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Two Endangered Plants Added to the GGNRA

The GGNRA Acquires New Land and Two Endangered Species:

In December 2011, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area obtained land at Fort Point just south of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA. Along with it came an opportunity to recover the endangered marsh sandwort (Arenaria paludicola).

The marsh sandwort was said to occupy this area in the early 1900’s, but because of human development and other threats, it had been completely wiped out at Fort Point, and only ten individuals were known to exist in the wild.

It was therefore crucial to restore populations to a site where they were once abundant.

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Wild Equity has Endangered Species to Save and Prizes to Give!

Wild Equity has finished scheduling our 2012 Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year events—check out our guided offerings to see and save local endangered species at our events calendar.

In addition to the grand prize winners— those folks who see and save the most species by the end of the year — we are now offering several interim prizes for species sightings and conservation action items every month from now through December!

To qualify for prizes, you must get a free wildequity.org web account and then sign-up to participate in the GGNP Endangered Species Big Year. Once you are signed-up you’ll need to record your sighting or action item on the species’ corresponding Big Year page. It’s that easy!!

While you can always score points on your own, we’ve set up several events to help you climb the leaderboard. Here’s a rundown of what we have in store:

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Wild Equity has a Blast at the Big Year Happy Hour!

Thank you to all who came out to the Big Year Happy Hour last Thursday to enjoy good food, good drinks and great company at the Southern Pacific Brewery. It was a fun-filled night catching up with the Wild Equity folks. We talked about upcoming GGNP Endangered Species Big Year hikes, bike rides, fun runs and film nights, which can all be accessed through the Event Calendar.

Congratulations to two lucky raffle winners; Shawna Casebier, who won a copy of the national bestseller The Last Child In the Woods, and Michael Starkey, who received The Laws Pocket Guide Set to the San Francisco Bay Area. Enjoy your Prizes!

Lucky winners, Michael Starkey and Shawna Casebier, with Brent Plater.

We also toasted a bittersweet good-bye to two wonderful interns, John Bowie and Mike Linder. Thank you for all your help and dedication this summer. We wish you well on your endeavors.

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Pale Male Petition to Obama: Stop Nest Destruction Now

July 24, 2012


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

Pale Male Petition to Obama: Stop Nest Destruction Now

Petition Demands President Obama Bring an End to
Bush Administration’s Destroy-first Policy

San Francisco — The Wild Equity Institute filed a formal administrative petition with the Obama Administration today, asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("Service") to protect migratory bird nests from destruction unless and until prior written authorization from the Service is obtained.

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Lange's Metalmark Butterfly Inspires Electric, Organic Artists

The Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge is in serious trouble, but artists working in diverse media are beginning to tell this landscape’s tale.

Sawyer Rose’s NATIVE: California Plants in Glass, Metal, & Light.

Sawyer Rose’s unique artwork of the Lange’s metalmark butterfly is now on display at the Inclusions Gallery, located in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood. The Lange’s metalmark butterfly is dangerously imperiled, and will go extinct in the near future—unless we affirmatively act to save this species. The Wild Equity Institute is currently working to protect the Butterfly from harmful local pollution through legal action and public awareness.

Sawyer Rose’s lightbox featuring the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly

Ms. Rose’s work pays tribute to California’s beautiful native flora (along with select fauna), connecting each of us with a sense of the unique landscapes where we live. Check out this inspired artwork at Inclusions Gallery through August 12, 2012.

Tatzoo’s Save the Lange’s Metalmark Campaign.

Local forces are also mobilizing to save Lange’s: and getting a tattoo for their efforts. The Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly Tatzoo team is coordinating with the Wild Equity Institute to encourage people to pledge to spend a day saving the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly.

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August 3, 8pm: San Francisco Garter Snake Bar "Slither"!

Tatzoo had a wonderful Happy Hour this past Tuesday! We had a chance to meet the 2012 Tatzoo group and hear of the wonderful ongoing projects to protect the Lange’s metalmark butterfly, the San Francisco garter snake and other endangered species.

The San Francisco Garter Snake team is hosting a bar “slither” Friday, August 3, at 8 p.m. starting at The Napper Tandy, 3200 24th St., (between Cypress St. & Van Ness Ave.), San Francisco, CA 94110. Hope to see you all there!

RSVP to join the conservation efforts of Tatzoo!

July 26, 6pm: Big Year Happy Hour -- Note Correct Time & Date!

We accidentally posted the wrong date and time for the Big Year Happy Hour and Summer Intern Goodbye Party in our last edition of “From I to We: News from WEI” Sorry about that! Here is the correct information:

Big Year Happy Hour and Intern Goodbye Party: Thursday, July 26, 2012, 6;00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. — Join Wild Equity Institute for a Big Year Happy Hour! We will enjoy good company, good food and drinks, and get updates on some exciting Big Year events Wild Equity has planned for 2012. We will also bid farewell, for now, to two incredible interns, John Bowie and Mike Linder, who have helped Wild Equity in outstanding ways!

Visit the Happy Hour event page and RSVP now. Hope to see you there!

Golf Industry Front-group, San Mateo Politicians Caught Falsifying Official State Resolution on Sharp Park Golf Course

July 17, 2012



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

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Wild Equity Requests International Protection for San Francisco Gartersnake

The Wild Equity Institute has filed a formal legal petition and submitted supporting comments to add the San Francisco gartersnake to the list of species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora ("CITES"). The request could be implemented as soon as March 3, 2013, when the CITES Conference of the Parties will be convened in Bangkok, Thailand.

Formal legal petition to add the San Francsico gartersnake to the list of species protected by CITES.

Although the Endangered Species Act has protected the San Francisco gartersnake since 1973, it has never been protected under treaties that prohibit international trade in endangered species and/or their parts. This has been the case even though poaching has been documented to adversely impact the San Francisco gartersnake, often referred to as “the most beautiful serpent in North America.”

Strangely enough, Northern Europe—not Northern California—is the global hotspot for San Francisco gartersnake fanciers and breeders. The snakes used in Northern Europe were originally taken from the wild, either before the Endangered Species Act was passed or illegally after the snake was protected. In either case, unregulated breeding—often solely to enhance the color and pattern of the species’ beautiful stripes—has in most instances made these specimens unsuitable for reintroduction to the wild.

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Wild Equity Receives Grants from Two New Foundations

The Wild Equity Institute received grants from two new foundations this month that will help us build a healthy and sustainable world.

The JiJi Foundation and the NITA Foundation provided grants worth over $10,000, making the work of Wild Equity possible. We are honored and humbled to have the support of these respected foundations. Thank you!

Are you a member of the Wild Equity Institute? Help us expand our work by joining us on-line today!

Golf Course Soon to Be Restored to Wildlife Habitat

Need proof that golf courses can be closed and restored to wildlife habitat? The Trust for Public Land just did it at the Ocean Meadows Golf Course in Goleta, CA.

40 years after wetlands were destroyed to create Ocean Meadows Golf Course, the wetlands are being restored. Under the leadership of the Trust for Public Land and many supporters, the golf course in Santa Barbara County will soon return to its unique natural habitat.

The restored wetland will provide habitat for wildlife; recreational opportunities for adults and children; and educational programs for students in the surrounding area.

The soon-to-be-restored Ocean Meadows Golf Course.

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Tailgaters Make a Big Bang at Sharp Park Golf Course

In May, tailgaters from Save the Frogs! and Wild Equity Institute made a big impact drumming for frogs at Sharp Park Golf Course while golfers held an anti-endangered species event at the golf course clubhouse.

Protesters occupying Sharp Park(ing lot) prevailed in numbers. While drumbeats echoed throughout the golf course, the key message did too: In order to protect endangered species, Sharp Park Golf Course must be closed and transformed into a new national park. See pictures from the successful turnout.

Interested in organizing your own event for the frogs? Click here for tips from Save the Frogs! on how to make it happen.

Michael Starkey of Save the Frogs! leads the tailgate drumming.

Tailgaters for Endangered Species Outshine Golf Bailout Supporters

On May 19 over 35 tailgaters for endangered species converged on Sharp Park Golf Course’s parking lot to protest an outrageous ‘celebration’ of the endangered species-killing, money losing Sharp Park Golf Course. With their message of drumming for frogs and occupying Sharp Park(ing lot), the tailgaters ate good food, played some interesting beats, and enjoyed good company, all while explaining to the media and the public why Sharp Park Golf Course should be closed and the land transformed into a new national park everyone can enjoy.

Below are a few photos of the event. Thanks to Save the Frogs! for organizing!

May 19: Sunflower Hike and Tailgate for Frogs!

The Wild Equity Institute is excited about two events this Saturday, May 19, and we hope you are too!

In the morning we’ll be offering a special trip to view the San Mateo Woolly Sunflower on normally inaccessible San Francisco Public Utilities Commission watershed lands. In the afternoon we’ll be joining Save the Frogs! at a tailgate celebration for endangered species in Sharp Park Golf Course’s parking lot! Join us for both— let us know if you’d like to carpool. Details below:

  • Tailgate & Drum for Endangered Species, Occupy Sharp Park(ing lot)!—Saturday, May 19, 4:30 p.m. — Join Save the Frogs! at Sharp Park Golf Course’s parking lot to tailgate and drum for endangered species and help occupy Sharp Park(ing lot)! That’s right: Save the Frogs! is occupying Sharp Park Golf Course’s parking lot, and we will all eat, drink, be merry, and express our love for endangered species and better public parks—*loudly and clearly so everyone knows that killing endangered species to play a game is wrong.* Bring food and drink to share if you like, and all your friends who stand with the “underfrog”! RSVP today using the Save the Frogs! Google Document or at the Tailgate’s Facebook page. If you can get there early to help organize or want to carpool, contact us and we’ll get you started. Get driving and transit directions to Sharp Park Golf Course here.

Dr. Douglas Bevington Joins Wild Equity Institute's Board of Directors

We are excited to announce that Dr. Douglas Bevington has joined the Wild Equity Institute’s Board of Directors. He is replacing Stan Kaufman, who served on our Board since 2009 and developed wildequity.org.

Dr. Douglas Bevington

Dr. Bevington is the Forest Program Director for Environment Now, a grantmaking foundation in California. He has a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he taught courses on social movement studies. He is the author of The Rebirth of Environmentalism: Grassroots Activism from the Spotted Owl to the Polar Bear (Island Press, 2009), which explores how grassroots forest and wildlife protection groups have made a big impact on federal environmental policies in the U.S. over the past twenty years. He also serves on the board of directors of the Fund for Wild Nature, which helps provide resources to bold and effective grassroots groups: such as WEI!

Welcome Doug, we look forward to working with you as we build a healthy and sustainable global community for all!

Wild Equity Meets the Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal covered the Wild Equity Institute in a new article about the money-losing, endangered species-killing Sharp Park Golf Course.

Titled Big Wedge Over Sharp Park’s Future, the article describes how Sharp Park is run-down and in ill repair, and the opportunities to transform it into a better public park everyone can enjoy.

Check out the article yourself today, then add your comments here at wildequity.org or at the Wall Street Journal’s website.

Sharp Park Gives Golf a Bad Name

Flyer courtesy of Save the Frogs! and Golfers Against Sharp Park ("GASP").
Download a copy of this flyer and give it to golfers you know and love.

May 19: Tailgate & Drum for Frogs, Occupy Sharp Park(ing lot)!

Join Us May 19, 4:30pm, Sharp Park Golf Course:
Tailgate & Drum for Frogs, Occupy Sharp Park(ing lot)!

Golf purists have announced they’ll celebrate the endangered species-killing, money-losing Sharp Park Golf Course with a $150 golf tournament on May 19th.

That’s right: they intend to celebrate a golf course that robs resources from San Francisco’s neighborhood parks and has brought two endangered species to the brink of localized extinction.

If that’s the most absurd celebration you’ve ever heard of, you aren’t alone: and that’s why we want you to join Save the Frogs! on May 19 at 4:30 p.m. at Sharp Park Golf Course’s parking lot for a fun, free tailgate for endangered species. Save the Frogs! will have food and drink, drums to play, and outdoor education activities for you and your family to enjoy at the nearby Mori Point National Park: which will one day expand to include Sharp Park, creating a more accessible and sustainable public park that everyone can enjoy!

A San Francisco garter snake killed by golf course mowers; California red-legged frog egg mass killed by golf course wetland draining.

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Wild Equity Ties Antioch and SF Communities, Conservation Struggles Together

The Wild Equity Institute and the Wilderness Arts & Literacy Collaborative ("WALC") at Downtown High School recently completed another successful Endangered Species Big Semester by helping students explore the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, learn how environmental justice victories in San Francisco are linked to a fossil fuel power plant construction boom in Antioch, and take action to help the Refuge’s endangered species recover.

WALC students remove invasive weeds at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge.
Invasive weed growth is exacerbated by pollution from power plants that ring the Dunes.

Successful environmental justice campaigns in San Francisco led to the closure of two power plants in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill and Bayview-Hunters Point communities since 2006. In part to recoup the power lost when these power plants closed, the California Energy Commission approved five power plants, all ringing the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. The concentration of power plants in this location threatens community health and three endangered species found at the Refuge. The Wild Equity Institute is bringing environmental justice advocates and grassroots conservation organizations together to challenge this massive power plant expansion.

On WALC’s third and final trip of the Endangered Species Big Semester, students connected our successful struggles for conservation and environmental justice in San Francisco with the new fossil fuel power plants in Antioch, observed endangered species threatened by this proposal, and then took action to help these species recover.

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5/5, High Noon: Join Us for "Turbulent Blue" at Crissy Field

Join the Center for Biological Diversity, San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club, Wild Equity Institute, Pacific Institute and others as we “connect the dots” between global warming, sea-level rise, and the impacts on communities, animals and plants in a dramatic, interactive human wave at San Francisco’s restored tidal marsh Crissy Field, in the Presidio under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

RSVP at 350.org. Get transit directions and precise location information here.

Wear blue and bring a pair of blue jeans, a blue T-shirt or blue sheet. The wave of blue we’ll create together will dramatically illustrate sea-level rise, as well as the more frequent and severe storms, storm surges and erosion that we can expect at places like Crissy Field — unless we can start slowing climate change now. We’ll even be filmed!

The event will also feature impact “dots” — “dot” being our word for an informative poster — which will represent impacts and solutions. The “impact dots” will share facts about climate impacts on people and other species here in the Bay, including threats posed by sea-level rise, erosion and ocean acidification. Our “action/solution dots” will identify actions that can help us avoid these impacts — cutting carbon in our atmosphere by stopping the Keystone XL pipeline and Arctic drilling plans, enforcing the Clean Air Act, and restoring Sharp Park.

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Judge Cites Evidence Sharp Park Golf Course Is Harming Endangered Frogs

April 26, 2012



Brent Plater, Wild Equity Institute, (415) 572-6989
Jeff Miller, Center for Biological Diversity, (415) 669-7357
Arthur Feinstein, Sierra Club, (415) 680-0643

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Tax Season Blues? Donate to the Wild Equity Institute Today!

What would your rather do: give your money to the government, or to the causes you care most about? With tax deadlines fast approaching, we suspect many of you might choose the latter!

Fortunately the Wild Equity Institute makes it easy for you to contribute to our work, and get a tax break while you are at it. All while building a better world for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth!

Make a generous contribution to the Wild Equity Institute today and get a head-start on next year’s tax deductions. We promise we won’t spend a dime of your hard-earned money on foreign wars, corn syrup subsides, or bridges to nowhere—a promise you know the other guys can’t keep! There are many ways you can contribute:

Become a Member of the Wild Equity Institute.

  • Become a member now with a credit card or a PayPal account:
  • Download a membership form and mail it to: Wild Equity Institute PO Box 191695 San Francisco, CA 94119

Become a Monthly Donor.

The best way to sustain our organization is to become a monthly donor. Monthly donations allow us to spend less time fundraising and more time building a healthy and sustainable community for all.

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New Infographic Tells Sharp Park Story

Stalwart Wild Equity Institute member Eric Mixon created this new infographic to cut through the hype and tell the true story of the money-losing, endangered species-killing Sharp Park Golf Course. Download a high-resolution copy and share it with everyone you know—and even those you don’t!

Wild Equity, Mission Beacon & WALC Tackle Big Year

In 2012, the Wild Equity Institute is partnering with Downtown High School’s Wilderness, Arts, & Literacy Collaborative and the Mission Beacon Center at Everett Middle School to help at-risk youth discover the connections between the plights facing their communities and the plight of our local endangered species.

WALC’s Catherine Salvin helps students with their field journals
during an Endangered Semester trip to Mori Point.

Wild Equity Institute Executive Director Brent Plater helps Mission Beacon
students find Western Snowy Plovers at Ocean Beach.

The joint project is called “Endangered Semester,” an off-shoot of the Wild Equity Institute’s signature education project, the Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year. Generously supported by Audubon/Toyota TogetherGreen, the California Wildlands Grassroots Fund of the Tides Foundation, and Patagonia SF, the project provides students from these schools with opportunities to see and help save endangered species in the field, while earning prizes for learning how to communicate with public officials, make sustainable and healthy lifestyle choices, and take ownership of their local green spaces and parks.

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Mission Blues Flying Now; Log a Sighting & Win a Prize!

Informal reports from several locations suggest that the Mission Blue Butterfly is flying in the GGNRA right now. That means it’s the right time for Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year participants to score points in the year-long competition to see and save the park’s endangered species.

To give you an extra incentive, the Wild Equity Institute is offering a $25 Sports Basement gift certificate to the first person who logs a GGNP sighting of the Mission Blue on our website!

Mission Blue Butterfly, © Margo Bors.

The Mission Blue is a small, quarter-sized butterfly. Males are characterized by dark-bordered, silver blue to violet blue upper wings, while females have brown upper-wings with blue traces. The species flies from March until mid-June, but an adult Mission Blue Butterfly only lives for 6-10 days, so the time for observing any one individual is short. It uses one of three species of perennial lupines as a host plant: the silver lupine (Lupinus albifrons) the Lindley varied lupine (L. variicolor) and the summer lupine (L. formosus). Sometimes the butterfly makes it easy to spot: the species has the unique behavior of actually sitting on its lupine host for a while.

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New Study Adds Urgency to Eliminating Nitrogen Emissions in Antioch

A recent, well-publicized study suggests that cost-effective methods for eradicating invasive weeds may harm the Lange’s metalmark butterfly, adding urgency to the Wild Equity Institute’s efforts to eliminate the underlying cause of weed growth in the species’ habitat: nitrogen deposition from power plants in the vicinity of the species’ last stand at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge.

Effects of Herbicides on Behr’s Metalmark Butterfly, a Surrogate Species for the Endangered Butterfly, Lange’s Metalmark, published in the journal Environmental Pollution by two Washington State University entomologists and a US Fish and WIldlife Service scientist, assessed the effects on butterfly larvae of three herbicides — chemicals that are intended only to impact plants. They studied a near relative of the Lange’s metalmark butterfly. The authors applied the herbicides directly onto butterfly larvae and recorded survivorship. They found that the chemicals reduced by 1/4 to 1/3 the number of larvae surviving to pupal stage — and thus the number of healthy adults.

Nitrogen emissions from facilities like the Gateway Generating Station, above, may spell the end for three endangered species
(L-R): the Antioch Dunes evening primrose, the Lange’s metalmark butterfly, and the Contra Costa wallflower.

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Will the GGNRA Learn Pet Management Lessons from SoCal?

In a rapid response to poor pet management, the Rancho Palos Verde city council closed its pilot off-leash dog beach a mere two months after it was created.

The beach, illegally used for off-leash dog walking despite city ordinances prohibiting dogs on beaches and golf courses, was opened in February to accommodate demands for free off-leash dog access. Unsurprisingly, the lack of restrictions unleashed a massive influx of dogs from all over Los Angeles county, where there are only two other beaches that allow dogs. “Frankly,” said Councilwoman Susan Brooks, “it was like Woodstock for dogs. This is not the space, not the place.”

Mayor Steve Wolowitz supported the decision to close the park and “cited an ‘intimidation factor’ presented by some animals, possible dangerous encounters between dogs and children, and the responsibility of the city to step in when ‘interests of a limited group conflict with the public at large.’”

The contested beach lies below the Ocean Trails Ecological Reserve, a spectacular area very similar to San Francisco’s Fort Funston in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The beach continues past the Trump National Golf Course.

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Partnership with Patagonia SF Makes a World of Difference

The Wild Equity Institute works with dozens of partners, but one of our most beneficent is Patagonia’s San Francisco store. Over the past year the store gave us several grants for our work, and its customers elected us their Voice Your Choice Grand Prize winner in 2011.

Clockwise from top left: Wild Equity Institute volunteers Mark Russell and Erica Ely used Patagonia gear to find endangered species in need of protection; Roxy Ramirez used her Patagonia gear helping us organize support for our campaigns; Zindy won a Patagonia Jacket through the Endangered Species Big Year; and Natasha Dunn helped us convince the Board of Supervisors to restore Sharp Park.

Their support has also helped our volunteers in a variety of ways. Patagonia’s product donations have helped our volunteers stay warm and dry, indoors and out, as we’ve campaigned for a healthy and sustainable world for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth. We can’t thank the Patagonia store enough for all their support, but we hope these photos of our wonderful volunteers in their amazing Patagonia gear are a good start!

If you are interested in supporting our work, you can contribute online in a variety of ways. You can become a member, give a gift membership, obtain matching grants from your employer, volunteer, donate office items or other products, and even go solar with Sungevity while supporting our work. Thanks for all you do!

Wonder What it's Like Working with Wild Equity?

Winning campaigns and building a movement isn’t always easy. But we can make it rewarding. At the Wild Equity Institute, we strive to make our internships and campaigns vigorous and inspiring. But don’t take our word for it: you can hear what some of our past interns and students have to say about working with the Wild Equity Institute’s Executive Director Brent Plater in this short, super sweet video. Then apply for your internship right away!

As Taxpayer Golf Bailout Continues, More Politicians Side With Restoring Sharp Park

Last year the Wild Equity Institute helped pass legislation to restore Sharp Park, only to see it vetoed by the Mayor. But the veto only made the campaign stronger as evidence continues to mount against the money losing, endangered species-killing golf course.

Indeed, in her first vote after being appointed to the Board of Supervisors by the Mayor, Supervisor Christina Olague sided with a majority of the Board to overturn the Mayor’s veto, solidifying our majority at the Board.

And conservation organizations from around the country have rallied to our cause, from the National Wildlife Federation to Change.org, petitioning the Mayor to reverse his veto. We were enjoying a sample of the eloquent responses from our supporters when Save the Frogs! announced it would make restoring Sharp Park the centerpiece of Save the Frogs Day 2012!

And this was before Sharp Park closed another fiscal year in the red draining over $126,000 from declining recreation budgets, and was caught killing California red-legged frogs—again—this winter.

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