&E’s power plant pollution on community health and the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, one of North America’s most imperiled species.

“EPA has ignored PG&E’s pollution problem long enough,” said Laura Horton, Staff Attorney at Wild Equity Institute. “The agency’s delay has put the local community and the highly endangered Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly at risk, and the federal court agrees it is time for EPA to step up.”

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Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, August 17, 2012.
Photo © Liam O’Brien, http://www.sfbutterfly.com.


Last year, Wild Equity filed a petition with EPA over a permit issued to PG&E’s Gateway facility under Title V of the Clean Air Act. Gateway’s proposed permit failed to include air pollution control requirements to protect endangered species and the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, even though Title V permits must include “all applicable” requirements.

Wild Equity demonstrated this failure to both EPA and the local permitting agency, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, through a formal legal petition process established by the Clean Air Act. The petition process requires EPA to respond to the petition within 60 days. However, EPA failed to respond to this petition at all and the proposed permit became final. Wild Equity then filed a lawsuit against EPA in March of this year to compel the agency to respond to the petition.

Federal court judge James Donato in the Northern District of California questioned EPA’s long delay in responding to Wild Equity’s petition, and ordered the agency to take action on the petition and provide a substantive response to Wild Equity’s concerns by October 17, 2014.

There are only a few dozen Lange’s metalmark butterflies remaining in the world. The Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that nitrogen pollution from power plants near the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge is “virtually certain” to cause the species to go extinct, and earlier this year independently demanded that EPA and PG&E consult with experts and mitigate Gateway Generating Station’s pollution.

Background on the Gateway Generating Station and the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly.

Gateway Generating Station is a large, natural-gas-fired power plant in Antioch, California that pollutes nearby communities, worsens the global climate crisis, and threatens the survival of the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly.

Wild Equity has for years been informing EPA and PG&E that they must work with the Fish and Wildlife Service to assess the impacts of Gateway’s nitrogen emissions on the butterfly, as required under the Endangered Species Act. However, to date EPA and PG&E have not fulfilled this legal duty.

The Lange’s metalmark butterfly is a brightly colored, fragile and highly endangered butterfly that has been protected by the federal Endangered Species Act since 1976. The species is endemic to the Antioch Dunes in Contra Costa County, a relict desert landscape left behind as California’s prehistoric deserts retreated from the Bay Area 140,000 years ago. Because of the Antioch Dunes’ isolation, many species found in the dunes are unique and very rare.

Sand dunes like the Antioch Dunes are nitrogen deficient, and increased amounts of airborne nitrogen emitted from Gateway changes the chemical composition of the dunes, creating soil conditions that are only suitable for the growth of invasive weeds. Under these polluted conditions, the butterfly’s host plant is lost to the invasive weeds, resulting in a population decline for the butterfly. Gateway’s emissions also harm local communities by contributing more ozone pollution and soot to an area already disproportionately overwhelmed by power plant pollution.


The Wild Equity Institute is building a healthy and sustainable global community for people
and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth.

http://wildequity.org/

###

We're Hiring: Staff Attorney Position Now Open

Staff Attorney Position

Position Summary.

Wild Equity is hiring a Staff Attorney to manage and prosecute environmental cases in state and federal courts. This full-time position is based in Wild Equity’s San Francisco office, and offers an extraordinary opportunity to join a growing organization and shape its future.

To apply for this position, please submit a resume, two recent samples of your own writing, list of references, law school transcript, and a cover letter describing your interest in our work to info@wildequity.org. The position will start on August 1, 2014.

Major Responsibilities.

Under the direction of the Executive Director and in collaboration with outside counsel, the Staff Attorney will:

...Read more

Wild Equity's Laura Horton Kicks Off Summer Program with Antioch Students to Protect Endangered Butterfly

Wild Equity Staff Attorney Laura Horton kicked off the summer component of her Toyota TogetherGreen project last week at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. The project, funded by a Toyota and National Audubon Society grant, was created to engage high school students in the protection of local endangered species at the Refuge through education and restoration in collaboration with Louis Terrazas of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Rick Barton of Antioch High School. The project consists of a spring program, aimed at bringing larger groups to the Refuge for high-impact restoration, and an application-based summer program, which focuses on specialized land management training for a small group. Students in the summer program also receive a stipend for their work.


Summer participants Adeeb Nazam, Daja Miller, and Emily Hendricks with Laura Horton (left to right).

Sixty students participated in the successful spring restoration program, and the project was featured in Examiner.com and Contra Costa Times. Following the spring program, Laura gave a presentation to the students in April on environmental jobs and invited them to apply to the summer program.

Antioch High School students Daja Miller, Adeeb Nazam, and Emily Hendricks were chosen to participate in the summer program, among many talented applicants. Daja is a recent Antioch High School graduate who will be attending Howard University in the fall and majoring in biology. She is very passionate about fair treatment for animals and helping others. Adeeb also recently graduated from Antioch High School. He has a strong interest in helping animals and working on environmental issues. Emily will be starting her junior year at Antioch High School in the fall. Her passion is learning about nature and the environment and she has worked on several conservation projects in the past.

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Wild Equity Participates in Release of Injured Baby Herons, Seeks Full Prosecution for Incident

Wild Equity staff participated in a very special event on Saturday, June 7: the release of five juvenile Black-crowned Night Herons, four of which were injured in the Oakland tree trimming incident last month. The event was hosted by our partner Golden Gate Audubon Society as well as International Bird Rescue, the organization that has been caring for the birds since the incident.

Bird lovers, conservationists, and members of the press gathered to watch young members of GGAS’ education program release the birds into a habitat area at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline park in Oakland.


Members of GGAS’ youth education program prepare to release the birds.
Photo: Laura Horton, Wild Equity.


Two Herons check out their new surroundings. Photo: Laura Horton, Wild Equity.

GGAS’ new Executive Director also took the opportunity to spread the word about their new brochure offering advice to both professional tree trimmers and backyard gardeners about taking care to avoid situations like the one in Oakland.

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Wild Equity to Discuss Migratory Bird Nest Protection in the Wake of Oakland Heron Disaster

Staff Attorney Laura Horton will give a talk on Wild Equity Institute’s migratory bird work on Sunday, July 20, 2014 as part of the Unitarian Universalist Forum series. Laura will discuss the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s nest destruction policy, which has led to the destruction of countless migratory bird nests since it was enacted in 2003. This issue was recently spotlighted after an appalling encounter between the U.S. Postal Service and baby black-crowned night herons in Oakland.

The horrific scene in Oakland, where tree trimmers hired by the Postal Service fed branches full of heron nests and chicks into a wood chipper, sheds light on the Fish and Wildlife Service’s disastrous policy. Witnesses say baby birds were falling out of the trees and that there were significant injuries of the birds and disturbance of their nests. The Fish and Wildlife Service has stated that it is investigating the incident.


Baby Black-crowned Night Herons being cared for at International Bird Rescue center in Fairfield.
Photo: Isabel Luevano, International Bird Rescue

Killing and injuring migratory birds and destroying their nests is illegal under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”). However, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s nest policy incorrectly interprets the statutory language of the MTBA by unlawfully distinguishing “active” from “inactive” nests. The policy allows and even encourages the destruction of inactive nests (nests without birds or eggs), even if the nest is being used as shelter or a bird returns to the nest each year. The result of the policy is inconsistent enforcement between inactive and active nests and broad latitude for those with no biological background or understanding of birds to decide whether a nest should be destroyed.


This Great Horned Owl in an empty Osprey nest shows that a seemingly unused nest
may still be used as shelter by other birds. Photo: J.D. Phillips.


In July 2012, Wild Equity asked the Service to establish a consistent policy that clearly requires a trained biologist to assess an area and a permit to be issued before nests are destroyed, whether active or inactive. Wild Equity filed a formal administrative petition with the Service urging it to change its policy. In December 2013, the Fish and Wildlife Service sent Wild Equity a letter rejecting the petition, citing limited resources and policy disagreements as the reasoning. However, the Service did say it was “reviewing options for enhancing protection for nests of cavity-nesting species, such as the burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia),” and that Wild Equity’s regulatory suggestions were “helpful in this regard, and [the Service plans] to give them further consideration.”

Wild Equity is currently reviewing the Service’s response to the petition, as well as the investigation into the Oakland incident, and will be taking further steps to avoid this kind of situation in the future; stay tuned for future updates and opportunities to get involved.

Laura’s talk will take place on Sunday, July 20 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1187 Franklin Street at Geary, Martin Luther King Room at 9:30 AM. Check the Wild Equity calendar or contact lhorton@wildequity.org for more details.

Wild Equity Sues SF Rec. & Park Over Sharp Park Wetland Destruction Project

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 For Immediate Release: April 22, 2014

Contact: Brent Plater, Wild Equity Institute, (415) 572-6989

Conservation Groups Sue San Francisco's Recreation and Park Department
Over Controversial Sharp Park Golf Course Wetland Destruction Project 

 SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The Wild Equity Institute, Sequoia Audubon Society, and Save the Frogs sued Mayor Edwin Lee and the San Francisco Recreation & Park Department in San Francisco Superior Court today over a project that will destroy and drain Sharp Park’s Laguna Salada wetland complex, arguably the most ecologically important portion of the Department's most biologically rich land.

“This senseless project will destroy critical wetlands, harm endangered species, and cost taxpayers over $1,000,000 to implement,” said Brent Plater, executive director of the Wild Equity Institute.  “Experts have demonstrated that a feasible alternative to this project exists that will not harm wetlands and will save taxpayers money.  But San Francisco has refused to consider this alternative, so on Earth Day we ask the court to bring common sense back to the Recreation & Park Department.”

“The wetlands at Sharp Park are critical to the survival of the endangered California red-legged frogs that live on the property, so it is essential that the City of San Francisco conducts a thorough environmental review before continuing to pump the wetlands out to sea,” said Kerry Kriger, executive director of Save the Frogs.

“Sequoia Audubon’s mission is to protect native birds and other wildlife and their ecosystems,” said Edwin Geer, conservation committee chair for Sequoia Audubon Society. “We remain vigilant in guarding our coastline through effective conservation measures and legal protections.”

San Francisco’s Recreation & Park Department is proposing to destroy aquatic vegetation in Sharp Park’s Laguna Salada wetland complex—arguably the most ecologically important part of the Department’s most biologically important land—so it can drain the wetland more rapidly during winter rains. 

To mitigate the environmental impacts of this project, the Department proposed a series of complex mitigation measures that required another agency—the federal Fish and Wildlife Service—to review, approve, and enforce a series of actions contemporaneous with the project’s construction.

But During a March 19 meeting with wetland experts from around the Bay Area, the Fish and Wildlife Service stated that it had not heard about these measures, and further explained that it would not be possible for the agency to implement them: all of its resources are consumed meeting its own mandates under federal endangered species law, and it could not spare resources to help local jurisdictions meet state law environmental requirements.  The agency confirmed this sentiment in follow-up emails.

Nonetheless, the City approved the project a few days later, based on assurances from Recreation & Park Department staff that the proposed mitigation measure did not actually require Fish and Wildlife Service actions and approvals—a position that is flatly inconsistent with the mitigation measure itself.

Moreover, experts have explained that the aquatic vegetation Recreation & Parks wishes to remove can only grow in shallow water.  If it destroys the vegetation while draining the wetland to shallow levels, the vegetation will grow back, creating an ongoing, expensive, and harmful cycle of dredging and draining if the Department wishes to maintain open waters in the wetland complex.

These same experts have explained that if the Department simply allowed enough water to remain in the complex during the spring and summer months the vegetation would die off naturally and would not grow back: because the water would be too deep for the vegetation to survive.  Moreover, this proposal would not increase winter flooding events at Sharp Park Golf Course, because the higher water levels need only be maintained in the spring and summer—and the golf course does not flood during these seasons.

“Before we spend a million dollars of taxpayer funds destroying wetlands, we deserve an honest assessment of environmental impacts, as well as a consideration of alternatives,” said Plater.  “To date the Recreation & Park Department has failed to honestly assess the environmental impacts of this project, and refused to consider any alternatives to it.  We expect the court to rectify that mistake.”

The Wild Equity Institute builds a healthy and sustainable global community for people

and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth.
 

Wild Equity Institute Sues EPA for Failing to Curb PG&E Pollution in Antioch

For Immediate Release, March 26, 2014

Contact:  Laura Horton, lhorton@wildequity.org, Wild Equity Institute, (415) 235-0492

Wild Equity Institute Sues EPA for Failing to Curb PG&E Pollution in Antioch

San Francisco, Calif.— The Wild Equity Institute today filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) for failing to address the impacts of PG&E’s power plant pollution on community health and one of North America’s most imperiled species: the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, which is found only at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge.

“PG&E needs to play by the same rules as everyone else,” said Laura Horton, Staff Attorney at Wild Equity Institute. “Other power plants have already taken measures to do right by communities and our imperiled wildlife, and EPA cannot let PG&E off the hook just because the utility is the biggest player on the block.”

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Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly photo © Liam O’Brien, http://sfbutterfly.com


EPA’s legal violation involves Title V of the Clean Air Act. Title V is a permit process that applies to “major sources” of pollution such as PG&E’s Gateway Generating Station, and results in a permit that incorporates “all applicable” air pollution control requirements in a single set of documents.

A proposed Title V permit for Gateway was released last year, and shockingly it failed to include air pollution control requirements to protect endangered species and the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, even though another power plant a few miles down the road agreed to mitigate its pollution this past year.

Wild Equity demonstrated this failure to both EPA and the local permitting agency, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, through a formal legal petition process established by the Clean Air Act. The petition process requires EPA to respond to the petition within 60 days. However, the EPA has failed to respond to this petition at all—and in the interim, the proposed permit became final, without any provisions in place to protect the Lange’s metalmark butterfly.

There are only a few dozen Lange’s metalmark butterflies remaining in the world. The Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that nitrogen pollution from power plants near the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge is “virtually certain” to cause the species to go extinct, and earlier this year independently demanded that the EPA and PG&E consult with experts and mitigate Gateway Generating Station’s pollution.

Background on the Gateway Generating Station and the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly.

Gateway Generating Station is a large, natural-gas-fired power plant in Antioch, California that pollutes nearby communities, worsens the global climate crisis, and threatens the survival of the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly.

Wild Equity has for years been informing the EPA and PG&E that they must work with the Fish and Wildlife Service to assess the impacts of Gateway’s nitrogen emissions on the butterfly, as required under the Endangered Species Act. However, to date the EPA and PG&E have not fulfilled this legal duty.

The Lange’s metalmark butterfly is a brightly colored, fragile and highly endangered butterfly that has been protected by the federal Endangered Species Act since 1976. The species is endemic to the Antioch Dunes in Contra Costa County, a relict desert landscape left behind as California’s prehistoric deserts retreated from the Bay Area 140,000 years ago. Because of the Antioch Dunes’ isolation, many species found in the dunes are unique and very rare.

Sand dunes like the Antioch Dunes are nitrogen deficient, and increased amounts of airborne nitrogen emitted from Gateway changes the chemical composition of the dunes, creating soil conditions that are only suitable for the growth of invasive weeds. Under these polluted conditions, the butterfly’s host plant is lost to the invasive weeds, resulting in a population decline for the butterfly. Gateway’s emissions also harm local communities by contributing more ozone pollution and soot to an area already disproportionately overwhelmed by power plant pollution.


The Wild Equity Institute is building a healthy and sustainable global community for people
and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth.

http://wildequity.org/

###

Environmental Groups Will Ask Board of Supervisors to Reject Misleading Environmental Report on Sharp Park


Building a healthy and sustainable global community for people
and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth

March 24, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Brent Plater, Wild Equity Institute, (415) 572-6989

...Read more

3/25 - Join Wild Equity at City Hall to Protect Rare Frogs & Snakes

The Wild Equity Institute along with our partners: Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter, Center for Biological Diversity, National Parks Conservation Association, Save the Frogs!, and Golden Gate Audubon have appealed the Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration released for the Sharp Park Pumphouse Safety and Infrastructure Improvement Project, a project led by San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department (RPD). The appeal will go before the full Board of Supervisors on Tuesday March 25, 3:00pm at City Hall Room 250. We need you to join us at the Board of Supervisors meeting!

If the Pumphouse Project is approved in its current form it will be disastrous for the federally protected California Red-legged Frog population of the Laguna Salada Wetland Complex. The only way to get a full assessment of the significant environmental damage of the Pumphouse Project and to have an environmentally superior alternative considered is to have a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) completed for the project.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has the power to order a full EIR. Our coalition has never lost a vote on this issue at the Board—so far. But we need you to attend this hearing and raise your voice for: the California Red-legged Frog, the San Francisco Garter Snake, this rare wetland complex and all of us who want a more environmentally friendly and fiscally responsible RPD. Please join us on March 25 at 3:00pm at San Francisco City Hall Room 250!

Here are some talking points to include in your comment to the Board of Supervisors on March 25:

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Wild Equity Leads Bird Talk at Environmental Law Conference

Wild Equity staff members Laura Horton and Amy Zehring recently attended the 32nd Annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the University of Oregon Law School in Eugene. The conference is a premier gathering for environmental lawyers and activists worldwide, and is distinguished as the oldest and largest of its kind. Laura organized and led a panel discussion on Wild Equity’s work protecting migratory bird nests and shared information on the Fish and Wildlife Service’s harmful nest destruction policy. The panel was titled The Government’s Empty Nest Syndrome: Towards a Rational and Valid MBTA Nest Policy and included animal law attorney Danny Lutz and ornithologist Dan Gleason. In addition, Laura and Amy connected with other advocates throughout the weekend and attended panels on important topics such as endangered species protection and environmental justice.


Laura, Danny, and Dan

Antioch High School Students Help Restore Butterfly Habitat

The National Audubon Society and Toyota recently recognized Wild Equity’s Staff Attorney Laura Horton as a conservation leader with the prestigious Toyota TogetherGreen fellowship. Laura is using the grant from Toyota TogetherGreen fellowship to involve students from Antioch High School in the restoration efforts at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge in Antioch, CA.

In January and February, 60 students and Laura collaborated with employees from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove invasive plants and plant 500 native plants, including the endangered Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose and the naked-stemmed buckwheat. Naked-stemmed buckwheat is the host plant for the endangered Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly. Laura’s project with the Antioch High School students will continue through the summer, culminating in a community-wide event with parents, teachers, and students celebrating the students’ achievements through their restoration efforts.

1/30 - GGNRA Dog Management Plan Forum with Congressperson Jackie Speier

You are invited to attend a public forum on the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s draft Dog Management Plan on Thursday, January 30, 8:30am – 10:00am.

This is your chance to voice your concerns regarding recreation and wildlife in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area directly to GGNRA representatives and Congressperson Speier.

We need everyone to attend, and this is the perfect occasion to wear your I “bird” SF t-shirt!!!

When: Thursday, January 30, 8:30 am – 10:00 am

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1/16 - Attend the Sharp Park Pumphouse Project CEQA Appeal Hearing at City Hall

After many continuances, the Sharp Park Pumphouse Project CEQA Appeal Hearing is finally confirmed for Thursday, January 16 at Noon, San Francisco City Hall, Room 400. We need to fill the room!!! Show your support for our appeal by attending and giving public comment.

Here are some talking points for your comment.

We believe a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is necessary because:

  • Experts have stated even a mitigated Pumphouse Project will have significant impacts on the California Red-legged Frog and San Francisco Garter Snake populations at Sharp Park.
  • The Pumphouse Project will have significant environmental effects on the water quality and hydrology at Sharp Park.
  • There are alternatives to the Pumphouse Project and an EIR is needed to adequately consider these alternatives.
  • Sharp Park is suffering from a piecemeal approach to planning.
  • The Pumphouse Project conflicts with the Coastal Act.
  • The impact on the recovery plan for the California Red-legged Frog is not addressed in the Pumphouse Project.

In October 2013, the Wild Equity Institute appealed the Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration released for Sharp Park Pumphouse Project, arguing that the city should do a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR). When this pump is used to drain Sharp Park Golf Course, it drains so much water that the California Red-legged frog egg masses are left out to dry and this kills future generations of frogs. The appeal document is attached in 3 parts. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

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Final Habitat Protections for San Francisco's Miracle Manzanita Announced


Building a healthy and sustainable global community for people
and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth

December 19, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Brent Plater, Wild Equity Institute, (415) 572-6989

...Read more

EPA, PG&E Fail to Protect Endangered Butterfly--Again

For Immediate Release, December 17, 2013

Contact:  Laura Horton, lhorton@wildequity.org, Wild Equity Institute, (415) 235-0492

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, PG&E Fail to Protect Endangered Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly—Again

ANTIOCH, Calif.— The Wild Equity Institute today submitted a legal notice of its intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) for yet again failing to address the impacts of PG&E’s power plant pollution on one of North America’s most imperiled species: the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, which is found only at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge.

“At every step of the way, EPA and PG&E have let down our community, our national wildlife refuge, and the most imperiled butterfly in the state,” said Laura Horton, Staff Attorney at Wild Equity Institute. “It is time to do what is right and protect this endangered butterfly before it is too late.”

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Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly photo © Liam O’Brien, http://sfbutterfly.com

 

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Wild Equity Store is Live!

Wild Equity’s web store is now live. Take a peak at our current offers below, and check the Wild Equity web store frequently for new items.

I “Bird” SF T-shirt, Only $20 + Shipping!

Share your love of San Francisco’s wildlife everywhere you go with Wild Equity’s exclusive “I ‘Bird’ SF” T-shirt! Made in the U.S.A. out of 100% organic cotton, the shirt features a silhouette of our City’s favorite puffball of feathers, the Western Snowy Plover. Wild Equity logo on the left sleeve too: to show your pride in our work! Comes in S, M, L, and XL in Unisex and Ladies Half-scoop designs. Specify your design and size choices by clicking on the corresponding buttons below.

Small Ladies Half-scoop:

Medium Ladies Half-scoop:

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Help Us Grow in 2014!!!

“What do you get out of it? Why do you keep trying?”

The reporter’s questions caught me off-guard. I had been expecting to discuss Wild Equity’s role protecting the Franciscan Manzanita—a gorgeous plant presumed extinct in the wild for decades, but now on the verge of reintroduction throughout the City. I hadn’t anticipated the need to defend my life’s purpose.

As my mind considered the questions, I realized that only my heart could answer them. “I get a chance to make the world more equitable, more beautiful,” I replied. “I know the odds are long, but thousands of people have trusted in our ability to make this vision reality. When I’m toiling away late at night, pouring over thousands of pages of government documents or pounding away at another legal brief, I reflect on how grateful I am for their support, and it makes all the sacrifices worthwhile.”

When the SF Weekly article finally came out, it emphasized Wild Equity’s work protecting this miracle plant, and noted that we’ve won “a number of other high-profile lawsuits in the name of conservation, including this summer’s triumph over Sharp Park Golf Course for killing endangered red-legged frogs and garter snakes.”

But it failed to note that these conservation victories aren’t ours alone. Your contributions—your commitment to our vision, your trust in our staff, your donations to our programs—make each victory possible.

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Building Community at Pier 94

Despite the cold weather, a group of 20 Wild Equity volunteers enjoyed a morning of planting and weeding with Jonathan Barber from Golden Gate Audubon on Saturday at Pier 94. Pier 94 is home to the endangered California Seablite. This rare plant was reintroduced to the area after it was discovered the plant, once abundant, was found only in Morro Bay.


Intently listening to planting instructions.

We pulled weeds of invasive species and transferred a total of 500 young Yarrow, Red Fescue, and Western Blue-Eyed Grass plants into the ground. The volunteers included several high school students earning community service hours for graduation.

When the restoration of Pier 94 began over ten years ago, volunteers were hauling away old tires and scrap metal. Today, volunteers enjoy a much different experience. On Saturday, volunteers paused to see pelicans, sandpipers, and avocets. The students were especially excited to come across an earthworm. This presented a wonderful opportunity to discuss the importance of worms to soil health. When we volunteer at Pier 94 we are doing more than restoring habitat, we are building community.

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Guide to Binoculars

If you join Wild Equity on an adventure to see and save wildlife, you are likely to overhear at least one conversation about binoculars. We are always happy to share ours, but if you are thinking of getting your first pair of binoculars or looking to upgrade, you may find the 2014 Audubon Guide to Binoculars helpful. The article, along with recommendations, is attached in two parts. Part 1, Part 2


2012 Sea Watch at Fort Funston

Pumphouse Project Goes Before Planning Commission

Wild Equity appealed the Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration released for the Sharp Park Pumphouse Project, arguing that the city should do a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR). We will be going before the San Francisco Planning Commission to make our case for a full EIR as soon as it the item is placed on the agenda.

We believe a full EIR is necessary because:

  • Experts have stated even a mitigated Pumphouse Project will have significant impacts on the California Red-legged Frog and San Francisco Garter Snake populations at Sharp Park.
  • The Pumphouse Project will have significant environmental effects on the water quality and hydrology at Sharp Park.
  • There are alternatives to the Pumphouse Project and an EIR is needed to adequately consider these alternatives.
  • Sharp Park is suffering from a piecemeal approach to planning.
  • The Pumphouse Project conflicts with the Coastal Act.
  • The impact on the recovery plan for the California Red-legged Frog is not addressed in the Pumphouse Project.

For more information, Wild Equity’s appeal document is available for download. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Shop at Amazon & Support Wild Equity

Wild Equity always recommends shopping locally and supporting businesses in your community. But sometimes that isn’t possible: for example, where else will you find an original portrait of the Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose?


Maryrose Wampler’s Portrait of the
Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose, circa 1979.

When you do shop at amazon.com, now you can simultaneously donate to Wild Equity: at no extra charge! All you need to do is shop through AmazonSmile using your existing amazon.com account, and a portion of your sale will automatically be donated to Wild Equity. It’s as simple as that!

Wild Equity Staff Attorney Wins Prestigious Award

For Immediate Release, November 6, 2013

Contacts:
Laura Horton, Wild Equity Institute, lhorton@wildequity.org, (415) 235-0492
Agatha Szczepaniak, Audubon, aszczepaniak@audubon.org, (212) 979-3197

LAURA HORTON RECEIVES
AUDUBON TOYOTA TOGETHERGREEN FELLOWSHIP

Prestigious National Award and $10,000 Grant
Furthers Efforts of Local Environmental Leader

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.— Toyota and the National Audubon Society today announced that a Toyota TogetherGreen Fellowship will be awarded to a San Francisco-based environmental attorney. After a competitive nationwide selection process, Wild Equity’s Laura Horton was selected for the year-long fellowship program and a $10,000 grant.

...Read more

Marin Board of Supervisors Weakens Protections for Salmon

The wild Coho Salmon population found in Marin is about to vanish. In order to prevent this amazing fish from going extinct, we must restore riparian habitat and prevent destructive development. On Oct 29, the Marin Board of Supervisors ignored the plight of the salmon and passed an ordinance that will end a building ban in the San Geronimo Valley. Read more about this “unusual hearing” in the the Marin Independent Journal.

Join Wild Equity, our partners at SPAWN and 28 conservation and fishing organizations to demand stronger protections for Marin’s endangered Coho salmon.

Wild Equity's Antioch Dunes Victory Featured by Rose Foundation

The Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment features Wild Equity’s Brent Plater and our work protecting Antioch’s people and endangered species in the Foundation’s most recent newsletter.


Click the image to read the full article.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

A coalition of conservation and community advocates led by the Wild Equity Institute created a new $2 million grants fund at Rose Foundation dedicated to mitigating pollution in low-income communities in Antioch and Oakley, as well as to mitigating harm to endangered species at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, the last home of the critically imperiled Lange’s Metalmark butterfly.

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Environmental Groups Criticize SF Board of Supervisors' Hearing on Proposed GGNRA Dog Rule

For Immediate Release

Contacts:
Golden Gate Audubon Society Executive Director Mike Lynes, (415) 505-9743 cell
Wild Equity Institute Executive Director Brent Plater, (415) 572-6989
Sierra Club, San Francisco Bay Chapter, Arthur Feinstein, (415) 680-0643
SPRAWLDEF President, Norman LaForce, (415) 932-7465

Environmental Groups Criticize SF Board of Supervisors’ Hearing on Proposed GGNRA Dog Rule

Representatives of local environmental groups urge Board of Supervisors to focus on funding and improving San Francisco parks


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.— Representatives of local environmental groups are declining to take part in a hearing called by Supervisor Scott Wiener on the proposed regulation of dogs in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area – and are instead urging the Board of Supervisors to focus on pressing issues affecting San Francisco’s own parks.

The Board of Supervisors does not have jurisdiction over the GGNRA, a federal agency. While a public hearing is ostensibly intended to elicit public input on important policy matters, Supervisor Wiener has predetermined the outcome of the hearing and already drafted a resolution condemning the GGNRA plan.

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Now Hiring: Big Year Project Coordinator

Part-Time Project Coordinator Position
2014 Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year

Position Summary.

Wild Equity Institute is seeking a Part-Time Project Coordinator for the 2014 Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year competition. The Project Coordinator will be responsible for reviewing participant evaluations and project partner feedback from previous iterations of the project; revising the event structure and prize schedule for the project; and scheduling events that will implement the project throughout 2014.

The Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year (a new project title is under discussion) is a race against time to observe each of the endangered and threatened species found within the Golden Gate National Parks, while taking discrete conservation recovery actions that will prevent these species from going extinct. It is a competitive event: the person who sees and helps the most species during the year will win the competition.

The project enables participants to explore the diverse habitats of the GGNP while helping each of the endangered and threatened species that call the Park home. In the process, we hope participants will discover the humility, compassion, and hope embodied in the legal protections for this land and our imperiled neighbors.

Major Duties and Responsibilities.

  • Review feedback from previous iterations of the project. Consult with project partners and supporters to clarify feedback as needed.
  • Propose structural changes to the event and prize structure of the project for 2014 for adoption by Wild Equity’s Board of Directors.
  • Coordinate project logistics including field outings and other events, prizes, and some fundraising.
  • Communicate with the public about the project through press releases and events, writing newsletters and social media content, and collaborating with organizing staff and volunteers.
  • Track participation and evaluate project events.

Desired Qualifications.

  • An undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies or related field.
  • Strong knowledge of Bay Area plants and wildlife.
  • Demonstrated project and/or event management experience.
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Keen attention to detail.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously while meeting deadlines.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills.
  • Computer skills including Word, PowerPoint, Excel.
  • Flexibility working hours, with ability to work some evenings and weekends.

This job is expected to require 20 hours per week and will be based in Wild Equity’s office in San Francisco’s Mission District. Compensation is commensurate with experience.

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Brent Plater Delivers Keynote at International Young Eco-Hero Awards

Celebrate the 2013 International Young Eco-Hero Awards!

When: Friday, October 18, 2013, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Hear from six inspiring young environmental activists, winners of our International Young Eco-Hero Awards, 8- to 16-years-old, who are campaigning, conducting research, and encouraging others.

Keynote Speaker: Brent Plater, Executive Director of the Wild Equity Institute, a non-profit organization that unites grassroots conservation and environmental justice movements.

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Patagonia SF Selects Wild Equity for a 2013 Environmental Grant

Today Patagonia’s San Francisco store awarded Wild Equity $3,000 for our campaign protecting community health and endangered species near the Antioch Dunes.


Wild Equity’s Laura Horton, Amy Zehring, Brent Plater, Sarah Fliesher, and Virginia Delgado
receive $3,000 from Patagonia’s Niko George at the San Francisco store.

This award is just the latest example of the store’s generous support of our work. In 2011 Wild Equity was awarded the store’s Voice Your Choice Award, and the store’s grants and in-kind donations have helped nearly all of our projects.

Our heartfelt thanks to the entire Patagonia SF Crew for investing in our work, for keeping us warm and dry, and for being such a big part of our vision for a more just and fair world for all.

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Watch the SAVE THE FROGS! Academy Webinar on Restoring Sharp Park

On September 25, 2013, Wild Equity Executive Director Brent Plater teamed-up with SAVE THE FROGS!’ Kerry Kriger to tell the world about our campaign to create a new public park at Sharp Park. The discussion was the latest installment of the SAVE THE FROGS! Academy, the world’s greatest free resource for amphibian conservation knowledge.

Watch our webinar below. The first 1/2 hour focuses on our work at Sharp Park, and the second 1/2 hour discusses SAVE THE FROGS! work to ban the importation of bullfrogs into California, a campaign Wild Equity heartily endorses. If you like what you see, you can view past SAVE THE FROGS! Academy webinars on the Academy’s archive page.