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Vote Now and help WEI, Big Year win "Most Effective Awareness Campaign" Award

The Wild Equity Institute’s Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year is a finalist for Stayclassy.org’s Most Effective Awareness Campaign award for San Francisco. WEI is the only San Francisco Bay Area environmental organization nominated for any of Stayclassy.org’s awards this year.

You can help WEI win the award by voting at Stayclassy.org’s website. Voting is easy: just click on the Wild Equity Institute’s logo, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click submit. After enter verification information (some of which you can skip) your vote will be tabulated.

Thanks for your support! And it’s not too late to sign-up for your Big Year and compete for the $1,000 grand prize: click here to join.

10/10/10: Spotted Owl Work Party to Fight Climate Change


Northern Spotted Owls Nuzzle at Muir Woods on August 10, 2008.
Comments by Ranger Mia Monroe.

Sunday, 10/10/10, 10:10 a.m.: Join the Wild Equity Institute’s Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Muir Woods National Monument as we participate in 350.org’s climate change work party day. We’ll spend the late morning defending the threatened Northern Spotted Owl’s habitat from climate change impacts by reducing man-made stressors and improving habitat conditions for the species inside Muir Woods. Then after a BYO lunch, we’ll take an easy stroll through the Monument to search for this impressive and imperiled owl. Come dressed and prepared for light manual labor and walking in the woods. RSVP Required: please use this website to RSVP. This activity counts towards the $1,000 grand prize for the GGNP Endangered Species Big Year! Meet at the Muir Woods National Monument Entrance Gate, Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, CA, 94941. Please consider walking, biking, carpooling, or taking the West Marin Stage and walking to this event. Additional public transit information is available at 511.org.

Loneliest Plant on the Planet Wants Your Company Saturday, 10/9

Looking for company this weekend? So is the loneliest plant on the planet: the Presidio or Raven’s Manzanita. There’s only one individual left on Earth, and we want you to meet her this Saturday and hear how heroic biologists are bringing the species back from the brink of extinction.

Saturday, October 9, 2010, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.: Join Brent Plater of the Wild Equity Institute and Michele Laskowski and Chelsea Dicksion of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to hear the story of the last wild Presidio (a.k.a. Raven’s) Manzanita (Arctostaphylos hookeri ssp. ravenii ) and view the seeds and pictures of the plant. Learn how the last individual was discovered and the heroic efforts biologists are taking to germinate the Manzanita’s seeds to continue the lineage. Part of the Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year, a race against time to see and save each of the GGNP’s endangered species, with a $1,000 grand prize. Meet at the Presidio Native Plant Nursery, 1244 Appleton Street at Ruckman Avenue, San Francisco, 94129, in the Presidio. RSVP required: click here to reserve your spot.

Another 63K Down the Drain at Sharp Park

New documents released by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department show that another $63,000 was spent to install and repair a pump at the controversial Sharp Park Golf Course, adding to the course’s environmental and economic woes.

The 63-thousand Dollar Pump Installation at Sharp Park

The project follows a $238,000 project to fix the pumping operations implemented just two years ago.

The golf course’s expenses are partly responsible for the Department’s unpopular plan to commercialize San Francisco’s public spaces. For example, at a recent community meeting about Dolores Park, General Manager Phil Ginsburg argued for a controversial vending-cart plan to close a 70-thousand dollar shortfall in Dolores Park’s budget.

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SFPUC Delays Vote on Sharp Park Project

Thanks to calls, letters, and compelling public testimony, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has delayed approval of a recycled water project that would benefit the controversial Sharp Park Golf Course.

The SFPUC was asked to give its General Manager authority to negotiate a recycled water delivery contract with San Francisco’s Recreation and Parks Department. The contract would deliver recycled water from a treatment plant in Pacifica to Sharp Park Golf Course.

As currently proposed, three-quarters of the recycled water from the treatment plant would be delivered to Sharp Park Golf Course. But since the golf course may not persist, the current proposal jeopardizes the long-term feasibility of the recycled water project: if the SFPUC cannot find alternative customers for this water, the project could become infeasible and set a bad precedent for future recycled water projects.

The Wild Equity Institute and other environmental organizations argued that the Commission needs to provide opportunities to deliver the water to other users before locking-in contractual agreements for a golf course that may not exist.

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SFPUC Vote Tomorrow Will Define Future of Recycled Water Projects

Tomorrow, Tuesday September 28, 1:30pm at San Francisco City Hall room 400, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission will vote to authorize the SFPUC General Manager to negotiate a memorandum of understanding with Phil Ginsburg and the Recreation and Parks Department to deliver recycled water to Sharp Park Golf Course. The vote is item 14 on the agenda. You can find out more here.

The Wild Equity Institute supports using recycled water for non-potable uses. In general, recycled water is a great substitute for drinking water, when the substitution is appropriate.

But this vote is pre-mature. As currently proposed, 75% of the recycled water from this project is slated to quench Sharp Park Golf Course: even though the golf course is unlikely to exist in the near future as sea level rises and environmental and economic constraints force the City to provide recreational golf elsewhere. This is why people from across the political spectrum, from San Francisco’s Green Party to Republican Senator John McCain, have all opposed investing millions of dollars in a water project for a marginal golf course.

So why the rush to vote? A document request by the Wild Equity Institute has found part of the answer: to beat a deadline for federal stimulus dollars for the project. With federal stimulus money on the line, the PUC and its partners seem to be spending money and making agreements first, and thinking about the consequences later.

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Stand Up for the "Underfrog": Stop the Federal Golf Bailout Today

San Francisco’s Recreation and Parks Department is seeking federal funding from the Army Corps of Engineers to build a sea wall at Sharp Park: a sea wall that ecologists and biologists have stated will doom the San Francisco garter snake and the California red-legged frog, and cause Sharp Park Beach to erode away as sea level rises. We need you to take action today to stop this golf course bailout effort in its tracks.

Read More About the Golf Bailout Here:

The Department is trying to obtain the funds from Section 206 of the Water Resources Development Act: a federal program that directs the Army Corps of Engineers to restore aquatic ecosystems. The Department convinced Congresswoman Jackie Speier to initiate the request: and true to her early statements in support of restoring Sharp Park, her request claims that the money will be used to protect endangered species at Sharp Park, not bailout the golf course.

But legislative research by the Wild Equity Institute indicates that the Department has a very different—and arguably illegal—purpose for the restoration money: the Department’s formal letter in support of the project expressly states that the funds will be used to ‘reconstruct the Sharp Park Seawall’ and to ‘maintain the existing recreational opportunities provided by the golf course’.

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UC Berkeley Environmental Science, Policy & Management Study Supports Restoring Sharp Park

A 2010 study released by UC Berkeley Environmental Science, Policy, & Management students concludes that Sharp Park Golf Course should be closed and the land restored in partnership with the Golden Gate National Parks.

A Restoration Vision for Sharp Park

The independent study, based on Recreation and Park Department data and interviews with environmental and golf advocates in the Bay Area, reviewed the fiscal, recreational, and environmental impacts of Sharp Park Golf Course. The study made a number of important findings:

  • Sharp Park Golf Course is not financially self-sustaining and loses thousands of taxpayer dollars every year.
  • Millions of capital improvement dollars are required to make the golf course competitive, but there is no guarantee that the investment would improve profitability of the course.
  • The golf course is harming two endangered species, the California red-legged frog and the San Francisco garter snake.
  • The golf course serves a small community of golfers that is declining, while demand for other outdoor recreation is increasing.

The study concludes that restoring Sharp Park in partnership with the National Park Service is the best alternative for Sharp Park, because it will resolve environmental problems at the site while matching public recreation supply with modern recreation demand.

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Another Whale Killed: Demand Speed Limits in Marine Sanctuaries Today

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that another large, baleen whale has been killed by a container ship traveling through California’s marine sanctuaries while traveling to the Port of Oakland.

A representative from the National Marine Fisheries Service has concluded that the animal was alive when struck: he also stated that “[i]f ships hit whales at 10 knots or less, there’s a greater chance there won’t be any injury. It’s very difficult for the vessels to do that because time is money.”

That’s where you come in: as part of the Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year we’ve been empowering people to see and help save the endangered Humpback Whale throughout 2010 by calling on our marine sanctuaries to impose speed limits whenever whales are present.

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Twain's Frog & the Beautiful Serpent, Sept. 19, 10am

Sunday, September 19, 2010, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Join Brent Plater of the Wild Equity Institute to search for two of the most imperiled vertebrate species on the San Francisco peninsula: the California red-legged frog and the San Francisco garter snake. This will be a leisurely walk to enjoy the restoration work being conducted at Mori Point and to learn about the bold steps being taken to save both species from the brink of extinction. RSVP Required: please use this website to RSVP. Rain or Shine. Meet at the Mori Point Trailhead, Pacifica, CA, 94044. Take the Sharp Park exit off Hwy. 1 and continue south on Bradford Way about 0.5 mile to the gate/trailhead at Mori Point Rd. Roadside parking is limited; carpooling is encouraged. Samtrans buses #110 and #112 stop nearby.

California red-legged frog

Tell the Feds You Support Protecting the Franciscan Manzanita Today

Reviewing the 50 or so comments submitted to protect the Franciscan manzanita has been a heartwarming exercise: it gives us hope for a healthy and sustainable global community for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth.


The Franciscan Manzanita

Of course, there’s always this guy:

“$175,000 to move a plant? Are you serious? I think that money is better spent on the TAX PAYERS rather than a PLANT which was quite fine where it already was! Come on, really?? Who comes up with these kind of decisions? Give us better roads, feed the homeless, or at least do SOMETHING productive with OUR money.”

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Gowen, Gowen, Gone and Twain's Frog & the Beautiful Serpent This Weekend

We’ve got two great Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year trips this weekend to see some of the rarest species on the San Francisco Peninsula. Join us for some time outside, good conversation, and opportunities to build a healthy and sustainable community for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth!

Gowen Cypress in the Presidio

  • Twain’s Frog & the Beautiful Serpent. Sunday, August 29, 2010, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Join Brent Plater of the Wild Equity Institute to search for two of the most imperiled vertebrate species on the San Francisco peninsula: the California red-legged frog and the San Francisco garter snake. This will be a leisurely walk to enjoy the restoration work being conducted at Mori Point and to learn about the bold steps being taken to save both species from the brink of extinction. RSVP Required: please use this website to RSVP. Rain or Shine. Meet at the Mori Point Trailhead, Pacifica, CA, 94044. Take the Sharp Park exit off Hwy. 1 and continue south on Bradford Way about 0.5 mile to the gate/trailhead at Mori Point Rd. Roadside parking is limited; carpooling is encouraged. Samtrans buses #110 and #112 stop nearby.

Can you find four California red-legged frogs in this photo?

New Article in Pacifica Tribune Highlights Sharp Park's Sinking Finances

A new article in the Pacifica Tribune highlights the significant financial and legal risks Sharp Park Golf Course places on the City and County of San Francisco, and given San Mateo County’s own $150 million dollar budget deficit, urges San Mateo County to support building a better, restored landscape on Sharp Park.

The article notes that Pacifica City Manager Steve Rhodes went to San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors’ budget hearings to urge the City to continue funding Sharp Park. Yet efforts to protect the threatened Western Snowy Plover in Pacifica have been stymied because city officials have claimed there aren’t sufficient public resources to implement processes to protect the bird.

It’s time for Pacifica to get its priorities straight. read the article here and then submit a letter to the editor of the Pacifica Tribune supporting a restored Sharp Park. Send your letter to Editor & Publisher Elaine Larson today.

Pacifica's Economic Development Committee Resolves to Develop Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area

Pacifica’s Economic Development Committee reignited a controversial development proposal by resolving to develop an area known as the Pacifica Quarry, which is adjacent to the National Park Service’s Mori Point. The resolution urges the City of Pacifica to plan and entitle a “village type” development on the property: even though the area has been designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area by the Coastal Commission.

If the development moves forward it will jeopardize the continued existence of two species listed under the Endangered Species Act: the area is occupied habitat for the California red-legged frog and provides suitable habitat for the San Francisco garter snake. The development could also negatively impact the adjacent National Park lands.

The development proposal highlights the critical importance of restoring Sharp Park, which is on the other side of Mori Point from the Pacifica Quarry. At Sharp Park we can build a better public park free of “takings” claims made by private developers; adapt our coast to rising sea levels without building sea walls that destroy beaches; and provide restored habitats for Twain’s Frog and the beautiful serpent.

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Sea Watch for Endangered Sea Creatures 8/21

Come on out for another Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year event for your chance to see endangered species and win prizes while you are at it! This week we’re heading to Fort Funston for a chance to see some of the Parks’ more elusive endangered species. See you there!

Sea Watch for Endangered Sea Creatures, August 21, 2010, 3:30 p.m. -5:00 p.m.— Join local naturalist Matt Zlatunich 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: we might throw in a Marbled Murrelet while we are there. RSVP required: please use this website to RSVP. Bring spotting scopes and binoculars if you have them; also bring water and snacks to munch on. Meet at the Fort Funston Observation Deck.

Bob Battalio Presentation Available for Download

On Monday in Pacifica, Bob Battalio, PE, gave a fascinating presentation about the constraints and opportunities placed on coastal communities as sea level rises and erosion processes reshape California’s coast.

Mr. Battalio explained that Pacifica’s beaches are eroding, and that sea walls tend to exacerbate this erosion on the ocean-side of the wall, often resulting in the loss or reduction of beaches. He also emphasized that planned adaptation strategies can be more sustainable and less costly than responding to sea level rise by armoring the coastline, with the added benefit of preserving public access and coastal resources for future generations to enjoy.

The slides from the presentation are now available for download at the Wild Equity Institute’s website here.

Free Talk 8/16: Coastal Adaptation Strategies in an Era of Climate Change

Come hear Pacifican, coastal engineer, & surfer Bob Battalio of Philip Williams and Associates Environmental Hydrology give a presentation on the opportunities and constraints placed on coastal development and conservation by climate change, sea level rise, and coastal erosion. This talk will focus on how we can protect our homes and beaches in a cost-effective manner as sea level rises and storm frequency and intensity increases. The event will be held at the Sharp Park Library Community Room, 104 Hilton Way, in Pacifica, CA from 6:30pm-8:00pm. For event information and a link to a map and driving directions, click here.


Bob Battalio

Petition to Protect San Francisco's "Miracle Manzanita" Prompts Feds to Begin Protection Process

August 9, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: BRENT PLATER, WILD EQUITY INSTITUTE, 415-572-6989

Petition to Protect San Francisco’s “Miracle Manzanita”
Prompts Feds to Begin Protection Process

SAN FRANCISCO— The Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that it has started the formal legal process to protect the Franciscan manzanita under the federal Endangered Species Act, widely considered to be our most powerful and effective tool for protecting the imperiled plants and animals that accompany us on Earth.

“This is a great opportunity for the Bay Area to close one of our coldest conservation cases,” said Brent Plater, Executive Director of the Wild Equity Institute. “With the best tools on the planet and some of the most innovative people in the country, I’m confident we’ll keep the Franciscan manzanita around for future generations to enjoy.”


The Franciscan Manzanita

The announcement was prompted by the Wild Equity Institute’s formal administrative petition to protect the species shortly after it was rediscovered in the wild by Dr. Daniel Gluesenkamp inside the Presidio Trust in San Francisco, nearly 70 years after it was deemed extinct in the wild.

Because extinct species are not protected by the Endangered Species Act, the Franciscan manzanita had no formal protection when it was found. The Endangered Species Act protection petition was submitted on an emergency basis to close this loophole and give biologists the tools they need to bring the species back from extinction. The Center for Biological Diversity and the California Native Plant Society co-petitioned for the protections.

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Engaging Allies for the Underfrog

The Wild Equity Institute has engaged dozens of allies in our campaign to build a better public park at Sharp Park, and our list of allies keeps growing. This weekend we had a fantastic tour of Mori Point and Sharp Park to give people the facts about restoration opportunities at Sharp Park, and to search for Twain’s Frog and the Beautiful Serpent.

Wild Equity Institute Outreach at Mori Point

If your organization would like to partner with us, drop us a line at 415-349-5787 or email us at info@wildequity.org.

If you would like to provide individual support, check out our Restore Sharp Park website to find out who to write, how to volunteer, and where to donate to the campaign.

Find Four Frogs in this Photo

We had great luck searching for the California red-legged frog at Mori Point this past weekend. But they aren’t always easy to see.

Can you find four frogs in this photo? If you can, it’s about time you got started on your GGNP Endangered Species Big Year: you’ve got what it takes to compete for the $1,000 grand prize!

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Humpback Hit & Run: Time for Speed Limits in Marine Sanctuaries

Whales are congregating in large numbers off the coast of Northern California right now, but the exciting news has been tempered by reports that a young Humpback Whale was found dead near the Farallon Islands with slashes on its body consistent with being struck by a ship propeller.


Humpback Whale

This is no isolated incident: whales are killed by ship strikes every year. You can help address this problem by participating in the Wild Equity Institute’s Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year. Humpback Whales are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and are one of the 36 endangered species you can see and help save in the Golden Gate National Parks. The prescient action item for the Humpback Whale is to call our local marine sanctuaries and demand that they impose speed limits to protect whales from ship collisions. You can find out how to contact our local marine sanctuaries here.

Whales are frequently struck by ships as large cargo tankers and other boats come in and out of our busiest ports. Part of the problem is that shipping corridors often run right through marine sanctuaries, where whales may be resting and feeding. Some of these large ships carry too much momentum to avoid whales: unless they slow down so that the ship can redirect its course rapidly. That’s why ocean speed limits are essential, and our marine sanctuaries are the perfect place to implement them. Please make your calls today.

Become a Monthly Donor to the Wild Equity Institute

We’ve recently updated our donations page to accept automatic monthly donations. This is an easy way for you to provide sustained support for our campaigns. $5 per month provides significant support: it funds materials for 120 kids to participate in the GGNP Endangered Species Big Year.

And if you donate $166.67 per month you’ll become a founding member of WEI!

We can’t do what we do without your support, and we are grateful for it. Thanks so much for all you do to protect people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth!

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Historic Photos, Field Notes Show Sharp Park Has Always Been Habitat for Herps--and the Golf Course is Harming Them

Rediscovered historic photos of Sharp Park, along with field notes stored at UC Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, indicate that Sharp Park was once excellent habitat for the San Francisco garter snake and the California red-legged frog: and that Sharp Park Golf Course is the primary threat to both species at the site.

This undated photo of Sharp Park shows Laguna Salada before the golf course was built, with Mori Point Ridge in the background.

In this photo, the lagoon is clearly fringed with cattails, vegetation that can’t grow in saline environments. This indicates that Laguna Salada was not a “salt lake” as golf privatization advocates have argued, but a fresh lagoon where the San Francisco garter snake and the California red-legged frog could thrive.

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Check Out Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Monument

Here are a few Photos of our newest National Park, Port Chicago National Memorial, where hundreds of mostly African-american military personnel were killed in a munitions explosion on 7/17/44, and then court-martialed when they demanded training on how to load the munitions safely. One of the key injustices that ultimately led to the desegregation of the military, the story is now being interpreted by our Nation’s best steward of history, the National Park Service. Reservations are required to visit: click here to make yours. You may also want to check out Dr. Robert Allen’s book, The Port Chicago Mutiny: the Story of the Largest Mass Mutiny Trial in U.S. Naval History.

Twain's Frog & the Beautiful Serpent Hike 7/24, 10am

This weekend we’re leading a trip to Mori Point to search for the the San Francisco Garter Snake and the California Red-legged Frog: the perfect opportunity for you to see at least one of these species and compete in the GGNP Endangered Species Big Year. See you outside!

Saturday, July 24, 2010, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Join Brent Plater of the Wild Equity Institute to search for two of the most imperiled vertebrate species on the San Francisco peninsula: the California red-legged frog and the San Francisco garter snake. This will be a leisurely walk to enjoy the restoration work being conducted at Mori Point and to learn about the bold steps being taken to save both species from the brink of extinction. RSVP Required: please use this website to RSVP. Rain or Shine. Meet at the Mori Point Trailhead, Pacifica, CA, 94044. Take the Sharp Park exit off Hwy. 1 and continue south on Bradford Way about 0.5 mile to the gate/trailhead at Mori Point Rd. Roadside parking is limited; carpooling is encouraged. Samtrans buses #110 and #112 stop nearby.

July 7 & 10 Big Year Trips

This week the Wild Equity Institute helps you explore the Presidio, restore habitat for two imperiled plants, and earn points towards the Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year grand prize! Join us on either or both trips:

San Francisco Lessingia Restoration at Lobos Dunes, Presidio


  • No More Blues for the Blite — Saturday, July 10, 2010, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.:  Join Michael Chassé of the National Park Service at Crissy Field Marsh and restore a reintroduction site for the endangered California Seablite. This satisfies the GGNP Endangered Species Big Year conservation action item for the species. Meet at the Presidio Transit Center, 215 Lincoln Blvd @ Graham St., San Francisco, CA 94129. RSVP: Call 415-561-2857 or email Michael Chassé.

Crissy Field Marsh Restoration

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Nearly Two-dozen Community, Park Groups Demand Scrutiny of Sharp Park

Nearly two-dozen allies have joined the Wild Equity Institute in demanding heightened environmental and fiscal scrutiny of Sharp Park Golf Course. The controversial golf course is killing endangered species and loses money, and a new community group letter and a park group letter ask the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to stop prioritizing the suburban golf course the City owns in San Mateo County, and instead prioritize neighborhood and community services threatened by the ongoing recession.

San Francisco Budget Rally; Sharp Park is “Bleeding Green”

San Francisco’s budget crisis is resulting in substantial cuts to neighborhood parks and community services. But cash flow isn’t the only factor in determining what is cut and what is not: these decisions are also a product of the City’s priorities.

The community and park groups recently submitted two letters highlighting the choices the City can make, and specifically highlighting the ongoing financial losses at Sharp Park Golf Course as a misplaced priority.

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June 21: Tell the Board of Supervisors to Stop Bleeding Green

We need you to tell the SF Board of Supervisors to break out the “green scissors”: eliminate the environmentally destructive Sharp Park Golf Course from the City budget and redirect the money saved back to San Francisco’s neighborhood parks and community services, where the money belongs.

On Monday, June 21 at 4pm in San Francisco’s City Hall, Room 250, the Board of Supervisors will have a hearing on San Francisco’s budget. Come to the hearing early, around 3:30pm, to get a speaker card and find out when you’ll get a chance to speak. This could be a long one, so if you can’t stay please send an email to info@wildequity.org with your comments and we’ll hand them in for you.

The SF Weekly recently exposed that Sharp Park Golf Course is a much larger liability to SF’s budget than the Parks Department had previously disclosed (read the article here).

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June 18: Wither SF Rec. & Park Commission?

The SF Recreation and Parks Commission is supposed to be an oversight agency, a check against bad calls made by the Recreation and Parks Department’s political appointees. But today it is notorious for rubber-stamping the Department’s often ill-planed and inequitable decisions. It acts like an agency captured by the very entity it is suppose to oversee.

For example, the Commission rubber-stamped the Department’s flawed all-golf alternative for Sharp Park Golf Course, ignoring the expert testimony—not to mention the vast majority of public comments—which favored creating a National Park at Sharp Park. Subsequently both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the SF Weekly exposed flaws in the biological and financial reasoning the Department made, completely undermining the all-golf alternative.

But this is precisely what the Commission is supposed to do: scrutinize proposals to ensure they aren’t flawed or based on unsound assumptions. We can’t expect the Feds or journalists to do the Commission’s job for them every time.

So Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi has introduced a charter amendment to revamp the Recreation and Parks Commission. Under the proposal, commission appointments would be shared between the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors, ensuring that no one political agenda can stack the deck against sound decision-making.

Public park supporters are rallying around this charter amendment at a hearing on Friday, June 18, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. before the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee at San Francisco City Hall. Help our government get better: support an improved check-and-balance system at the Recreation and Parks Department and ask your Supervisor to vote for Mirkarimi’s charter amendment.

June 19: Flax or Blite: You Choose!

This week the GGNP Endangered Species Big Year is offering two trips to see and help save the Park’s endangered species: one in San Mateo County and one in San Francisco. Hope to see you outside!

Marin-dwarf Flax

Marin-dwarf Flax Blooming in San Mateo County!?!— June 19, 2010, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Here’s a great opportunity to see the Marin Dwarf-flax blooming: in San Mateo County! Join the Edgwood Weed Warriors at Edgewood County Park & Nature Preserve to see this diminutive wildflower in bloom. Despite the specie’s name, San Mateo is part of its natural range, and a part of Edgewood is also within the Golden Gate National Parks legislative boundary. While there you can pitch-in and pull weeds to help restore the entire nature preserve. Please note that this activity counts as a sighting, but not as a restoration action item for the Endangered Species Big Year competition. Meet at Edgewood’s West Kiosk; from there we’ll walk to the restoration site. RSVP required: please e-mail Drew Shell. For more details click here.

California Seablite

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