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Wild Equity Sues Sharp Park Golf Course for Killing Endangered Species

The Wild Equity Institute has filed a lawsuit against the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department today for violating the Endangered Species Act at Sharp Park golf course, a financially troubled, city-owned course located within Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Center for Biological Diversity, National Parks Conservation Association, Surfrider Foundation, Sequoia Audubon Society and Sierra Club joined the federal lawsuit. The Washington, D.C. public-interest law firm Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal represents the coalition in the suit.

“We put San Francisco on notice that it was violating the Endangered Species Act in 2008. Three years later the City is still killing endangered species at Sharp Park,” said Brent Plater, Executive Director of the Wild Equity Institute. “Last week more California red-legged frogs were killed by the golf course. It’s time for San Francisco to stop subsidizing this endangered species-killing golf course in San Mateo County and start working towards a better, more sustainable future at Sharp Park.”


This California red-legged frog egg mass was stranded and left to die after Sharp Park Golf Course’s pumping operations drained the frog’s habitat. Wild Equity Institute sent a letter to authorities requesting that they take emergency steps to save the egg mass when it was first exposed to the air, but no action was taken.

Sharp Park is a wetland that San Francisco regularly drains so golf can be played on the land. But draining the land reduces the depth of the water in breeding and feeding areas for the California red-legged frog and the San Francisco garter snake. San Francisco has known about the problem since at least 1992, when the first biological surveys found dead California red-legged frog egg masses on the property. Yet the City still does not have any Endangered Species Act permits to kill endangered wildlife.

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More Imperiled Frogs Killed by Sharp Park Golf Course

On February 21, 2011, a local Pacifica resident informed the Wild Equity Institute that a presumed California red-legged frog egg mass was at risk of desiccation at Sharp Park. The egg mass appeared to have been laid shortly after the previous week’s winter storms inundated Sharp Park Golf Course. Wild Equity was informed that the egg mass was attached to aquatic vegetation near the surface of the water on the south side of Horse Stable Pond.

Horse Stable Pond Water Level,
February 21, 2011, 2:37 p.m.
(approximately 2.9 meters)
California Red-legged Frog Egg Mass,
Southern Edge of Horse Stable Pond
February 21, 2011, 2:35 p.m.

The resident was concerned that San Francisco’s ongoing pumping of water from Horse Stable Pond might expose this egg mass to the air. The pumps appeared to have been on consistently since the heavy winter rains inundated the course.


Pumping at Sharp Park Golf Course Pump House,
After Heavy Rains in February, 2011.

On February 23, 2011, Wild Equity Institute staff and supporters visited Mori Point and Sharp Park, along with an expert in herpetology. Wild Equity Institute staff quickly located the egg mass, and the expert confirmed that it was in fact a California red-legged frog egg mass. At that time the egg mass was completely exposed to the air. Pumping operations were still occurring.

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RPD Backs Off Sea Wall Plan: WEI Responds

Statements by Conservation Groups on San Francisco’s Change of Position on Sharp Park Golf Course Management

Background
Sharp Park golf course, owned and operated by the city of San Francisco and located in Pacifica within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, faces significant problems with flooding, achieving environmental compliance and financial losses. The coastal wetland is home to two endangered species, the San Francisco garter snake and the California red-legged frog. A recently released, peer-reviewed scientific study by coastal restoration experts concluded that restoration of the natural lagoon and beach processes provides the most public benefit and best protects endangered species, and is much less expensive than a San Francisco Park Department plan or maintaining the status quo.

In a change of position Wednesday, the Park Department abandoned plans to reinforce a beach-eroding seawall that is needed to support golf operations; it has also concluded that current golf operations are not compatible with protection of endangered species at the site. A working group of land managers convened by the Park Department issued a puzzlingly brief two-page policy findings report on Sharp Park that agreed with the conclusions of the peer-reviewed study on the impacts of sea-level rise and coastal erosion and the futility of armoring, maintaining or further raising a seawall that protects the golf course and recommended a transition to a naturally managed “barrier lagoon” at Sharp Park. Below are statements on the position change from conservation groups involved in the issue.

Statements
Statement by Neal Desai, Pacific Region associate director of the National Parks Conservation Association: “The Park Department now appears to acknowledge the conclusions of the recent scientific study by coastal experts at ESA-PWA that preserving the current golf operations is not financially sustainable and is damaging to the recovery of the endangered San Francisco garter snake and California red-legged frog within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. San Francisco policymakers should seriously consider the science-based ESA-PWA study as a blueprint for how to solve the various problems plaguing Sharp Park so our national treasure is preserved and protected for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”

Statement by Brent Plater, executive director of the Wild Equity Institute: “We agree that recreation can coexist with endangered species protection at Sharp Park; however, recreation that relies on dredging, pumping and mowing operations is not compatible with endangered species. Bay Area residents want our parks more sustainable and expect our scarce parks funding to improve recreational services within San Francisco communities, not subsidize suburban golf in Pacifica. Restoring Sharp Park in partnership with the National Park Service can build a better public park that everyone can enjoy.”

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Golf Course Compliance Plan Fails; Red-legged Frogs Jeopardized

February 22, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Sharp Park Compliance Plan Fails; Imperiled Frogs Jeopardized by Golf Course

San Francisco — Documents obtained from the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department show that at least 107 California red-legged frog egg masses were jeopardized this winter when ongoing pumping operations at Sharp Park Golf Course drained areas where the egg masses were laid, requiring emergency action to relocate the egg masses to deeper waters. This record number of egg mass strandings occurred despite the implementation of a compliance plan specifically designed to keep endangered species safe from the golf course’s activities.

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WEI Puts Fish and Wildlife Service on Notice for Delaying Manzanita Protection

Today the Wild Equity Institute filed a formal 60-day notice of intent to sue the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to provide timely protection to the Franciscan Manzanita, a highly imperiled plant found only in the Presidio in San Francisco.


The Last Wild Franciscan Manzanita

The Franciscan Manzanita made national headlines in December 2009 when Dr. Daniel Gluesenkamp rediscovered the plant near Doyle Drive in the Presidio, more than 70 years after the species was declared extinct in the wild. Unfortunately, at the time Dr. Gluesenkamp made his discovery the plant was threatened by a massive, federally-funded road construction project. But a collaborative effort to move the plant into a more secure location was undertaken, saving the individual plant and giving manzanita experts a more stable area to begin species-wide recovery efforts.

To kick-start those species-wide recovery efforts, on December 14, 2009, the Wild Equity Institute submitted a formal administrative petition to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to provide the species with formal protection under the Endangered Species Act. Endangered Species Act protection is essential to the recovery of the Franciscan Manzanita because it requires a recovery plan to be created and prioritizes federal funding for recovery actions.

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2/17: WEI Presents Birding, Turtling, & Conserving Trinidad & Tobago

This Thursday, February 17 at 7pm, the Wild Equity Institute’s Executive Director will present a slideshow with Eddie Bartley of Nature Trip about Brent’s Fulbright Scholar experience in Trinidad and Tobago. The presentation will be at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Francisco: hope to see you there!

  • Birding, Turtling, & Conserving Trinidad & Tobago, Thursday, February 17, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: The Wild Equity Institute’s Executive Director Brent Plater received a Fulbright Scholar grant to study leatherback sea turtle conservation in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010. While he was there, nearly 20 Bay Area conservationists visited to explore the country, including Eddie Bartley and Noreen Weeden of San Francisco Nature Trip. Eddie and Brent have put together this slide show of the experience, documenting the amazing wildlife, incredible culture, and heart-wrenching problems in T&T—and the inspiring people that are doing something about it. Held at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Francisco. Admission is free.


Nesting Leatherback Sea Turtle, Trinidad & Tobago

Peer-reviewed Scientific Study Calls for Restoring Sharp Park

February 10, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Brent Plater, Wild Equity Institute, (415) 572-6989
                 Jeff Miller, Center for Biological Diversity, (510) 499-9185

First Peer-reviewed Scientific Study of Sharp Park:
Removing Golf Course, Creating New Public Park Is Least Costly, Best Option

San Francisco — A new scientific report by independent scientists and engineers says that the most cost-effective option for Pacifica’s Sharp Park is to remove the golf course and restore the functions of the original natural ecosystem, which will also provide the most benefit to endangered species. Experts on coastal lagoon ecosystems have prepared the first ever peer-reviewed restoration study for Sharp Park, an 18-month assessment of Laguna Salada and Sanchez Creek. The report makes several key findings:

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Survey Says: SF Wants More Sustainability, Less Golf

A new survey released by the Neighborhood Parks Council shows that San Franciscans want more sustainability in their park system and fewer expenditures on golf: which is precisely why restoring Sharp Park is great public policy for San Francisco.

“Restoring Sharp Park is a sensible solution that helps the Recreation and Parks Department supply what park users demand,” said Brent Plater, Executive Director of the Wild Equity Institute. “We can reduce wasteful spending on regional golf in San Mateo County while providing a sustainable solution to the myriad problems the golf course faces. It isn’t often you get win-win solutions in park management: the City should seize this one immediately.”

The Neighborhood Parks Council surveyed 1,443 San Francisco residents in October and November of 2010, asking dozens of questions about San Francisco’s parks. In one question, respondents were asked to list three priorities for park funding. Of the nearly 100 different responses, sustainability came in 5th, behind only general park maintenance, better athletic fields, more programming, and improved safety. In a second question, respondents were asked to list three expenses they’d like to see cut. Of the over 80 different responses to this question, cutting golf expenses came in 5th, behind only salaries and overtime pay, construction projects, regional attractions, and wasteful spending.

Sharp Park Golf Course is a wetland that San Francisco drains regularly so golfers can play there for about $30 a round. The course loses money every year, siphoning scarce recreation dollars from San Francisco’s community centers and city services. A broad coalition has been working to transfer Sharp Park to the National Park Service and redirect the money San Francisco saves back to neighborhood parks, where the money belongs.

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Thanks for the Warmth, Congrats to our Winners!

Thanks to the 75+ supporters of the Wild Equity Institute and our suite mates, Restore Hetch Hethcy, that helped warm our office and bring the 2010 GGNP Endangered Species Big Year to a close.


Members enjoyed delicious foods and wines generously donated by
Arizmendi Bakery and Muir-Hanna Vineyards

We spent some time honoring our Big Year winners: Steve Price and Liam O’Brien were once again crowned co-champions, while Molly Latimer won a free pair of binoculars from REI’s San Francisco Store for being the top youth competitor. Kate and Gofi Gelles rounded out the top five finishers in the Big Year competition. Congratulations to you all!

And we couldn’t have done it without the support of Barbara Beth, who received special acknowledgement as the Wild Equity Institute’s Volunteer of the Year for 2010!

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Students Take Action for the Underfrog

Recently students from San Francisco’s public high schools visited Mori Point and the controversial Sharp Park Golf Course. They learned about the impacts the course is having on the San Francisco garter snake and the California red-legged frog, and learned what they can do to help these species recover. You can join them: send a message to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and tell ’em to Restore Sharp Park!

Best. Hate. Voicemail. Ever!


Artwork by Liam O’Brien

The Wild Equity Institute’s lawsuit to protect the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly was a hot topic with Bay Area media outlets this week, covered by The Bay Citizen, CBS 5, and the Contra Costa Times. But our favorite story was left on our voicemail: by someone with a decidedly different point of view.

This message has the hallmarks of an all-time classic. It’s anonymous, inaccurate, breathlessly angry, and masterfully on message: in under thirty seconds it gets all the talk radio insults in. This guy should be giving clinics.

Listen to the message for the full effect, but here’s the text:

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GGNRA Dog Plan Released: WEI Discusses on KQED 1/17

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area has released its long-awaited Dog Management Plan, and will be taking public comment on the proposal for the next 90 days. The Wild Equity Institute’s Executive Director Brent Plater will be a guest on KQED’s Forum (88.5 FM) to discuss the plan Monday, January 17th at 9:00 a.m. You can bring your voice to the debate by calling 866-733-6786 or emailing forum@kqed.org.

Weighing-in at over 2,000 pages and over six years in the making, bystanders might look at the plan and conclude that the GGNRA’s priorities are misplaced. If, for example, the GGNRA tackled more pressing environmental problems like climate adaptation this thoroughly, we might have a carbon neutral park by now.

Yet in other respects pet management contains the same moral dilemmas as our most pressing environmental problems:

  • Who should bear the burden of activities conducted in National Parks: the individuals taking action or the public as a whole?
  • When should individual entitlement take precedence over public responsibility?
  • Does the Park have a duty to proactively protect park visitors from harm, or should the Park simply facilitate recompense after an injury has occurred?

These are common questions to most environmental problems, yet despite the plan’s length and delay, it still fails to address some basic problems with pet management at the GGNRA.

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WEI Heads to Court to Protect Antioch's Communities and Wildlife

On Friday, January 21, the Wild Equity Institute will appear in court to protect human health and endangered species. You can attend the oral argument: it is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. in courtroom 10 on the 19th floor of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

The lawsuit involves PG&E’s Gateway Generating Station, a natural gas power plant in Antioch. Because of several miscues by regulatory agencies and calculated risks taken by PG&E, the power plant was constructed and continues to operate without federal air pollution permits. Community groups concerned about the power plant’s pollution discovered that the requisite permits weren’t in place, and brought suit to demand pollution reductions to protect human health. Unfortunately, the EPA is now attempting to cut a sweetheart deal with PG&E over the legal violation: without first considering the impacts of this deal on endangered species at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, including the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, the Contra Costa Wallflower, and the Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose.

This is a serious concern because the same pollution that is impacting human health is also polluting endangered species habitats at the Refuge, which is less than 1 mile from the power plant. Nitrogen emissions from the power plant change the chemical composition of the dune soil, creating favorable conditions for invasive weeds. These weeds crowd out the endangered plants and the host plant for the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly. The Butterfly, already on the precipice of extinction, is closely associated with its host plant, and when the host plant is crowded out the Butterfly’s population plummets even further.

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Students, Wildlife Get a Second Chance with WEI

The Wild Equity Institute has partnered with Downtown High School in San Francisco to give students and endangered species a second chance at life.

“We’ve been inspired by the students at Downtown High School and the empathy they’ve shown toward each other and to other forms of life,” said Brent Plater, Executive Director of the Wild Equity Institute. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to help them succeed both in and out of the classroom.”

The joint project is called “Endangered Semester,” and it provides students who have not succeeded in traditional classrooms an opportunity to see 10 endangered species in the field, while taking 10 actions that help these species recover. It is a competitive event: as the students see and help save endangered species, they earn prizes that help their class succeed.


Endangered Semester Presentation at Downtown High School

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Endangered Species, Endangered Buses

Artist Todd Gilens has implemented a fascinating new public art project that highlights the link between how we treat each other, and how we treat other forms of life.

The project is called Endangered Bus. Todd has placed photos of several imperiled species on San Francisco MUNI buses to highlight the similar challenges we face addressing these collective problems: saving endangered species on the one hand, and providing affordable, reliable public transit on the other.


Coho Salmon Endangered Bus


Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse Endangered Bus

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1/27: Office Opening, Big Year Closing Party

The 2010 Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year has come to a close, and some familiar faces ended up at the top of the leader board.

Liam O’Brien and Steven Price tied for first place this year: just as they did in the inaugural 2008 Big Year competition. Rounding out the top finishers were two new competitors—Kate & Gofi Gelles—and Molly Latimer, our youngest competitor in the running for the top prize. Congratulations to you all!

This year we’ll be celebrating the Big Year winners in a new location: the Wild Equity Institute’s first office! We’re co-hosting an office warming party on January 27, 2011 from 5pm until 7pm, with our suite-mates, Restore Hetch Hetchy.


Minding our footprint: our new office is furnished
entirely with donated, recycled, and salvaged materials.

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Comment on Unleashed Dogs in the GGNRA

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area may finally start enforcing leash laws at the GGNRA: and you will have two opportunities to encourage them to do so in the coming weeks.

Off-leash dogs at the GGNRA negatively impact people, our pets, wildlife, and park resources. Imperiled wildlife like the western snowy plover are frequently harassed by off-leash dogs; guide dog users are regularly interfered with—and occasionally attacked—by off-leash dogs; and perhaps most alarmingly, hundreds of off-leash dogs have been lost, injured, or killed when they fall off cliffs, run into traffic, or otherwise lose their owners.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can make off-leash dog play areas that are safe for everyone, including our dogs.

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Federal Golf Bailout Stopped! For Now . . .

Thanks to thousands of calls and emails from supporters like you, the federal bailout of Sharp Park Golf Course proposed by Congresswoman Jackie Speier was not adopted by the 111th Congress before the congressional session expired. This means that the bailout proposal is over: unless it is reintroduced and passes both the House of Representatives and the Senate during the 112th Congress. With the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives, this seems unlikely to occur.

“Democrats & Republicans, environmentalists and budget hawks, social service providers and open space advocates all agree: there should be no federal bailout of Sharp Park Golf Course,” said Brent Plater, Executive Director of the Wild Equity Institute. “If federal dollars are spent at Sharp Park, taxpayers deserve a federal asset in return, and the best asset would be a National Park that everyone can enjoy, not just golfers.”


A Restoration Vision for Sharp Park.

The federal golf bailout submitted by Representative Speier would have taken money dedicated to wetland restoration and used it to build a sea wall at Sharp Park. To justify this diversion of funds, the Congresswoman argued that the sea wall was needed to protect endangered species at Sharp Park. However, ecologists and biologists that have reviewed the proposal determined that the opposite is true: the sea wall would doom Sharp Park’s endangered species while causing Sharp Park Beach to erode away.

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Big Year Finds Endangered Coho Spawners in Muir Woods

On December 26, 2010, a dozen Golden Gate National Park Endangered Species Big Year participants found the first endangered Coho Salmon spawning in Muir Woods National Monument this spawning season.

“Santa came a day late, but he brought quite a gift,” said Brent Plater, Executive Director of the Wild Equity Institute. “The numbers are still critically low, but anytime salmon spawn it is reason to celebrate.”

The sighting was reported to the National Park Service, which sent out an emergency survey team. The team discovered 5 adult Coho salmon and 2 redds (which are essentially salmon nests) in Muir Woods. Additional surveys are now planned for later in the season.

Endangered Species Big Year Participants Observe Coho Salmon in Muir Woods.

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Lawsuit Launched to Protect the Lange's Metalmark Butterfly from PG&E Power Plant

December 28, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Brent Plater, Wild Equity Institute, 415-572-6989

Lawsuit Launched to Protect the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly from PG&E Power Plant

Nitrogen Emissions Threaten Survival of Critically Endangered Butterfly

ANTIOCH, CA— Today the Wild Equity Institute filed a formal notice of intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for issuing air pollution permits to PG&E’s Gateway Generating Station without first evaluating the power plant’s impacts on the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, an endangered species whose only home is less than a mile away from the Gateway Generating Station.

“When the EPA takes short cuts with environmental health, disadvantaged communities and wildlife often suffer the most,” said Brent Plater, Executive Director of the Wild Equity Institute. “Today’s action will help us create a healthier environment for people and for the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth.”

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Sharp Park Golf Course Floods: Again

Even though San Francisco dumped $300,000 of taxpayer money into new pumps and repaired drainage pipes at Sharp Park over the past two fiscal years, the controversial Sharp Park Golf Course is—once again—severely flooded.

Photographs Taken December 18 & 19, 2010.

Sharp Park Golf Course has had problems with water management since its inception. The golf course’s poor design and unfortunate placement has resulted in flooding from coastal storm surges and from normal winter rains nearly every year.

The ongoing flooding problems highlight the futility of maintaing an 18-hole golf course in this inappropriate location. Millions of dollars of public money would be required to defy nature and defend the golf course’s existing location: money that would be better spent on public parks everyone can enjoy.

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Last Big Year Trip of the Year: Dec. 26, Get Your Spawn On!

We’ll be heading to Muir Woods to close our the 2010 Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year with a trip to search for spawning Coho Salmon and Steelhead. The fish have been returning in larger numbers than we’ve seen in the past two years, but they are still critically low. We will almost certainly see some young fry in the streams: but we’ll really be looking for the big spawners swimming up stream. Rain or shine: so see you outside!

Get Your Spawn On: Searching for Endangered Salmon in Muir Woods — Sunday, December 26, 2010, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Join Brent Plater of the Wild Equity Institute as we take an easy stroll through Muir Woods National Monument to search for endangered salmonids in Redwood Creek. We’ll learn about the lives of Coho Salmon and Steelhead as the fish return from the Ocean, and discuss what we all can do to help them recover. Part of the Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year, a competition to see and help save the Park’s endangered species. Trip goes rain or shine: dress for cold, wet weather and wear boots as trails may be muddy. RSVP required: please use the RSVP tool on this website to RSVP. Meet at the Dipsea Trail Trailhead: the trailhead is within the auxiliary/south parking lot for Muir Woods. Park entrance fees apply, but the hike is free.

5K Matching Grant Offered: Donate to WEI Now!

An anonymous Wild Equity Institute donor has pledged up to $5,000 to our work: if we can get our community to match it!

Here’s the deal: For every dollar we raise during our end-of-year fundraising drive, our donor will match it — up to $5,000!

This means you can double your impact by donating today: for every dollar you contribute, another dollar will be donated to our work.

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Rose Foundation Supports the Wild Equity Institute

The Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment announced their continued support of the Wild Equity Institute and our campaign to restore Sharp Park on December 14, 2010.

“We are grateful for the Rose Foundation’s generous grant,” said Brent Plater, executive director of the Wild Equity Institute. We’re proud of the diverse coalition we’ve built to restore Sharp Park, and the Rose Foundation’s support will help us continue this important work."

The Wild Equity Institute is working to transform Sharp Park from a money losing, endangered species killing golf course into a public park that naturally adapts to sea level rise, protects coastal communities from flooding events, recovers endangered species, and provides recreational access everyone can enjoy.

A Restoration Vision for Sharp Park.

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This Weekend: Big Year Bike Ride in SF, Twain's Frog in Pacifica

The 2010 Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year is getting frenetic as we close out this year’s competition. This weekend we’re offering two trips to see and save endangered species: one by bike, the other on foot. Hope to see you at either or both!

Big Year Helps Least Tern, Sunday 12/12

Sunday, December 12, 2010, 9:00am – 12:00pm — Help the Wild Equity Institute prepare habitat for the California Least Tern nesting season with Friends of the Alameda Wildlife Refuge. Meet at the main refuge gate at the northwest corner of the former Alameda Naval Air Station, Alameda. Part of the Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year, a competition to see and save endangered species. RSVP Required: use this website to RSVP.

Get Your Spawn On: Muir Woods Salmon Hike 12/11

This weekend we’ll be heading to Muir Woods to search for endangered salmonids returning to spawn in their natal creeks. The population has been struggling the last few years, but we should at least get to see some small fry in the streams—and if we’re lucky, a few large adults swimming upstream to spawn!

Saturday, December 11, 2010, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Join Brent Plater of the Wild Equity Institute as we take an easy stroll through Muir Woods National Monument to search for endangered salmonids in Redwood Creek. We’ll learn about the lives of Coho Salmon and Steelhead as the fish return from the Ocean, and discuss what we all can do to help them recover. Part of the Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year, a competition to see and help save the Park’s endangered species. The trip goes rain or shine: dress for cold, wet weather and wear boots as trails may be muddy. RSVP required: please use this website to RSVP. Meet at the Dipsea Trail Trailhead: the trailhead is within the auxiliary/south parking lot for Muir Woods. Park entrance fees apply, but the hike is free.

SF Commissioner Agrees to Meet with WEI and Allies About Sharp Park Lawsuit

Mark Buell, the new President of San Francisco’s Recreation and Parks Commission, has agreed to meet with the Wild Equity Institute, Surfrider Foundation, National Parks Conservation Association, Sequoia Audubon, San Francisco League of Conservation Voters, and the Center for Biological Diversity after being put on notice of a forthcoming lawsuit over the City’s violation of environmental laws at Sharp Park Golf Course. The groups are represented by the Washington, D.C. public-interest law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal.

A restoration vision for Sharp Park.

“The coalition of environmental, justice, and social service organizations calling for closing Sharp Park Golf Course continues to grow and is stronger than ever before,” says Brent Plater, Executive Director of the Wild Equity Institute. “We’re glad to work with Commissioner Buell to ensure that, just as he would never conduct the public’s business without complying with open government laws, we do not conduct the endangered species’ business without complying with the Endangered Species Act.”

The controversial Sharp Park Golf Course is owned by San Francisco but located in suburban San Mateo County. The golf course receives failing grades from golfers in most categories measured by the National Golf Foundation, has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars since 2004, and has been killing two species protected by the Endangered Species Act, the San Francisco garter snake and the California red-legged frog, for decades.

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12/4: Sea Watch for Endangered Sea Creatures

As we close out the 2010 Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year, we’re doing a big push to try and find the more elusive endangered species that call the park home. Join us and you just might score some of the more difficult points towards the $1,000 Big Year grand prize!

Saturday, December 4, 2010, 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.— Join Wild Equity Institute Executive Director Brent Plater for a relaxing sea watch at Fort Funston, which has some of the wildest coastal views in San Francisco. We’ll be searching for some of the more elusive sea creatures that call the GGNRA home: Humpback Whale, Steller Sea Lion, and Southern Sea Otters! You never know: might throw in a Marbled Murrelet while we are there. RSVP required: please use the RSVP tool on this website to let us know you’ll attend. Bring spotting scopes and binoculars if you have them; also bring water and snacks to munch on. Meet at the Fort Funston Observation Deck, San Francisco, CA. Part of the Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year, a competitive event to see and help save the Parks’ endangered species.

Donate to the Wild Equity Institute Today!

Thank you for supporting our work! There are many ways you can contribute to the Wild Equity Institute’s campaigns and help us build a stronger environmental movement for all.

Become a Member of the Wild Equity Institute.

In honor of the year 2010, our first full year in operation, the Wild Equity Institute is building 10 founding members who will donate $2,000 each and 2,000 members who will donate $10 each to help us fulfill our mission. And for those of you looking for a level of support that is just right, we’re rounding out our campaign by building 100 supporters who will contribute $100 each to WEI. If you are interested in becoming a founding supporter, a member, or contributing to our work at any level, become a member today.

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.

Go to our donate page and fill-out the form to become a monthly donor.

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