Movie Night: Werner Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World

Thursday, March 31, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

On March 31, we’ll screen Werner Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World. In this tremendous and unique documentary, Herzog travels to Antarctica, where he finds a desolate, beautiful landscape, largely untouched by human hands, and a group of truly unique people who risk their lives to study it. Centered at McMurdo Station, the United States’ largest Antarctic research center, Herzog explores the minds of the scientists willing to abandon civilization and endure volatile conditions to learn more about the continent’s wildlife and awe-inspiring natural wonders.

Join us for snacks, great company, and a fascinating documentary from one of the greatest filmmakers of our time!

Finding San Francisco’s Lost Species: The Franciscan Manzanita

Saturday, April 2, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm:

Join us on a beautiful coastal hike as we explore the history and ecology of the rare Franciscan Manzanita. We’ll also discuss and what the National Park Service and other conservationists are doing to protect this magnificent species. We’ll be joined by Michael Vasey and Tom Parker, co-authors of the Field Guide to Manzanitas.

Meet us at Baker Beach North Parking Lot off of Battery Chamberlin Road. From there, we will hike north along the Pacific bluffs and through the manzanita’s critical habitat. Once we reach the Golden Gate Bridge, we’ll pour some Manzanita drinks (apple juice and champagne) and make a toast to the survival of this wonderful species! In the spirit of resource conservation, please bring a reusable cup if you wish to participate!

We’ll also have books, t-shirt, and water bottles for sale.

RSVP here

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More info on the Franciscan Manzanita:

Although there are over 100 species and subspecies of manzanita, until 2009, it was thought that San Francisco’s own manzanita, the Franciscan Manzanita, had gone extinct.

The Franciscan manzanita’s tragic history is filled with heroic acts by botanists striving to keep the species alive. In 1906, the specimens first used to identify the species were rescued from the California Academy of Sciences as fires driven by the San Francisco earthquake ravaged the Academy’s collections. In 1947 a famous botanist stood in front of earth-moving equipment to wrest the last known wild plants from a construction site. The plants were sent to a botanical garden, and no one found the plant in the wild again.

Fortunately, the Franciscan Manzanita was rediscovered in the wild in 2009, and has since been listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. The National Park Service reports there are now over 30 Franciscan Manzanita plantings alive on the Presidio Bluffs!

You can watch a short documentary about the recovery of the Franciscan Manzanita here.


Franciscan Manzanita


The Franciscan Manzanita on moving day!

Wild Equity in the News

 

  • Spring, 2011—Class Notes, Stewards, University of Michigan.

Western Snowy Plover Walk About!

Sunday, Feb. 28, 9:00am – 11:00am: Join the Wild Equity Institute for a leisurely walk along Ocean Beach to search for the threatened Western Snowy Plover. We’ll be meeting at 9 am—an early start should give us the best chance of spotting the Plover as well as other shorebirds.

The Snowy Plover is a small shorebird threatened by human activities and habitat degradation. Join us to see this adorable species in its native habitat and learn more about what the Park Service is doing to help save this little puffball of feathers.

BONUS: We’ll also be starting the morning with Andytown Coffee Roasters’ famous Snowy Plover coffee beverage!
Meet at the patch of grass at the intersection of Pacheco St. and the Great Highway.

Brent Plater at Hastings International and Comparative Law Review’s Conference on Human Rights and Sustainable Development in an Era of Free Trade

Thursday, February 18, 2-6 pm:

Wild Equity’s Executive Director, Brent Plater, will be speaking next week at the Hastings International and Comparative Law Review’s Conference “Human Rights and Sustainable Development in an Era of Free Trade”

Panelists representing areas of environmental, trade, and human rights, will explore United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and international free-trade agreements, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Brent will be speaking on the second panel, at 3:30 pm, alongside Gwen Arnold (http://desp.ucdavis.edu/people/gwen-arnold) and Kevin Danaher (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Danaher_(activist)).

More info here: https://hiclrsymposium2016.wordpress.com/

Don’t miss it!

Wild Equity Store

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

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

Small Ladies Half-scoop:

Medium Ladies Half-scoop:
OUT OF STOCK!

Large Ladies Half-scoop:

XL Ladies Half-scoop:

Small Unisex:

Medium Unisex:

Large Unisex:

XL Unisex:

Wild Equity 100% Recycled Aluminum Bottle, Only $15 + Shipping!*

These gorgeous Wild Equity-branded reusable 24oz bottles are made by Liberty Bottleworks (of the recent viral Facebook rant fame) in the USA out of 100% recycled aluminum, and are lined with a BPA-free, non-toxic, food-grade coating to keep your drinks fresh and the bottle easy to clean.

White Wild Equity Reusable Bottle:

* Shipping & handling charges are as follows: $5 for orders up to $40; $10 for orders between $41 and $80; $15 for orders above $80.

SFRPD’s Illegal Operations Continue Unpunished at Sharp Park Golf Course


SFRPD has been knowingly violating the Coastal Act at this beach without consequence for years

The California Coastal Commission is and has been allowing San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department to lawlessly develop and maintain a seawall on the beach at Sharp Park Golf Course. Our allies at Surfrider Foundation, San Francisco and San Mateo County chapters, have written a letter to California Coastal Commission to bring attention to this issue.

“SFRPD is violating and has been violating the Coastal Act for several years, by constructing and maintaining a rock revetment on the property (which is ‘development’ under the Coastal Act), without a required [Coastal Development Permit]”, the letter reads.

On multiple occasions since 2013, Surfrider Foundation provided the CCC with notice of SFRPD’s violation. Following an investigation in 2013, the Commission concluded that SFRPD was indeed in violation of the Coastal Act. Subsequently, the Commission gave the Parks Department a deadline of March 11, 2013 “by which it was required to remedy the violation” i.e. either submit an application for an after-the-fact Coastal Development Permit, or entirely remove any development that had been placed on the beach.. When SFRPD failed to meet the deadline to apply for the permit, the CCC granted an extension to the deadline…and as SFRPD has continued to miss the deadline, and CCC has continued to grant extensions.

Fast forward two-and-a-half years, and SFRPD still has no permit to legally do any sort of construction on the beach, and nothing has been done about it- the CCC has repeatedly turned a blind eye to the Parks Department’s continued illegal activities on the beach. As of today, there is no indication that the CCC intends to crack down on SFRPD’s negligence, mismanagement of public resources, and destruction of our beach.

SFRPD has been illegally operating at the unsustainable, money-losing Sharp Park Golf Course for years, continuously killing the federally protected California Red Legged Frog and San Francisco Garter Snake along the way. It’s time that San Francisco shut this golf course down once and for all and hand over the lands to National Park Service for restoration and repurposement into a public park for all to enjoy.

You can read the entire letter from Surfrider Foundation here:

El Nino Wreaks Havoc Upon Pacifica and Sharp Park Golf Course

Pacifica is in a state of emergency after heavy El Nino storms have posed a significant risk to the safety of seaside residents. But this is no first: Pacifica residents have previously been evacuated as a precautionary measure when storms have jeopardized the safety of Pacificans and their homes. This time around, El Nino has caused sections of the cliffside to collapse (a video of which can be seen here) and temporary closures at Sharp Park Golf Course, as seasonal flooding and high winds created substantial safety hazards for golfers.

But the harsh weather may cause more trouble for the golf course than just wet fairways and falling trees: the California Coastal Commission has provided Sharp Park Golf Course with a condition that dictates that the golf infrastructure must be permanently removed should Sharp Park Golf Course be threatened by coastal surges. With several more months of El Nino to go, Sharp Park Golf Course’s days may be numbered.

In addition to all of the climate-related risks associated with operating the course, Sharp Park Golf Course has lost nearly 1.8 million dollars since 2004, and keeping it open is a sure way to further lose hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars that could be better invested in the best interest of the public.

Meanwhile, if Sharp Park Golf Course was closed down and the wetlands restored, it would help the city of Pacifica adapt to sea level rise (as wetlands “break up” wave energy), and improve habitat conditions for the federally protected California Red-Legged Frog and San Francisco Garter Snake. The lands could then ultimately be repurposed as a publicly accessible national park, providing locals with an abundance of recreational opportunities, and the city of Pacifica with an opportunity to increase tourism-based revenue. Restoring Sharp Park would have countless benefits, which you can read about here.

Keeping Sharp Park Golf Course open is an abominable idea- don’t let San Francisco keep pouring taxpayer dollars into this unprofitable and ecologically hostile golf course. Click here to take action and learn more about our mission to restore Sharp Park.

Help Restore Habitat for Endangered Butterflies!

Saturday, January 23, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm:

The Wild Equity Institute is partnering with San Bruno Mountain Watch to restore ecologically important habitat for the beautiful mission blue and callippe silverspot butterflies at San Bruno Mountain! Join us as we work to save endangered species and build a stronger environmental movement!

San Bruno Mountain Watch will provide all of the necessary tools, gloves, water, (plants!), a scrumptious snack, and an interesting and educational interpretive talk to spark conversations about the life and history of the mountain.
Long pants, sturdy close-toe shoes, and a reusable water bottle are recommended!

The day begins by meeting at the San Bruno Mountain Watch office (44 Visitacion Avenue, Suite 206, Brisbane, CA 94005) at 9:15 am. We then carpool at 9:30am to the worksite on the mountain (not more than a 5-10 minute drive) and work there until 12:30pm.

Ecological restoration is crucial work and your contributions will go a long way toward protecting the earth’s amazing ecosystems 🙂


Mission Blue Butterfly


San Bruno Mountain

Lost Manzanita Found

UPDATE—12/19/13: Final Critical Habitat Protections Announced

UPDATE—9/4/12: Final Rule to Protect Manzanita and Proposed Critical Habitat Protections Announced

UPDATE—9/7/11: Endangered Status Proposed for SF’s Miracle Manzanita

UPDATE—6/14/11: Lawsuit Filed to Protect Franciscan Manzanita

A San Francisco resident recently got an astounding view while driving the Golden Gate Bridge—the first sighting of San Francisco’s namesake manzanita in nearly seventy years.

Dr. Daniel Gluesenkamp, Director of Habitat Restoration for Audubon Canyon Ranch, was driving home from speaking at a climate change conference when his attention focused on an unusual-looking plant. A few days later he revisited the site and discovered the first living specimen of the Franciscan or San Francisco manzanita (Arctostaphylos franciscana) seen in the wild in nearly seven decades.


The San Francisco Manzanita

The Franciscan manzanita is a subtly charming flowering shrub found nowhere else on Earth. Its tragic history is filled with heroic acts by botanists striving to keep the species alive. In 1906, the specimens first used to identify the species were rescued from the California Academy of Sciences as fires driven by the San Francisco earthquake ravaged the Academy’s collections. In 1947 a famous botanist stood in front of earth-moving equipment to wrest the last known wild plants from a construction site. The plants were sent to a botanical garden, and no one found the plant in the wild again.


San Francisco Manzanita at the Former Laurel Hill Cemetery, 1937

Until now. “We are fortunate to live in such a diverse land, and discoveries like these remind us that we can build a sustainable future for all,” said Brent Plater, Executive Director of the Wild Equity Institute. “With the help of the Endangered Species Act, the world’s most effective and comprehensive conservation law, we can work in partnership to recover the San Francisco manzanita’s population and ensure that the species doesn’t go extinct a second time.”

Surprisingly, the San Francisco manzanita had never been protected under the Endangered Species Act, despite its exceptionally rare status. Today the Wild Equity Institute submitted a petition to list the species under the Endangered Species Act to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and soon the Service will be able to deploy recovery planning techniques and effective conservation strategies refined through forty years of successful application of the law. The Center for Biological Diversity and the California Native Plant Society co-petitioned for the protections.

“This is a great opportunity for the Bay Area to close one of our coldest conservation cases,” said Plater. “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.”

For photos, interviews with manzanita scientists, or more information, call 415-572-6989
Click here to view the petition

SF’s Natural Areas Plan is at Risk Due to Sharp Park Golf Course

For Immediate Release – November 19, 2015
Contact: Brent Plater, Wild Equity (415) 572-6989 or bplater@wildequity.org


California Red-Legged Frog, Photo © Brent Plater

Environmental Groups Unite to Tell City: Remove Golf Course From Natural Areas Plan!

Nine leading local environmental groups have united to send a single message to the City of San Francisco: The controversial proposal to redevelop Sharp Park Golf Course does not belong in the city’s proposed Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan.

Sierra Club, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Wild Equity Institute, Surfrider Foundation, San Francisco Tomorrow, S.F. League of Conservation Voters, National Parks Conservation Association, S.F. Green Party, and Sequoia Audubon posted letters to the Board of Supervisors urging them to remove the controversial Sharp Park Golf Course redevelopment project from the master management plan for the city’s natural areas.

“We are strong supporters of the Natural Areas Plan, but including Sharp Park Golf Course would undermine the integrity and goals of the plan,” said Cindy Margulis, Executive Director of Golden Gate Audubon Society.

The groups have been active in the development of the Natural Areas Management Plan for years, as a way to ensure thoughtful, responsible stewardship of the city’s natural areas over the next two decades. Yet the plan will face broad opposition from the environmental community if it includes the Sharp Park Golf Course redevelopment.

Arthur Feinstein representing the Sierra Club, San Francisco Bay Chapter, said that, “including a golf course project in an Environmental Impact Report on Natural Areas is not only inappropriate and probably illegal, but insulting to the very purpose of the Natural Areas Program of preserving and restoring the natural habitats upon which the world ultimately depends.“

The groups cited numerous reasons, including:

· Redeveloping a golf course is not “natural area” restoration like the other projects in the plan.

· Unlike all the other natural areas, Sharp Park is located outside the City and County of San Francisco, in San Mateo County.

· The Sharp Park Golf Course redevelopment project jeopardizes survival of two endangered species: The San Francisco garter snake and California red-legged frog.

· The Sharp Park Golf Course redevelopment project was added to the Natural Areas Plan at the last minute. Planning for the Natural Areas as a whole began in 1995 and included input from multiple scientific panels and stakeholders, but Sharp Park Golf Course redevelopment was inserted just before the draft environmental review document for the Natural Areas Plan was released in 2011.

· Including Sharp Park in the plan would allow the controversial and environmentally destructive golf course redevelopment project to move ahead without any further environmental review. “The redevelopment of the golf course could lead to major impacts to the beach,” said Bill McLaughlin of Surfrider Foundation, San Francisco Chapter. “This project deserves full environmental review.”

The City’s own Scoping Report for the natural areas management plan expressly stated in 2009 that Sharp Park Golf Course changes “will not be included or evaluated as part of the SNRAMP (natural areas management plan) project.”

“Tossing Sharp Park into the natural areas plan looks like an attempt by the city to fast-track a controversial golf course renovation that would not stand up to independent environmental scrutiny,” said Brent Plater, Executive Director of Wild Equity.

The City of San Francisco is scheduled to release the Final EIR for the Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan late this year or in early 2016, after which it will go to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————
For more information on why the Sharp Park Golf Course redevelopment would be disastrous for wildlife and the environment, and why it should not be included in the Natural Areas Plan, see http://wildequity.org/pages/3060.

To arrange interviews, contact Brent Plater of Wild Equity at (415) 572-6989 or bplater@wildequity.org. Photos available of the endangered SF Garter snake and California red-legged frog.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Salmon Hike at Muir Woods!

We wanted to pass along our thanks to everyone who came out to the hike at Muir Woods this past Sunday. We had a lot of fun and hope you did too!

We have some more events coming up that we would love to see you at, including Butterfly Habitat Restoration on January 23rd at San Bruno Mountain, and Nature Slideshow: Saving Endangered Wildlife Near You on February 17th at Wild Equity’s office at 474 Valencia Street.

Follow the links, join us on meetup, or check out our online event calendar to learn more and stay up to date with all of our upcoming events!

We hope to see you again soon!

Muir Woods Salmon Hike!

Sunday, January 10, 11:00 am – 1 pm: You are invited to join the Wild Equity Institute for a hike at Muir Woods to see the threatened Coho Salmon, Central California Coast Evolutionary Significant Unit, and the Steelhead, Central California Coast Distinct Population Segment. Witness the semelparous spawning behavior of the Coho Salmon and take action to help save these imperiled species!

The hike is free, but you must pay an entrance fee to directly to the National Park Service when we enter Muir Woods.

Meet at Muir Woods National Monument Main Entrance Gate, Mill Valley, CA, 94941.

RSVP here or on our Meetup page

Brent Plater Discusses Wild Equity in December Issue of Save The Frogs! Magazine!

Check out the December 2015 edition of Save the Frogs! Magazine, featuring some exciting developments on their work, as well as an interview with Wild Equity’s Executive Director, Brent Plater!

Golf Industry Wants Taxpayers to Pay For Failed Golf Course


Why does San Mateo County want to manage this disaster of a golf course?

According to recent reports, San Mateo County is considering committing a financial boondoggle by acquiring Sharp Park Golf Course from San Francisco. Given environmental and economic realities, it would be reckless of San Mateo County to take on this golf course. The golf course has lost nearly 1.8 million taxpayer dollars since 2004, and the golf market has been steadily plummeting over the last decade. So who will be expected to pick up the tab for the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the course loses annually? The taxpayers of San Mateo County, no less.

Sharp Park Golf Course, located in Pacifica, is known for its atrocious environmental record, lack of favorability amongst golfers, and ability to hemorrhage several hundred grand on a yearly basis. However, delusional San Mateo County District Supervisor Don Horsley believes that with the right changes, they could reverse the course’s decade-long trend of financial drain.

Despite all the financial data available, Horsley claimed that “[Sharp Park Golf Course] will draw a lot of people. We believe the course makes money.”

However, there is no evidence available to back Horsley’s assertion. One’s beliefs and opinions have no value when they contradict objective fact- sure, the course technically makes money, but it also loses money…and a lot more money than it brings in at that. And this is no new development- these trends have been consistent for over a decade now.

Sharp Park Golf Course’s lack of popularity can largely be attributed to the oversaturation of the golf market in the Bay Area (let alone a rapidly failing golf market in the rest of the United States)… more so than to its mediocrity as a golf course. A few changes in course design are not the changes that the golf course needs to start making money again.

San Mateo County has recognized that the course been poorly placed and designed, and on top of everything else poses a threat to endangered wildlife such as the California Red-Legged Frog and San Francisco Garter Snake, but why won’t they accept the fact that the course will never be profitable?

Don’t let San Mateo County make the impetuous mistake of taking over this financially unsustainable golf course. Click here to take action to restore Sharp Park.

2015: Another Year of Losses at Sharp Park Golf Course


Sharp Park Golf Course has little value proposition, especially during annual winter flooding

San Francisco’s money-losing, endangered species killing Sharp Park Golf Course once again left City taxpayers with a whopping bill at the close of this fiscal year, bringing the grand total of taxpayer subsidy to 1.8 million dollars over the past decade- losing $160,467.16 per year, on average.

Fiscal Year RPD Sharp Park Golf Course Losses
04/05 – $110,299.00
05/06 – $338,025.60
06/07 – $64,685.80
07/08 – $119,758.00
08/09 $29,446.40
09/10 – $134,699.80
10/11 – $161,217.20
11/12 – $245,007.40
12/13 – $111,289.20
13/14 – $151,269.80
14/15 – $358,333.40
TOTALS – $1,765,138.80

Sharp Park Golf Course cost the city over $350,000 in fiscal year 2014-2015 alone– if losses continue at this rate, San Francisco taxpayers can expect to have to cough up another $1.6 million over the next 10 years in order to subsidize further operations at SPGC.

In addition, we should acknowledge that the costs associated with Sharp Park Golf Course are expected to increase in the coming years. As Wild Equity has noted in the past, the cost of operating Sharp Park Golf Course in the coming years is expected to be nearly $48.8 million, costs including: the $1.6 million noted above, $12-14 million for a full renovation, $32 million to restore the seawall for protection from storms, erosion, and sea level rise, and $1.2 million in permitting, habitat restoration, and construction relating to the Sharp Park Safety, Infrastructure Improvement, and Habitat Enhancement Project.

Sharp Park Golf Course should be able to cover its operating costs with the money that it brings in each year, but has consistently failed to do so. This financial burden to taxpayers is unacceptable.

Why spend all this money in a failing golf course when we can instead restore Sharp Park at no cost to the city? Don’t let San Francisco keep pouring taxpayer dollars into this unprofitable golf course. Click here to find out how you can take action and help our campaign to restore Sharp Park.

Save The Planet Movie Night: WALL·E

Wednesday, December 16, 6:30pm – 8:30pm: Please join us for a screening of WALL·E, a fun and pertinent film about our planet’s ecological future. We hope that this will be an enjoyable way to reflect on our collective responsibility to protect our planet!

We will show the film at Wild Equity’s office in the Centro del Pueblo building at 474 Valencia St, Suite 295.

Join us for snacks, entertainment, and great company!
All ages are welcome.

RSVP on this page or look us up on Meetup

Help Restore Habitat for Endangered Butterflies!

Saturday, January 23, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm:

The Wild Equity Institute is partnering with San Bruno Mountain Watch to restore ecologically important habitat for the beautiful mission blue and callippe silverspot butterflies at San Bruno Mountain! Join us as we work to save endangered species and build a stronger environmental movement!

San Bruno Mountain Watch will provide all of the necessary tools, gloves, water, (plants!), a scrumptious snack, and an interesting and educational interpretive talk to spark conversations about the life and history of the mountain.
Long pants, sturdy close-toe shoes, and a reusable water bottle are recommended!

The day begins by meeting at the San Bruno Mountain Watch office (44 Visitacion Avenue, Suite 206, Brisbane, CA 94005) at 9:15 am.
We then carpool at 9:30am to the worksite on the mountain (not more than a 5-10 minute drive) and work there until 12:30pm.

RSVP here or on our Meetup page


Hike: Twain’s Frog and the Beautiful Serpent

Saturday, December 12th, 1:00pm – 3:00 pm: 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 the frogs and the snakes from the brink of extinction.

Note: California’s winter rains usher in the Red-Legged Frog’s breeding season each December, potentially providing a unique nature-viewing opportunity. Accordingly, we encourage you to join us rain or shine!

Meet at the Mori Point Entrance Gate, at the intersection of Bradford Way and Mori Point Road, Pacifica, CA, 94044.

RSVP on this page — or look us up on Meetup!

Be a Part of the Fight in 2016: Join Wild Equity Today!

Dear Reader,

Another year has passed, and yet our most challenging environmental and social problems remain. In fact, many seem to be getting worse: there is now more carbon in the atmosphere, more species on the brink of extinction, more inequity across our human communities.

This realization requires us all to pause and reflect on how we direct our efforts. Because neither we, nor the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth, can afford these trends to continue.


Our supporters count on us to rise to the challenge, not concede to them.

Some in the environmental movement have emerged from this reflection to urge that we concede: give up on our basic environmental objectives, and redefine success as whatever corporate and selfish human interests will permit. Rather than fighting for conservation goals that science demands, they suggest we accept whatever conservation goals corporations will permit.

Wild Equity believes something different. We believe that we can make the world more sustainable, more just, and more beautiful by defending our principles with every fiber of our being.

But effort alone isn’t going to be enough. We must direct our efforts wisely. We must be willing to match any particular problem with the strategy that is most appropriate for those circumstances. That’s why Wild Equity wields a variety of tools—education, public relations, litigation, & grassroots organizing and lobbying—to win campaigns and create a sustainable and just world. This approach has worked for countless other movements, none of which had to concede their demands.

And it can work for all of us too, but not without you: now more than ever we need you to support our work with a tax-deductible contribution to the Wild Equity Institute today.


Even this Tropical Kingbird is taking a stand against Sharp Park Golf Course.

Your support has already helped Wild Equity to make great strides towards a more just and sustainable community for all:

You helped us win long-term permit conditions on the endangered species-killing Sharp Park Golf Course. In 2015 our work resulted in the Coastal Commission imposing an important condition on the golf course’s long term operations: all infrastructure at Sharp Park must be removed when threatened by coastal storm surges. These conditions will be put to the test as early as this winter, when the predicted El Nino brings a deluge to our parched state.

You helped us build our power against power plants polluting the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. Wild Equity brought new administrative and legal challenges against polluting Antioch power plants this year, to help restore the Dunes ecosystem and rectify the threats the power plants pose to this remarkable place and the communities that live nearby.

These victories are exceptional; with your support we can accomplish even more in 2016:

Your contribution will create a better public park at Sharp Park. In November 2015 eight of San Francisco’s leading conservation groups stood with us and informed the City that they will oppose a Sharp Park Golf Course redevelopment project that was cynically inserted into the environmental review process for San Francisco’s Natural Areas Plan. With your support we can ensure this coalition ensures that the Golf Course plan is removed or the plan is halted in 2016, when the decision comes to a head.

Your contribution will fund new legal challenges to the power plants that are polluting our communities and poisoning the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. This investment will protect endangered species and our most vulnerable communities.

We are poised to make these goals a reality, as we’ve added two new members to our staff: Roman Berenshteyn is our new Communications Coordinator, and Riley Flynn is our new Development Associate. Come see us at an upcoming event and say hi!

Imagine the world we will build together: a more equitable world for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth. Thank you for supporting this vision and contributing to our work today!

With deepest gratitude,


Brent Plater, Director
Wild Equity Institute

PS —Don’t forget to buy an “I ‘Bird’ SF” shirt or a Wild Equity water bottle for you and everyone you love! Purchase at wildequity.org!

Endangered Species Hike at Sharp Park!

Saturday, December 12th, 1:00pm – 3:00 pm: 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 the frogs and the snakes from the brink of extinction.

Note: California’s winter rains usher in the Red-Legged Frog’s breeding season each December, potentially providing a unique nature-viewing opportunity. Accordingly, we encourage you to join us rain or shine!

Meet at the Mori Point Entrance Gate, at the intersection of Bradford Way and Mori Point Road, Pacifica, CA, 94044.

RSVP on this page — or look us up on Meetup!

Recent Report Demonstrates Urgency of Restoring Wetlands at Sharp Park


A San Francisco Garter Snake, one of the residents of the wetlands at Sharp Park

A new report suggests that San Francisco cannot wait any longer to restore Sharp Park. The report, completed by over 100 scientists and 17 government agencies, states that at least 54,000 acres of wetlands surrounding the bay must be restored in the next 15-20 years in order to protect coastlines from sea level rise.

Sharp Park is one area that can and should be restored. Located on the shore of Pacifica, Sharp Park is filled with wetlands and endangered wildlife, making it both a feasible and ideal location for restoration, as has been proposed by Wild Equity and other groups. But alas, the golf course has turned a blind-eye to the sensitivity of the habitat by draining the wetlands and slaughtering the wildlife on the regular.

To add to the damage, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department wants to not only keep draining wetlands at Sharp Park Golf Course, but in addition spend millions of taxpayer dollars on redevelopment that would put the area at higher risk of inundation due to sea level rise, ultimately putting the golf course on a path to an even more unsustainable future.

Given the urgent 15 year deadline highlighted in the report, San Francisco must take the advice Wild Equity has proposed for years, and shut down the money-draining golf course immediately to begin restoration. Closing the golf course and restoring Sharp Park would not only prepare the area better for the sea level rise anticipated by the end of the century, but would provide locals with countless recreational opportunities, provide the city of Pacifica with increased tourism-based revenue, and allow for the endangered San Francisco Garter Snake and California Red-Legged Frog to thrive in peace.

Why wetlands?
Wetlands “break up wave energy”, making them a useful tool for mitigating flooding and sea level rise. Furthermore, wetlands clean water by filtering pollutants, act as a carbon sink, and provide habitat and migratory hotspots for birds, fish, and other wildlife- including the federally protected San Francisco Garter Snake and California Red-Legged Frog.

Moreover, wetland restoration is practical- major efforts in the South Bay have already enabled the return of wildlife such as Ridgway’s Rail and the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse, and it is by far less costly than building levees and seawalls to protect against sea level rise.

Don’t let San Francisco keep pouring taxpayer dollars into this unsustainable golf course. Click here to find out how you can take action and help our campaign to restore Sharp Park.

Wild Equity Challenges EPA’s Motion to Dismiss

Appearing before a federal judge in Oakland on October 21st, Wild Equity challenged the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s ongoing failure to protect communities and endangered species in Antioch, CA, from a PG&E power plant that emits tons of nitrogen pollution annually, poisoning sensitive wildlife habitats and irritating the lungs of community members.


The Gateway Generating Station poses a threat to the health and livelihood of local communities and the federally protected Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, Contra Costa Wallflower, and Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose.

The lawsuit centers on the operation of Gateway Generating Station, owned and operated by Pacific Gas & Electric. The EPA allowed the power plant to pollute without consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the pollution’s impact on endangered species at the adjacent Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge- the last home for one of our nation’s most imperiled butterflies.


As of this year, the adult population of Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly was 108, a truly devastating collapse from the 25,000 that had inhabited the Refuge earlier last century. For years, the population has remained gravely low.

At the hearing the EPA asked the Judge to avoid the merits of the case. Given that the EPA’s sister agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, is on record supporting the legal position Wild Equity brought to the Judge (not to mention Wild Equity’s victory at a nearby power plant under similar arguments), the EPA’s desire to avoid the merits is unsurprising.

While Judge Hamilton has not yet made her ruling, we are confident that this case will result in a similar fashion to our Oakley case which resulted in a $2 million mitigation fund for community health and endangered species recovery: or else the facility can’t operate at all.

These figures are proportional to what the regulatory agencies demanded when power plants threatened a different butterfly and silicon valley communities over a decade ago. Wild Equity believes nitrogen pollution affecting the mostly blue collar, mostly minority communities near the Gateway facility should be just as much of a priority of the EPA as the pollution affecting Silicon Valley.

Judge Phyllis Hamilton is expected to make a ruling within the next few weeks. In the meantime, feel free to review our filings here.

Opposition to Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Program

San Francisco’s Natural Areas Program was to be one of the great urban conservation programs in America. But in 2011, San Francisco released a Draft Environmental Impact Report (“DEIR”) that will, if adopted, turn the program on its head.

The DEIR radically altered the management plan, particularly at Sharp Park: the new Sharp Park plan calls for redeveloping an 18-hole golf course within the “recovery” area for the San Francisco Garter Snake and the California Red-Legged Frog—even though the golf course is the primary threat to both species’ existence at Sharp Park.

In order to ensure that the good isn’t thrown out with the bad, the Wild Equity Institute and an array of environmental and community supporters are demanding that the Sharp Park Golf Course redevelopment plan be segregated out of the Significant Natural Resource Areas Program Management Plan, and considered separately through its own environmental review process.

Contact the SF Board of Supervisors and SF Recreation and Parks Department today and let them know that you oppose the inclusion of the Sharp Park Golf Course redevelopment proposal in the Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan.


The San Francisco Garter Snake- one of the endangered species that inhabits Sharp Park

Additional Background on SNRAMP

• In February 2006 the Recreation and Parks Department and the Planning Department began a California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) process for the Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan (“SNRAMP”). The SNRAMP proposed projects in the City’s Natural Areas, including Sharp Park’s Natural Areas, but did not propose any changes to Sharp Park Golf Course.

• In November 2009 the Departments separately released a controversial proposal to redevelop Sharp Park Golf Course called “Conceptual Alternative A18 (“A18”). Scientists from San Francisco State University, the California Academy of Sciences, and other prominent institutions heavily criticized the proposal. San Francisco’s entire environmental community also opposed A18.


Letter from experts expresses concerns with Conceptual Alternative A18

• Until recently, the Departments consistently maintained that A18 was entirely separate from SNRAMP, and the two projects could not be considered in a single CEQA review process. For example, the SNRAMP Scoping Report states:

o “Because redesigning or eliminating the Sharp Park Golf Course is a separate proposal being studied by SFRPD, it will not be included or evaluated as part of the proposed [Significant Natural Areas Management Plan] project analyzed in the EIR. Should changes to the Sharp Park Golf Course be proposed, they would undergo a separate regulatory review, including CEQA environmental review.”


Excerpt from the Scoping Report indicating that proposed changes to Sharp Park Golf Course would have to undergo a separate CEQA review

• Yet in 2011 the Departments released a SNRAMP Draft Environmental Impact Report (“DEIR”) that removed the original plan for Sharp Park and replaced it with A18, the Golf Course redevelopment project. Moreover, the DEIR declares the Golf Course a Historic Resource that CEQA must protect—even though the original design was washed away by ocean storms decades ago—and therefore refused to consider alternatives that would protect Sharp Park’s environment from this devastating and controversial project.


Map demonstrating proposed changes to Sharp Park Golf Course under Conceptual Alternative A18

• Even worse, the Golf Course project is analyzed at the “project” level, which means if the EIR is adopted the Golf Course project can move forward immediately, while the conservation projects at the City’s 31 other natural areas are all analyzed at the “program” level, which means none of those 31 projects can move forward until additional environmental review is conducted.

• Meanwhile, the Recreation and Parks Department Natural Areas program staff implemented many proposed SNRAMP projects by incorporating them into other capital projects. Adoption of SNRAMP today will therefore provide very few environmental benefits above and beyond what the Natural Areas program is already authorized to do.

• In contrast, Sharp Park, inarguably San Francisco’s most ecologically and biologically important natural area, would be devastated by implementation of A18.

Volunteer for Wild Equity at the Wildlife Conservation Expo!

Have a passion for conservation? The 2015 Wildlife Conservation Exposition will be taking place at the Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF this Saturday, October 10th, from 10am to 6:30pm. The event will feature fifty organizations and nineteen speakers dedicated to the protection of wildlife. Click here to learn more about the event!

Wild Equity will be tabling at the Expo, and we are looking for volunteers to help us out for the day. At given points throughout the day, volunteers will be able to access the rest of the Expo, including the live afternoon panel with Dr. Jane Goodall! For more information, contact Roman Berenshteyn at rberenshteyn@wildequity.org.

We hope to see you on Saturday!

Another Wetland Restoration Success Story: South Bay Salt Ponds


Ridgway’s Rail, one of the endangered species to return to South Bay Salt Ponds
(Source: Golden Gate Audubon Society)

Over the last several years, Wild Equity has been working on a campaign to close down Sharp Park Golf Course and hand over the lands to the National Park Service for restoration, as to allow the federally-protected California Red-Legged Frog and San Francisco Garter Snake to thrive peacefully. Recently, another major restoration effort in the South Bay has enabled the populations of two endangered species to rebound, according to an article published by San Jose’s Mercury News.

After 15,100 acres of salt ponds were acquired from Cargill Incorporated in 2003, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game, and the California Coastal Conservancy began a 30-year project to restore the wetland habitats, which were practically devoid of life upon implementation of the project in 2008. The restoration process has progressed rather quickly, and as of this past summer, two endangered species had returned to inhabit the South Bay Salt Ponds at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Ridgway’s Rail (formerly known as the Clapper Rail), and the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse. The return of these species is a major milestone for the restoration project, and more progress is yet to be made. Other goals of the project include establishing wildlife-based recreational opportunities, and to create a flood management system for the vicinity. You can read more about the project here.

The Salt Pond project was initially met with some doubt, and even opposition. They were able to do it, and we too can succeed at Sharp Park. Restoring Sharp Park would benefit everyone: beyond providing the CRLF and SFGS with a sustainable home, it will provide local communities with new recreation opportunities, increase tourism-based revenue for the city of Pacifica, and San Francisco will finally stop losing hundreds of thousands of dollars on an annual basis at Sharp Park Golf Course.

Don’t let San Francisco keep pouring taxpayer dollars into this unprofitable golf course. Click here to find out how you can take action and help our campaign to restore Sharp Park.

Learning to Live Equitably: A Lesson for Sharp Park Golf Course


This figure demonstrates the location of a wildlife corridor at Sharp Park that would allow for passage across Highway 1

Given the massive impact human civilization has on Earth, an equitable relationship between people and the other species of the planet can seem like a challenge. But like the community plan for a new public park at Sharp Park, projects around California are trying to address this by creating habitat corridors so wildlife can cross busy highways safely.

For example, Caltrans, the state agency in charge of road and highway maintenance, planning, and infrastructure, has proposed building a wildlife bridge over Highway 101 in Aurora Hills, a Los Angeles suburb. This wildlife bridge would provide passage for bobcats, mountain lions, and other wildlife, in an effort to reduce instances of roadkill on the 101. At 200 feet in length, and 165 feet wide, this wildlife bridge would become the largest in the United States, if built. Other wildlife bridges (some quite impressive) already exist around the world- including a few in national parks in Montana, Canada, and Australia.

Projects that enhance coexistence in areas that are dominated by human presence, are not only feasible, they are inspirational- and San Francisco has an opportunity to be part of this effort. Sharp Park is home to two federally protected species under the Endangered Species Act- the California Red-Legged Frog and the San Francisco Garter Snake, but the City has been operating a golf course on the land that kills both species. In fact, Wild Equity has had to file multiple lawsuits against SFRPD for their failure to comply with measures put in place to protect the two species, resulting in large legal fees to the city and mandates to do more to protect endangered wildlife.

Rather than endless litigation and increased budget deficits from subsidizing this golf course, a coalition of environmental, recreation, and community organizations have proposed restoring Sharp Park. This would not only save taxpayers money, but also generate economic benefits to Pacifica’s local economy, and provide new recreation opportunities that meet the demands of modern Bay Area residents. It would also provide the California Red-Legged Frog and the San Francisco Garter Snake with a safe passage across Highway 1 that would be adjacent to, and inclusive of, Sanchez Creek. This would connect wildlife populations between Sharp Park, Lake Arrowhead, and areas beyond the park, enhancing their chance of survival. This is essential for the long-term recovery for the species.

While our restoration plan aims to provide safer habitats for wildlife, San Francisco wants to invest millions to redevelop parts of Sharp Park Golf Course: an enormous ecological and economic mistake. If CalTrans has the foresight to provide safe passage for wildlife, it’s time we demand it from the City of St. Francis too.

Don’t let San Francisco keep pouring taxpayer dollars into this unprofitable and ecologically hostile golf course. Click here to find out how you can take action and help our campaign to restore Sharp Park.

Job Opportunities

Positions with the Wild Equity Institute

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 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 position right away!

Equity Internships

The Wild Equity Institute is currently accepting applications for our Equity Internship program.

Wild Equity is a San Francisco-based organization with a national and international mission: to build a healthy and sustainable global community for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth. As such, Wild Equity is engaged in cutting-edge actions at the intersection of the environmental justice and grassroots conservation movements, and our work highlights the two movements’ shared moral foundation: equity, the creation of a more just and fair world.

The Equity Internship program is designed to provide students, recent graduates, or dedicated volunteers with an opportunity to spur the creation of a more equitable world for all. Working closely with experienced activists and environmental attorneys, the Equity Intern will collect data on imperiled species & disadvantaged communities; submit information requests under the Freedom of Information Act; draft fact sheets, alerts, and editorials pertaining to our work; assist with grassroots organizing; and/or draft formal administrative petitions to spur government action. Some administrative work may also be required.

Wild Equity offers a flexible work environment with excellent mentoring opportunities. Generally a three-month time commitment is required, although part-time and project-specific internships can be accommodated. A background in ecology and/or civil rights is preferred.

If you are interested in applying for an internship, please submit via e-mail a resume, a writing sample, a copy of your school transcript, a list of references, and a cover letter explaining your interest in our work. Positions will be filled on a rolling basis.

Sea Level Rise, Waterfront Development, and Sharp Park


As sea levels rise, flooding at Sharp Park Golf Course will gradually worsen

Despite San Francisco’s progressive reputation, the city is doing a subpar job of preparing for the impacts of climate change. According to a Summer 2015 report on sea level rise in the San Francisco Public Press, San Francisco is rubber-stamping new waterfront development projects without taking into consideration the threat of future flooding.

One project highlighted by the report is a plan to build a new $1 billion arena for the Golden State Warriors near the Mission Bay neighborhood, in a location which is subject to flooding by the end of the century. Mayor Ed Lee has vowed that the arena will be constructed, despite opposition to the project. Unless Lee knows something about the future that we don’t, such projects are ludicrous, feeding into the paradigm of letting future generations deal with the consequences of whatever benefits us today.

Similarly, Mayor Ed Lee and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department want to keep Sharp Park Golf Course around at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars, without properly planning for future sea level rise, leaving the park vulnerable to flooding by the end of the century.

The plan to restore Sharp Park into a publicly accessible national park, as proposed by Wild Equity, and backed by the National Park Service and San Francisco Board of Supervisors, would implement in phases the precautions necessary to protect Sharp Park from inundation. This plan not only accounts for climate change, but for the needs of local communities and sensitive habitats as well. But this apparently isn’t good enough for Mayor Lee, who vetoed the bill to restore Sharp Park in 2011.

It’s time city leaders got their act together- sea level rise is inevitable, and as average global temperatures rise and glacial ice melts, we can expect water levels to rise 3 to 8 feet by the year 2100, according to climate models. What does this mean for San Francisco? Beaches, piers, and even the runways at San Francisco International airport are anticipated to end up inundated by the turn of the century. The proposed waterfront development projects effectively burden the city to pay millions, possibly billions, of dollars in the future to build the appropriate infrastructure necessary to protect the areas that are susceptible to flooding. City leaders know exactly the consequences of their actions, as opposition groups to the development projects at hand have made themselves heard.

Don’t let San Francisco keep pouring taxpayer dollars into this unprofitable golf course. Click here to find out how you can take action and help our campaign to restore Sharp Park.

The Crashing Golf Market and You: Why it doesn’t make sense to invest millions of your taxpayer money in San Francisco’s failing Sharp Park Golf Course


Annual flooding reduces golf activity at Sharp Park Golf Course

Sharp Park Golf Course has a lot going against it these days. Since 2005, the course has lost San Francisco nearly 1.4 million dollars (see table below). Take a look at player-written reviews of the course, and you’ll find that many consider golf at Sharp Park to be a less-than-pleasant experience, in regards to both the game and interactions with staff. To top it off, Sharp Park Golf Course drains wetlands and kills two endangered species when it operates, giving an environmental black-eye to the entire industry.

Fiscal Year RPD Sharp Park Golf Course Losses
04/05 – $110,299
05/06 – $338,025
06/07 – $64,685
07/08 – $119,758
08/09 $29,446
09/10 – $134,699
10/11 – $161,217
11/12 – $245,007
12/13 – $248,786
TOTALS – $1,389,253

At most, what people like about Sharp Park is its sentimental worth to those that have been playing there for years (granted, they also enjoy how inexpensive it is to play at, compared to your average course). Is that enough reason to justify the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department plan to gamble with $20 million of your taxpayer dollars on redeveloping this controversial golf course?

Not according to new statistics published in a Men’s Journal article, The Death of Golf, by Karl Taro Greenfield. According to Greenfield, golf courses in the United States are closing much faster than the new ones are opening- in 2014, there were approximately 16 course closures for every new course that had opened (and even though new courses are opening, there is no indication that they are faring well economically). Today, there are 19% fewer players now than there were in 2003, with players under age 34 losing the highest percentage of players when compared to other age groups. Even television viewership of golf is diminishing.

The Bay Area could be Exhibit A for this trend, where there are 6 million more golf rounds supplied than demanded. Sharp Park Golf Course alone has been losing money on the scale of hundreds of thousands of dollars, annually.

San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department’s plan to spend millions on Sharp Park Golf Course is simply devoid of sound reasoning. Market conditions indicate that Sharp Park is highly unlikely to succeed as a golf course, that it will continue to lose money, and that the city will be down another $20 million dollars in capital that could be otherwise invested to benefit San Francisco residents.

Don’t let San Francisco keep pouring taxpayer dollars into this unprofitable golf course. Click here to find out how you can take action and help our campaign to restore Sharp Park.

Restoring Sharp Park…For Everyone

Click here to download a brochure that outlines our vision to restore Sharp Park!

Tomorrow morning you step out onto the edge of 400 acres of natural wetland, just as the sunlight breaks through the sea-breezed clouds overhead. You breathe deep the ocean-sprayed air and admire the rustling of wildlife as it awakens beneath the surface of the marsh.

Between the rows of natural grasses and bayous stretch dozens of miles of trails enjoyed by hikers, bikers and tourists. Families stroll through the wild landscape, pointing out native plants and animals.

You and your family spy one of the few remaining San Francisco Garter Snakes—now finally protected at Sharp Park. Its orange head and red and black stripes make it positively one of the most beautiful serpents in the world.

Almost 80 years after Sharp Park became a golf course, our community home is restored.

Imagine Sharp Park. We are.

For many years, we at the Wild Equity Institute have worked to make Sharp Park a public park everyone can enjoy, including the endangered species that call the park home.

Not only do we want to protect the endangered species that call Sharp Park their home, we want residents and tourists worldwide to enjoy these 400 acres of natural wetland.

Whether you like to bike, hike, learn, or simply watch nature run its course, we can recreate Sharp Park into a refuge for everyone. A place where communities can:

● Build and maintain trails
● Grow native plants
● Monitor environmental quality
● Preserve endangered natural communities
● Promote local economies by partnering with the National Park Service- by building a visitors center at Sharp Park, Pacifica would have a competitive advantage over other coastal towns in terms of drawing tourism. Studies show that National Park Service gateways not only help local towns generate revenue from tourism, but contribute to job growth as well.


A rendering of what may be if Sharp Park is restored

It’s a battle we can win. With your help.

Our goal is to close the golf course at Sharp Park and connect the wetlands to the National Park Service’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area. We’ve written extensively about the failure to close the course at our site, WildEquity.org. To recap:

● The course decimates endangered species like the San Francisco Garter Snake and the California Red-legged Frog—for whom Sharp Park is one of their last remaining homes. Both species are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.
● Sharp Park loses money every year, yet is still being subsidized by the taxpayers of San Francisco.
● Total minimum operating costs for keeping Sharp Park open “will range from at least $17 million to $23.4 million or higher.
● Other costs include $6 million for seawall repairs at Sharp Park, PLUS legal fees on renovations from state and federal regulatory agencies.
Sharp Park leaks 50,000 gallons of water per day! That’s equivalent to 2.6% of the city of Pacifica’s daily household water use.
● Golfers who play at Sharp Park give it failing grades, and closing the course will allow us to improve affordable access to all five of San Francisco’s better rated golf courses.
● We cannot adequately protect our coastline while the course is intact.

What you can do to help

Do you want to see Sharp Park restored and gifted to the local community? Would you like to see endangered species flourish again?

Then we need your help.

Here is a simple, measurable action we can all take to pressure the city to close Sharp Park and donate it to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Contact Mayor Ed Lee today at (415) 554-6141 and tell him you support closing down the Sharp Park Golf Course for the following reasons:

1. You DO want to save the lives of the California Red-legged Frog and the San Francisco Garter Snake, which are entitled to protection under the Endangered Species Act.
2. You DON’T support the millions of dollars in taxpayer costs to keep the park open.
3. You DON’T agree with their inefficient methods of protecting our coastline.
4. You DON’T support wasting 50,000 gallons of water per day in a drought-stricken state.
5. You DO support reinvesting scarce recreation dollars in a community-filled natural wildlife park.

The mayor must know how we feel if we are to protect our community spaces.

Click here for more information on how to help the Sharp Park restoration effort!

About Wild Equity Institute

The Wild Equity Institute is a San Francisco-based non-profit organization that builds a more sustainable and just world, both for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth. Our work protects local endangered species and defends underserved communities through innovative education programs, science-based administrative petitions, and vigorous enforcement of environmental laws.

Join the Wild Equity Institute today!

Restore Sharp Park Video Channel

Watch Twain’s Frog & the Beautiful Serpent to Find Out More about the Endangered Species at Sharp Park! Watch “The Restoration Vision” to Learn Why We Should Close Sharp Park Golf Course and Create a National Park!
Watch Restore Sharp Park Supporters Win the Debate on Pacifica Public Television! Watch This 10 minute Video About Restoring Sharp Park
Watch This Bay Nature Video About the National Parks’ Restoration Work at Mori Point, Next Door to Sharp Park! Watch Bob Battalio Explain How to Create a Sustainable System at Sharp Park
Watch Dr. Peter Baye Discuss the Natural Ecology of Sharp Park Watch Supervisor Avalos and WEI ED Brent Plater Discuss Restoring Sharp Park

Former Sharp Park Golf Course Supervisor Turns Whistleblower Over Course’s Environmental Problems


Massive water draining at Sharp Park Golf Course

The allegations of Wayne Kappelman, a former supervisor at Sharp Park Golf Course, need to be put into perspective. Kappelman was showered with awards while he towed the party line as the course slaughtered endangered species, was recently forced out of course management after blowing the whistle on persistent water wastage.

Let’s start with a basic metric. The average person uses 80-100 gallons of water per day. This includes flushing toilets, showering, washing clothes, running dishwashers, cooking and drinking water, and other uses.

Kappelman alleges that the course leaks 50,000 gallons of water a day — a number equivalent to the daily water requirements of 1,000 people. That’s equivalent to 2.6% of the city of Pacifica’s daily household water use.

The wastage reported amounts to the equivalent 18,250,000 gallons a year. Kappelman alleges that the leak has existed since 2011, meaning that up to 73 million gallons of water have been wasted.

That’s an astonishing 1.46 million days of water for local households, enough to supply the people of Pacifica for more than a month.

California is now in its fourth year of drought — coincidentally, the year the water wastage started. The presence of the drought did nothing to prompt Park and Rec officials to stem the leak.

Kappelman’s ousting illustrates the extent to which his superiors at San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department are willing to hide environmental destruction in order to keep the golf course in operation.

Sharp Park’s pernicious water wastage in a time of drought only highlights mismanagement and deception by those operating the golf course, to the benefit of a relative few.

Tell Mayor Lee You Support Restoring Sharp Park!!!

In 2011 the Board of Supervisors passed legislation that enables San Francisco to partner with the National Park Service at Sharp Park to transition land management from an unsustainable golf course into a new National Park that everyone can enjoy.

Under the ordinance, the City must negotiate a long-term management agreement with the National Park Service, and then review that agreement as a proposed project under the California Environmental Quality Act. The City will be able to consider all feasible alternatives to the National Park Service agreement during this process. It will then select a future for Sharp Park that provides the best public policy outcomes for the land.

The ordinance is necessary because the Recreation and Parks Department has refused to even look at restoration options at Sharp Park—even though scientists have explained that restoration is not just environmentally preferable, but cheaper to implement.

That’s why the ordinance passed by the Board appealed to stalwart progressives and moderate politicians alike. The City deserves to have all available options presented in the light of day before long-term decisions are made for Sharp Park. The Sharp Park ordinance insures that the general public and public officials will be able to evaluate restoration proposals side-by-side with other options—so that we can make the best possible choice for Sharp Park.

We’re confident that when the evidence supporting Sharp Park restoration is finally shown the light of day, there will be only one sensible choice for us all to make: building a better, more sustainable, and more accessible public park at Sharp Park that everyone can enjoy.


A restoration vision for Sharp Park.

But Mayor Ed Lee sided with golf purists and Chambers of Commerce would rather not let you have that choice. He vetoed the ordinance without even meeting with the champions of this cause.

We need you to contact the Mayor today and chastise him for the veto and tell him you support restoring Sharp Park. The future of Sharp Park should be based on the merits—not what the golf lobby and developers are able to extract behind closed doors. Call Mayor Ed Lee now at 415-554-6141 or email him and his spokespeople using the form below and tell him you support restoring Sharp Park: it’s just good government and common sense.

#RestoreSharpPark for #WorldSnakeDay!

Happy World Snake Day!

At Wild Equity we love snakes of all shapes and sizes, but of course there’s one that’s out and away our favorite. The San Francisco Garter Snake is possibly the most imperiled vertebrate in the state, yet it is also one of the most alluring species on the continent.

So, in honor of all the world’s snakes – endangered or otherwise – here are some of our favorite photos of this charismatic serpent.

Learn more about the beautiful serpent and about our campaign to save and expand its dwindling habitat.

GGNP Endangered Species Big Year

In 2014 we will be inviting you to participate in a new and improved endangered species program, currently under development. Be one of the first to find out what we have in store by signing-up for a wildequity.org account today! Check out our current calendar of events for ways to plug-in until then.


Artist: Liam O’Brien

The Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year was a race against time to observe each of the 36 endangered and threatened species found within the Golden Gate National Parks, while taking 36 discrete conservation recovery actions that will prevent these species from going extinct. It was a competitive event: Erica Ely, the person who saw and helped save the most species between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2012, won the Big Year.

The GGNP Endangered Species Big Year enabled participants to explore the diverse habitats of the GGNP while helping each of the 36 endangered and threatened species that call the Park home. In the process, participants discovered the humility, compassion, and hope embodied in the legal protections for this land and our imperiled neighbors.


Download Your Copy of the 2012 GGNP
Endangered Species Big Year Checklist

Wild Equity’s Executive Director Brent Plater on Resistance Radio

‘One of the things I love about your work is that it bridges the gap between theory and work on the ground…
You seem to be manifesting that combination of theory and practice that I think is so important.’

– Derrick Jensen

Derrick Jensen is the author of numerous radical environmental volumes, including the highly critical Endgame, and is the co-founder of activist organization Deep Green Resistance. He has been called “the poet-philosopher of the ecological movement”* and now he’s taken an interest in the work we’re doing at Wild Equity.

In this radio interview, our Executive Director Brent Plater shares with Jensen his vision for uniting social justice and grassroots conservation in campaigns that build a more sustainable and just world for all. He provides detailed summaries of two of our ongoing campaigns, and gets down to brass tacks with his theory of building a movement, his goals for Wild Equity, how activists anywhere can reproduce our success, and more. Tune in to this thought-provoking inquiry now to find out how Wild Equity uniquely meets present day challenges to environmental and social justice activism. Enjoy!


Brent Plater, Executive Director of the Wild Equity Institute

Movie Night: Saving the Bay – Part 2

Thursday, June 18th, 7:00pm – 9:30pm: Wild Equity screens the second part of Saving the Bay, a four-part PBS primetime special about the rich history of the precious San Francisco Bay. We will be showing episodes 3 and 4, which will explore the history of California’s earliest water infrastructure projects, the effects of World War II, and the blossoming of the environmental movement.

Join us for snacks, entertainment, great company, and stimulating discussion!

Check out the Saving the Bay website here .

RSVP on this page — or check us out on Meetup!

Wild Equity Lawsuit Challenges Sharp Park Golf Course’s Destruction of Coastal Wetlands

WildEquity_logo_large 3
 For Immediate Release: June 18, 2015

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

Wild Equity Lawsuit Challenges Sharp Park Golf Course’s Destruction of Coastal Wetlands 

 Redwood City, Calif. — The Wild Equity Institute has sued the Coastal Commission and the San Francisco Recreation & Park Department in San Mateo Superior Court over a project that will destroy and drain Sharp Park’s Laguna Salada wetland complex, arguably the most ecologically important portion of the Department’s most biologically rich land.


Sharp Park Golf Course Drains Laguna Salada Wetlands, December 11, 2014.

“This senseless project will destroy critical wetlands, harm endangered species, and cost taxpayers over $1,000,000 to implement,” said Brent Plater, executive director of the Wild Equity Institute.  “The Coastal Act prohibits development in coastal wetlands with few exceptions, and none of the exceptions apply to this wasteful project.  But the Coastal Commission rubber-stamped the project without considering thousands of comments submitted by scientists and conservation groups. We expect the court to rectify this illegal act.”

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

Among other things, the project will fill a portion of Laguna Salada’s wetlands with concrete to expand the foundation footprint for a shed that houses wetland draining pumps. This permanent loss of wetlands is illegal, because expanding a shed does not fit within any of the limited exceptions to the prohibition against destroying coastal wetlands. Nonetheless, the Coastal Commission deemed that expanding the shed qualified for the exception that applies to “expansion of roadbeds and bridges necessary to maintain existing traffic capacity,” and permitted the project under the Coastal Act.

“The Coastal Commission’s action defies the plain language of the Coastal Act, its interpretive policies, and court precedent,” said Plater. “We expect the court to reverse this illegal permit in short order.”

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

and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth.
 

Wild Equity at Sunday Streets Great Highway!

Sunday, June 14th, 12:00am-3:00pm: Join the Wild Equity Institute for a fun-filled and colorful day at Sunday Streets. Visit our table and learn about our efforts to unite the grassroots conservation and environmental justice movements in campaigns that redress inequity, both across our human communities and towards the lands in which we live. We are working on campaigns that will improve San Francisco’s public parks and save endangered and threatened species such as the San Francisco Garter Snake and the threatened California Red-Legged Frog.

There will be fun activities!

Sunday Streets Great Highway Route : JFK Drive, Middle Drive, MLK Drive, Great Highway between MLK and Sloat.

Click here for a more detailed map and more info about Sunday Streets.

Restore Sharp Park

Our Vision

  • Restore parkland at the site of a failing municipal golf course to provide a healthy home for unique local wildlife such as the California Red-legged Frog and the San Francisco Garter Snake. These species are currently at risk of extinction, and restoring Sharp Park will help them survive for future generations.
  • Protect the natural wetlands that exist in the park to help the City of Pacifica adapt to sea level rise. The alternative of armoring a seawall will cost taxpayers millions.
  • Bring jobs and tourist dollars to the area, as well as recreation that is accessible to everyone.
  • Close Sharp Park Golf Course to save the City of San Francisco millions. in new infrastructure, improvements, maintenance, legal fees, and mitigation measures.

Tell the Mayor to Restore Sharp Park!

Sharp Park in Pacifica, San Mateo County, was once home to a rare and beautiful lagoon and wetlands. Now it is at a crossroads: it can be restored to wetlands as a National Park or continue as a failing golf course, ignoring the growing challenges of climate change and sea level rise. Our Restore Sharp Park campaign unites concerned citizens and Wild Equity’s conservation and social justice partners to transform San Francisco’s budget-busting Sharp Park Golf Course into a thriving National Park.

Create a National Park to provide improved economic, recreational, and educational opportunities.
Restore the wetlands to help endangered wildlife thrive.
Adapt land use to protect communities from flooding and storms caused by climate change and sea level rise.

Sharp Park National Park

Establishing a new National Park isn’t easy — National Parks have a history of facing initial opposition. We believe, however, that a good thing is worth fighting for. Bay Area legends like Amy Meyer and Ed Wayburn, and Congress members like Clem Miller and Phillip Burton worked hard to create the National Park system we have today.

We’re continuing their fight to create National Parks that are accessible to everyone.

The site of our restoration vision is Sharp Park Golf Course, located in Pacifica, CA, but owned and operated by the City of San Francisco. The golf course routinely suffers heavy financial losses that have drained the San Francisco and Pacifica communities for too long. Creating a National Park at Sharp Park will level the playing field and allow communities — human and wild — to benefit from Sharp Park’s wetlands. We cannot allow short sighted opposition to the National Park to stand in the way of helping our coastal community prepare for the future.

Sharp Park National Park will provide Bay Area residents with improved recreation and educational opportunities in rare coastal wetland ecosystem that are home to endangered wildlife. As a National Park, Sharp Park will become a resource that everyone can enjoy. The creation of a National Park at Sharp Park is also a proactive response to the changing future of California’s coast. It is an opportunity to return balance to the human and natural communities, while creating a park that benefits wildlife, surrounding communities, and the local economy. Join Wild Equity in urging the City of San Francisco to transform Sharp Park into Sharp Park National Park.

For Wildlife

The restored wetlands will provide a healthy home for unique local wildlife such as the California Red-legged Frog and the San Francisco Garter Snake. These species are currently at risk of extinction. Restoring Sharp Park will help them survive for future generations.

At present, the day-to-day operations of Sharp Park Golf Course threaten the safety of the animals in the park. Lawnmowers can and have killed highly imperiled San Francisco Garter Snakes, and the regular draining of the Sharp Park wetland is known to destroy the egg masses of the California Red-legged Frog.

For Communities

San Francisco

The New National Park will meet San Francisco residents’ most pressing recreational needs. A recent survey by the Neighborhood Parks Council shows that San Franciscans rank hiking and biking trails as their #1 recreational priority.

Affordable golf, neighborhood parks, and social services will improve. San Francisco can reinvest the funds it loses at Sharp Park Golf Course within the city limits. Other city-owned golf courses, parks, and recreation programs will benefit.

Pacifica and San Mateo County

Restoring coastal wetlands helps adapt to sea level rise. At Sharp Park, allowing the beach to naturally retreat inland while helping native wetlands thrive will provide a natural buffer between Pacifica neighborhoods and floods and ocean storms. The alternative of armoring sea walls is not only costly, it can cause beaches to disappear. Maintaining the Golf Course as sea level rises will require millions of dollars to armor the coast with sea walls – expensive projects that only exacerbate problems in the long run.

A new National Park will bring jobs and tourist dollars to the city. Pacifica’s economy is struggling, and after decades of trying, the Golf Course has failed to create jobs or bring in revenue. National Parks, on the other hand, are tried and tested drivers of economic benefits wherever they are located.

Children will enjoy vital environmental education. Sharp Park National Park will provide Pacifica and San Mateo County residents with recreation that everyone can enjoy.

For the Economy

Sharp Park Golf Course has lost over $1 million of San Francisco city funds over the past 8 fiscal years.

Pacifica sees no proven economic benefit from the Golf Course.

Take Action Today!

  1. Contact the Mayor Today! The Board of Supervisors passed legislation to begin restoration planning at Sharp Park, but Mayor Ed Lee sided with lobbyists for golf purists and coastal developers and vetoed the bill! Call Mayor Ed Lee now at 415-554-6141 and tell him to reverse the veto: because restoring Sharp Park is good government and common sense.
  2. Volunteer with the Wild Equity Institute! You can help us pass this legislation by encouraging your neighbors to contact their Supervisors to support a new National Park at Sharp Park. Join us at fun events to help pass out our Sharp Park Factsheet and our Save Sharp Park Beach Flyer, and show support by attending critical public hearings with the Wild Equity team! Sign-up by calling 415-349-5787 or sending a message to info@wildequity.org.
  3. Donate to the Wild Equity Institute! Become a member of the Wild Equity Institute, or better yet, become a monthly donor and provide sustained support for our work!
  4. Endorse the campaign! Join our growing list of campaign partners. Click here to read a sample letter of support, then e-mail us at info@wildequity.org or call (415) 349-5787 to let us know that your organization wants to endorse the legislation to restore Sharp Park!
  5. Click here to download the Sharp Park restoration booklet and learn more about the restoration vision.
  6. Keep Up-to-date with Wild Equity. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and Join our Cause on Facebook!

Need more info? Click for FAQs or Contact Us.

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

For Immediate Release, June 3, 2015

Contact:  Brent Plater, bplater@wildequity.org, Wild Equity Institute, (415) 572-6989

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


From L to R: Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, Contra Costa Wallflower, Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose


San Francisco, Calif.— Today the Wild Equity Institute filed an Endangered Species Act lawsuit in United States District Court against the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) for failing to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the effects of PG&E’s power plant pollution on three endangered species found at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge.

“EPA has its head in the Antioch Dunes’ sand when it comes to PG&E’s power plant pollution,” said Brent Plater, executive director at Wild Equity Institute. “Other power plants have already taken measures to protect local communities and imperiled plants and animals, and it’s time EPA ensures it, and the corporations it regulates, play by the same rules.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service has known for years that nitrogen pollution from power plants near the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge is “virtually certain” to cause Antioch Dunes’ endangered species to go extinct. Because of this, the agency formally requested that EPA comply with the Endangered Species Act by “consulting” over PG&E’s power plant pollution’s effects on endangered species at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. The EPA has repeatedly refused to do so, even though another nearby power plant recently agreed to mitigate its pollution in response to Endangered Species Act claims.

Today’s lawsuit demands that EPA comply with the Endangered Species Act by initiating the requested consultation process, and ultimately address the impacts power plant pollution has on the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge and the plants and animals that call the refuge home. Matt Kenna, Public Interest Environmental Law and of Counsel, Western Environmental Law Center, is co-counsel with Mr. Plater in the case.

Background on the Gateway Generating Station and the Antioch Dunes Endangered Species


PG&E’s Gateway Generating Station


Gateway Generating Station is a large, natural-gas-fired power plant in Antioch, California that pollutes nearby communities, worsens the global climate crisis, and threatens the survival of three endangered species: the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, the Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose, and the Contra Costa Wallflower.

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

The Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose, and the Contra Costa Wallflower have been protected by the federal Endangered Species Act for almost 40 years. They are endemic to the Antioch Dunes in Contra Costa County, a relict desert landscape left behind as California’s prehistoric deserts retreated from the Bay Area 140,000 years ago. Because of the Antioch Dunes’ isolation, many species found in the dunes are unique and very rare.

Sand dunes like the Antioch Dunes are nitrogen deficient, and increased amounts of airborne nitrogen emitted from Gateway changes the chemical composition of the dunes, creating soil conditions that are only suitable for the growth of invasive weeds. Under these polluted conditions, these species’ habitats are invaded by invasive weeds that would otherwise be unable to grow on the endangered species’ native landscapes.

Gateway’s emissions also harm local communities by contributing more ozone pollution and soot to an area already disproportionately overwhelmed by power plant pollution.


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

http://wildequity.org/

###

About Us

Equity (ěk’wĭ-tē) n. 1. The state, quality, or ideal of being just, impartial, and fair.

The Wild Equity Institute is a San Francisco-based non-profit organization that builds a more sustainable and just world, both for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth. Our work protects local endangered species and defends underserved communities through innovative education programs, science-based administrative petitions, and vigorous enforcement of environmental laws.


Wild Equity Institute Executive Director Brent Plater describes why he founded the organization and what he hopes to accomplish with the group.

Wild Equity was founded in 2009 after several years of community organizing to link the grassroots conservation movement and the environmental justice movement through the movements’ shared moral foundation: equity, the desire for a more just and fair world.

The environmental justice movement’s focus on the inequitable distribution of environmental hazards—and increasingly, its focus on the inequitable access provided to environmental goods like open space and parks—is clearly an example of a movement working towards a more equitable society. Similarly, the grassroots conservation movement works to remedy an inequitable relationship: between our human communities and the non-human world. As we consume a greater share of the world’s finite resources, less remains for the plants and animals around us, driving thousands of species to the brink of extinction. While the moral consideration we owe to each other may be different in kind and scope to what we owe to other forms of life, in both cases the gap between what our moral foundation suggests we should do and how we actually act leaves us with a culturally isolated and biologically impoverished world.

The Wild Equity Institute’s purpose is to unite these two occasionally disparate environmental movements into a powerful force that creates a healthy and sustainable global community for all. We accomplish this by working on projects that highlight and redress the inequitable relationships across our human communities while improving our relationship to the lands in which we live.


Hear what program officers from around the Bay Area think about our work.

The Wild Equity Institute is a California non-profit corporation and is registered as a 501(c)(3) public charity with the Internal Revenue Service. We are supported by the Rose Foundation for Communities & the Environment, the Fund for Wild Nature, the California Wildlands Grassroots Fund, the Firedoll Foundation, the Jeff & Connie Woodman Foundation, the Foundation for Youth Investment, the JiJi Foundation, TogetherGreen (a collaboration between National Audubon Society and Toyota), the Society for Community Work, the Foundation for Ecology & Culture, REI’s San Francisco store, the Sports Basement, the NITA Foundation, Patagonia San Francisco, and hundreds of community members just like you. Join us: become a member of the Wild Equity Institute today.

Board of Directors

Dr. Douglas Bevington
Rose Braz – Chairperson
Neal Desai
Ken Masters – Treasurer
Brent Plater – President & Executive Director
Anna Sylvester – Secretary

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service for wildequity.org.

Wild Equity supports the Edge of the Wild at SF Green FilmFest!


Saturday, May 30th, 4:00pm – 5:30pm: Join the San Francisco Green Film Festival, May 28 – June 3 at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., San Francisco, for a week of films and events that spotlight the world’s most urgent environmental issues and most innovative solutions. Check out their fantastic line-up of new & inspiring environmental films. Wild Equity will be there on May 30th at 4:00pm in support of Bay Area filmmaker Gail Mallimson, and her latest documentary, The Edge of the Wild.

Get more info and buy tickets here!
Watch the trailer below.

The Edge of the Wild
(Gail Mallimson, USA, 2015, 60 min)

World Premiere. A life-long resident of Brisbane, CA, is determined to save the last population of rare butterflies (including our friend the Mission Blue!) from the luxury housing planned for San Bruno mountain. Bay Area filmmaker Gail Mallimson brings us this epic battle between private property rights and the survival of a species, with implications for national environmental policy.

Followed by discussion with: Gail Mallimson, director

For more info: www.greenfilmfest.org or (415) 552-5580 or info@greenfilmfest.org.

Website: www.theedgeofthewild.com

Facebook: The Edge of the Wild SF Green FilmFest

Twitter: @greenfilmfest @GMallimson

Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose Count

Thursday, May 21st, 8:30am – 4:00pm: Wild Equity will be helping to conduct the 2015 plant survey of the endangered Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge in Contra Costa County.  It’s a great opportunity to visit a special place that is not always open to the public. There are plenty of wildflowers and butterflies to enjoy, and you’ll be helping to gather data that will used to keep this species alive and safe from extinction. This is a rare opportunity to work with an endangered species that is endemic to a very small local area. Join us and experience and service this unique and imperiled ecosystem. Training will be done on-site that day.

Wear: long pants (there can be scratchy plants and stickers), layered clothing, and sturdy walking shoes. Bring: lunch and water bottle, sunhat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and gaitors if you like to use them to keep plant parts out of your socks  Raingear is optional (you never know). Morning temperatures can be chilly. We will walk all day (with several breaks) on mixed, sometimes hilly terrain, with some plants/trees to step over, under and around. That means good exercise, fresh air, wildlife and wildflowers to see and enjoy.

This survey will be held at the Sardis Unit at 1551 Wilbur Avenue in Antioch, 94509. Follow this link for directions.

This is not the only opportunity to volunteer for this project! There will be four different counting parties, two of which will actually be for the Contra Costa Wallflower. Wild Equity will only be in attendance at the last, but the folks over at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge could certainly use your help at the others, too!

For more info, check out the flyer below:

CANCELED – Movie Night: Saving the Bay – Part 2

********We are sorry to say that this event has been canceled. Check back soon for the new date of this movie screening. Our apologies for any inconvenience.********

Thursday, May 14th, 7:00pm – 9:30pm: Wild Equity screens the second part of Saving the Bay, a four-part PBS primetime special about the rich history of the precious San Francisco Bay. We will be showing episodes 3 and 4, which will explore the history of California’s earliest water infrastructure projects, the effects of World War II, and the blossoming of the environmental movement.

Join us for snacks, entertainment, great company, and stimulating discussion!

Check out the Saving the Bay website here .

RSVP on this page — or check us out on Meetup!

Wild Equity at Sunday Streets!

Sunday, May 10th, 11:00am-4:00pm: Join the Wild Equity Institute for a fun-filled and colorful day at Sunday Streets. Visit our table and learn about our efforts to unite the grassroots conservation and environmental justice movements in campaigns that redress inequity, both across our human communities and towards the lands in which we live. We are working on campaigns that will improve San Francisco’s public parks and save endangered and threatened species such as the San Francisco Garter Snake and the threatened California Red-Legged Frog.

There will be fun activities!

Sunday Streets Mission Route : Valencia Street (Between Duboce Avenue & 24th Street) and 24th Street (Between Valencia Street & Hampshire Street).

Click here for a more detailed map and more info about Sunday Streets.

Talk: Rewilding and the Anthropocene

In a world where every inch has been impacted—directly or indirectly—by industrial society, what does it mean to “preserve nature”? How does the idea of adaptation shape our responses to extinction, climate chaos, and nature? How does our sense of “history” shape our ideas about nature, evolution, and conservation? How should we understand and value natural processes, wildness, and human technologies? With Peter S. Alagona, Annalee Newitz, and Noah Greenwald. Co-hosted by Wild Equity Institute and Shaping San Francisco.

For more events in this series, click here.

RSVP on this page — or check us out on Meetup!

Twain’s Frog and the Beautiful Serpent Hike

Saturday, April 4th, 11:00pm – 1:00 pm: 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 the frogs and the snakes from the brink of extinction. This event is rain or shine.

Meet at the Mori Point Entrance Gate, at the intersection of Bradford Way and Mori Point Road, Pacifica, CA, 94044.

RSVP on this page — or look us up on Meetup!

Life on the Edge: Endangered Species Along the Coastal Trail

You are invited to join Brent Plater of the Wild Equity Institute on a 5-mile hike along the edge of the North American continent. We will explore San Francisco’s beautiful habitats and learn about the endangered species that call the area home. During the hike, we will search for Marbled Murrelet, Western Snowy Plover, San Francisco Lessingia, Humpback Whale, and Southern Sea Otter.

Meet at the Baker Beach North Parking Lot. Bring snacks and water. Please see above to RSVP – or check us out on Meetup!

Wild Quest Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay is one of the most biologically diverse places in the Nation, not surprisingly it also contains a large number of endangered species. Wild Quest is an adventure to see and save the endangered species in the Bay Area. We’ve selected 10 endangered species to highlight, their habitats or homes are all over the Bay.

See it- Make a sighting or observation by personally seeing the endangered species in its natural habitat. Photographs, museum specimens and/or specimens in zoos, aquariums, and herbariums do not count.

Save it- Perform the action that accompanies the endangered species each month. We selected them because these actions can really make a difference for each of the 10 endangered species.

We understand that getting to see an endangered animal or plant can be difficult so each individual component of the quest will still earn you points towards the yearly prize.

start earning points…

The very first time you complete a quest you will earn a grand total of 20 points, every time after that the completed quest will earn you 2 points.

Similarly the very first time you complete a sighting of one of the 10 selected endangered species you will earn 5 points and every time you complete an action to save those endangered species you will earn 10 points. Every time after that each component will be worth 1 point individually.

…and start getting rewarded

Each month we will award:

  • the first person to complete the quest for that month or
  • the person who completes the quest plus has the most additional sightings/actions that month or
  • if no one completes quest, to the person who scores the most total points that month.

The award may vary from month to month so stay tune!

The monthly awards will be based only on points accrued during that particular month; however, all points carry-over, regardless of the month the point was obtained, into the end-of-year grand prize competition

WIN in more ways than one

Every time you complete a quest you have made a huge difference in an endangered species’ fight for survival. Way to go, you’re the best. Wild Quest is a friendly competition to encourage people to continue to be the best.

All points and competitors are eligible towards the $1000 grand prize at the end of the year if the competitors complete at least 6 Quests in their entirety and accumulate the highest number of points of all competitors.

If this all seems too complicated to keep track of by yourself, don’t worry!
We have a website that will do all the work for you. All you have to do is sign up and then log on every time you complete a quest or its components.

Talk: Wilds of San Francisco and You

Sunday, April 26th, 9:30am-10:30am: San Francisco has 32 pockets of undeveloped land set aside for the preservation of the natural world. These pockets hold the last remnants of wildness once found across the lands where we now live, but do we have room in our parks and our hearts for nature in this city?

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

RSVP on this page — or check us out on Meetup!

Talk: Telling Stories with Bricks

Wednesday, April 22nd, 7:30pm – 9:30: Bricks give literal structure to a history of place. Bricks were a fire proof building material in early years of a city often engulfed by fire. Archeology work at the Presidio reveals plant time capsules embedded in recovered bricks that help us understand pre-settler ecology. And brick throwing increasingly confronts our current landscape of evictions and displacement. Featuring Ruth Askevold, Leslie Dreyer, and Lew Stringer. Co-hosted by Wild Equity Institute and Shaping San Francisco.

For more events in this series, click here.

RSVP on this page — or check us out on Meetup!

Earth Day in Oakland!

Saturday, April 18th, 9:00am – 12:00pm: This year for Earth Day, Wild Equity is heading out to the East Bay! We’ll be working to clean up some of the valuable bird habitat around Lake Merritt in Oakland. Join us!

Lake Merritt is an urban birding hotspot with a fascinating history. In fact, Lake Merritt Wild Duck Refuge was the first official wildlife refuge designated in the United States! Established in 1870, the lake’s refuge has provided protected habitat for numerous birds of all shapes and sizes — as well as the very occasional river otter — for generations. Lake Merritt is an urban ecological jewel that provides healthful opportunities for getting in touch with the wildlife that is interwoven with our human communities. Remarkably, the biodiversity of the lake flourishes despite being right in the thick of so much human detritus. It’s for this reason that Wild Equity is proud to spend Earth Day 2015 giving back to this vital place by taking the time to clean up its water and its shores. We hope you can join us as we observe this increasingly important holiday by serving and stewarding this valuable community.

We will meet outside Rotary Nature Center by the intersection of Perkins & Bellevue. If you’re late or have trouble finding us, call Michael at (310) 963-0090. See you there!


This is event is part of the City of Oakland’s city-wide Earth Day cleanup effort. Learn more here.

Urgent! Sharp Park Hearing at the California Coastal Commission

Thursday, April 16th, 12:30pm-2:00:pm: Your attendance is requested for a critical public meeting in San Rafael (Marin County). That afternoon, the California Coastal Commission will be responding to the City of San Francisco’s request for a permit to dredge and continue draining Sharp Park wetlands. Your voice is needed to inform the Commission why the wetlands should not be dredged and why the City needs to end its ongoing degradation to the wetlands and the wildlife that depend on it. This will be the first and ONLY time an agency with a mission to protect wetlands will review the project!!

Join the members of the Restore Sharp Park Coalition! Please contact jcrofton@wildequity.org for more information or to RSVP. We can answer questions and provide you with talking points, too. Details of the meeting below!

WHAT: Coastal Commission meeting where Sharp Park dredging and wetlands draining will be considered, and either denied or permitted.
WHEN: Thursday April 16th at 12:30pm. The Sharp Park agenda item is likely to come up right after lunch. Please arrive at 12:30pm and join fellow supporters for lunch at the cafeteria within the building.
WHERE: Marin County Board of Supervisor’s meeting room. Marin Civic Center. 3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 329, San Rafael, CA 94903.
WHY: This is our best opportunity to stop this misguided project. Please lend your voice at this important meeting!

**** Talking Points ****

• The Sharp Park Pumphouse Project proposes to dredge sediment and aquatic vegetation from the Laguna Salada wetland complex so water flows more rapidly to the pumphouse, allowing the pumphouse to drain the wetland complex at a faster rate.

• Experts such as Greg Kamman—the hydrologist retained by SFRPD to analyze Sharp Park’s hydrology—have explained that increasing the pumping rate will harm the threatened California red-legged frog and the Laguna Salada wetland complex in at least two ways:

o Increasing the pumping rate will cause additional harm to the California red-legged frog by draining more of the frog’s breeding habitat before the frog can reproduce.

o Increasing the pumping rate will cause the complex’s water level to remain shallow for a longer period of time. Because aquatic vegetation grows rapidly in shallow water, the project’s purpose cannot be sustained unless the wetland system is dredged regularly. Dredging releases harmful sulfur-based sediments into the water column, and regular releases of these compounds can disrupt the wetland complex’s ecology.

• These experts have proposed a feasible to the pumphouse project: allowing the wetland complex’s water levels to rise higher than the aquatic vegetation can tolerate.* This would reduce the amount of aquatic vegetation in the wetland complex without harming the frog, and would not require regular dredging.

• The Laguna Salada wetland complex and the adjacent Mori Point National Park are one of the most prolific California red-legged frog breeding areas in the state. Yet the California red-legged frog population is declining at Sharp Park because existing pumping protocols cause egg masses to be killed when the wetland system is drained.

Draining existing or future breeding areas at faster rates will not enhance the California red-legged frog population. To enhance the population pumping rates must be reduced so that eggs can hatch and tadpoles can become adults before the wetlands are drained.


Sharp Park wetland

Action Alert: Hearing at the California Coastal Commission!

Dear Protectors of Sharp Park wetlands!

Your attendance is requested for a critical public meeting on Thursday April 16th in San Rafael (Marin County). That afternoon, the California Coastal Commission will be responding to the City of San Francisco’s request for a permit to dredge and continue draining Sharp Park wetlands. Your voice is needed to inform the Commission why the wetlands should not be dredged and why the City needs to end its ongoing degradation to the wetlands and the wildlife that depend on it. This will be the first and ONLY time an agency with a mission to protect wetlands will review the project!!

Will you join members of the Restore Sharp Park Coalition? Please contact jcrofton@wildequity.org for more information or to RSVP. We can answer questions and provide you with talking points, too. Details of the meeting below!

WHAT: Coastal Commission meeting where Sharp Park dredging and wetlands draining will be considered, and either denied or permitted.
WHEN: Thursday April 16th at 12:30pm. The Sharp Park agenda item is likely to come up right after lunch. Please arrive at 12:30pm and join fellow supporters for lunch at the cafeteria within the building.
WHERE: Marin County Board of Supervisor’s meeting room. Marin Civic Center. 3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 329, San Rafael, CA 94903.
WHY: This is our best opportunity to stop this misguided project. Please lend your voice at this important meeting!

**** Talking Points ****

• The Sharp Park Pumphouse Project proposes to dredge sediment and aquatic vegetation from the Laguna Salada wetland complex so water flows more rapidly to the pumphouse, allowing the pumphouse to drain the wetland complex at a faster rate.

• Experts such as Greg Kamman—the hydrologist retained by SFRPD to analyze Sharp Park’s hydrology—have explained that increasing the pumping rate will harm the threatened California red-legged frog and the Laguna Salada wetland complex in at least two ways:

o Increasing the pumping rate will cause additional harm to the California red-legged frog by draining more of the frog’s breeding habitat before the frog can reproduce.

o Increasing the pumping rate will cause the complex’s water level to remain shallow for a longer period of time. Because aquatic vegetation grows rapidly in shallow water, the project’s purpose cannot be sustained unless the wetland system is dredged regularly. Dredging releases harmful sulfur-based sediments into the water column, and regular releases of these compounds can disrupt the wetland complex’s ecology.

• These experts have proposed a feasible to the pumphouse project: allowing the wetland complex’s water levels to rise higher than the aquatic vegetation can tolerate.* This would reduce the amount of aquatic vegetation in the wetland complex without harming the frog, and would not require regular dredging.

• The Laguna Salada wetland complex and the adjacent Mori Point National Park are one of the most prolific California red-legged frog breeding areas in the state. Yet the California red-legged frog population is declining at Sharp Park because existing pumping protocols cause egg masses to be killed when the wetland system is drained.

Draining existing or future breeding areas at faster rates will not enhance the California red-legged frog population. To enhance the population pumping rates must be reduced so that eggs can hatch and tadpoles can become adults before the wetlands are drained.


Sharp Park wetland and pumphouse.

Wild Equity at Sunday Streets!

Sunday, April 12th, 11:00am-4:00pm: Join the Wild Equity Institute for a fun-filled and colorful day at Sunday Streets. Visit our table and learn about our efforts to unite the grassroots conservation and environmental justice movements in campaigns that redress inequity, both across our human communities and towards the lands in which we live. We are working on campaigns that will improve San Francisco’s public parks and save endangered and threatened species such as the San Francisco Garter Snake and the threatened California Red-Legged Frog.

There will be fun activities!

Sunday Streets Bayview/Dogpatch/Potrero Route : This route runs along 3rd Street, San Francisco.

Click here for a more detailed map and more info about Sunday Streets.

San Bruno Mountain Mission Blue Butterfly Hike

Saturday, April 11th, 10:00a.m.: Wild Equity is teaming up with San Bruno Mountain Watch to bring you along on a breath-taking hike high above the urban sprawl of San Francisco. We’ll be exploring just part of this 2,750 acre park, where we will not only be privy to spectacular vistas of the city, but also to some of our most precious native San Francisco wildlife. Join us on this expedition to search for endangered butterflies – including the extraordinary Mission Blue – in one of the peninsula’s most picturesque parks.

We will meet at the San Bruno Mountain Watch office at 44 Visitacion in Brisbane (2nd floor) and then carpool to the trailhead together. Bring water, a hat, and sunscreen. This will be a moderately difficult hike.

Movie Night: Saving the Bay – Part 1

Thursday, April 9th, 7:00pm – 9:30pm: Wild Equity screens the first part of Saving the Bay, a four-part PBS primetime special about the rich history of the precious San Francisco Bay. We will be showing episodes 1 and 2, which will explore the geologic creation of the Bay, the history of the Native peoples who lived here, arrival of the Gold Rush, and the establishment of early commercial fisheries.

Join us for snacks, entertainment, great company, and stimulating discussion!

Check out the Saving the Bay website here .

RSVP on this page — or look us up on Meetup!

Twain’s Frog and the Beautiful Serpent Hike

Saturday, April 4th, 1:00pm – 3:00 pm: 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 the frogs and the snakes from the brink of extinction. This event is rain or shine.

Meet at the Mori Point Entrance Gate, at the intersection of Bradford Way and Mori Point Road, Pacifica, CA, 94044.

RSVP on this page — or look us up on Meetup!

Wild Equity Bands with Allies to Challenge Sharp Park Pumphouse Project

At 10:00am on Friday April 3rd, Wild Equity, Sequoia Audubon Society, and Save the Frogs will present oral arguments at San Francisco Superior Court over a project that will destroy and drain Sharp Park’s Laguna Salada wetland complex, arguably the most ecologically important portion of the Department’s most biologically rich land.

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

You can attend the hearing to show solidarity with our movement, but of course court proceedings do not permit public testimony. Contact jcrofton@wildequity.org for details if you’d like to attend the hearing: we’d love to have you there!

Wild Equity Secures Challenge to Lower Court Opinion

On March 11, 2015 Wild Equity appeared at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in our ongoing legal challenged to the money-losing, endangered species killing Sharp Park Golf Course. A few days later the court issued a short opinion that clears the way for Wild Equity to “vacate” a mistaken element of a district court decision issued in 2012.

Specifically, the Ninth Circuit agreed with Wild Equity that our challenge became “moot” due to intervening events. Wild Equity proposed that the court therefore must either (1) declare the case moot so that the lower court opinion could be vacated, or (2) wield an exception to the mootness doctrine and rule that the lower court opinion was wrong on the merits. The court chose the former option, and now Wild Equity can move forward with vacating the mistaken element of the lower court’s position.

This ruling upholds Wild Equity’s lower court victories finding the Golf Course illegally killed endangered species for years, harming their populations, and ordering the Golf Course to pay nearly $400,000 in court costs for its illegal actions. It also paves the way for new legal challenges against the Golf Course for its actions that harm taxpayers and the environment. Stay tuned for the latest updates in our campaign to Restore Sharp Park.

Antioch Dunes

During an inter-glacial period approximately 140,000 years ago, a network of sand dunes and desert environments stretched from the location of the modern-day Mojave Desert across the Central Valley to the San Joaquin River. As California’s climate changed the dunes retreated, but a stretch of desert-like habitat was left behind along the San Joaquin near Antioch, California.

The isolation of this area in Antioch allowed the species found there to evolve into unique life forms found nowhere else on Earth. Today the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge protects the remnants of these habitats, upon which three federally protected species depend: the Contra Costa Wallflower, the Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose, and the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly.

Prior to European settlement, the Antioch Dunes were probably several hundred acres in size. Currently, because of past sand mining, agriculture, and urban development, only about 70 acres of the sand dune habitat remains, all within the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge.

Today these areas are threatened by a new mechanism: nitrogen deposition. The California Energy Commission has approved five natural gas power plants within roughly one mile of the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. The power plants have and will have significant nitrogen emissions. Sand dunes like the Antioch Dunes are nitrogen deficient, and the changes in plant and microbial communities resulting from increased amounts of the airborne deposition of this chemical has been documented to cause cascading negative effects on ecosystem processes and the species that depend upon the structure of the existing native plant community. One of the primary adverse effects is the enhancement of environmental conditions for the invasion of non-native weeds, which outcompete native plants.

The Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, the Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose, and the Contra Costa Wildflower are all highly endangered, and even small changes in the plant distribution at the dunes could take these species, adversely modify critical habitat, impede recovery, and even cause the species to go extinct. In particular, the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly is so critically endangered that a single failure in the productivity of the species host plant could lead to the permanent extinction of the species.

Moreover, the power plants are concentrating large amounts of pollution in a diverse, moderate- to low-income community—in no small part because of environmental justice gains in more organized communities that prevented power plants from being built there. Antioch is the last stop for many power plant projects—and the local community’s air quality suffers because of it.

The Wild Equity Institute is working with conservation, environmental justice, and social service organizations to reduce emissions from these power plants so that people and the plants and animals that live near the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge can thrive.

Wild Equity Anniversary Celebration

On November 6th, 6pm, at the Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics Wild Equity will be proudly celebrating our five year anniversary! That’s right, it’s already been Five Years Fighting, and we’ve decided to throw you, the people who’ve made Wild Equity possible, a party!


Featuring live music by singer/songwriter Kristin Plater.

Please join us for food, drinks, games, goodies, and most importantly good company! There will be live music, an outdoor gear raffle, and vintage endangered species artwork up for auction at this celebratory end-of-year fundraiser. We’ll also showcase what we’ve accomplished to date, and, of course, show how we intend to keep Wild Equity’s momentum growing!


Don’t miss your chance to win one of these environmentally conscious Alpine Climbing Down Sweaters or this 45L Black Hole Duffel Bag courtesy of our friends at Patagonia!

Tickets are on sale now for only $15! Space is limited, so reserve yours today!
(No one turned away for lack of funds.)

We can’t wait to see you!

100 Parks for 100 Years!

Wild Equity has been calling for new National Parks for a long time — especially at the notorious Sharp Park in Pacifica — and as it turns out, we’re not the only ones! Numerous organizations and constituencies have banded together in different areas of the country to expand the U.S. National Parks system. One of these organizations, RESTORE, has recently put together a campaign called New National Parks that is dedicated to celebrating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary in an extraorindary and creative way.

From their website:

In 2016, Americans will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. There could be no better time for a bold campaign to expand the National Park System for the next century. Why not 100 new parks — or more — to mark the centennial? Such a campaign can inspire conservationists, rally public support, and convince Congress and the president to take positive action. Future generations will thank us for having the foresight to save our unprotected natural and historic treasures as their priceless national park legacy.

This is the vision of the New National Parks (NNP) campaign.

And wouldn’t you know it? The New National Parks campaign has elected to highlight Sharp Park as one of their potential candidates! Sharp Park is the perfect location for a National Parks expansion, for both environmental, economic, and recreational reasons. We’re honored to have our concept for a newly restored Sharp Park featured as a candidate for this delightful and timely project. Best of luck in getting those 100 parks established! We certainly need them!

Movie Night: Power Paths

Wednesday, March 18th, 7:00pm – 9:00pm: Wild Equity screens Power Paths, a rousing documentary about the struggles faced by Native American communities at the hands of environmentally devastating energy production.

Power Paths zeroes in on the successful closure of one of Nevada’s most polluting coal-powered plants, as well as the efforts of indigenous Americans to develop clean energy resources on their lands. The movie shows us that “traditional values toward conservation and the earth are also solutions for the rest of America’s energy dilemma.”


Check out the Power Paths website here.

As always, our screening will feature a discussion, and this time we are fortunate enough to be joined by noted activist Wahleah Johns! Wahleah Johns is featured in the film, and had agreed to answer audience questions at our event!

Wahleah Johns is a member of the Navajo (Dine) tribe and the community of Forest Lake, which is one of several communities atop Black Mesa, Arizona. Wahleah’s work with the Black Mesa Water Coalition and Navajo Green Economy Coalition has led to groundbreaking legislative victories for groundwater protection, green jobs and environmental justice. As the Black Mesa Solar Project Coordinator, Wahleah is helping to bring utility scale solar to local communities of Black Mesa region on the Navajo reservation. Wahleah currently lives Oakland, CA with her husband Billy Parish and their two daughters Tohaana and Alowaan.

Join us for a compellingly good time! — There will be snacks!!

RSVP on this page — or check us out on Meetup!

San Bruno Mountain Watch office

44 vistacion brisbane

Wild Equity returns to Sunday Streets!

Wild Equity has participated in Sunday Streets regularly for years — and after a short break, this month we’ve made a comeback! It was a beautiful day out on the Embarcadero Route, and Wild Equity had lots of fun celebrating recreation, community, and physical activity in the streets of San Francisco. The live band by our table was particularly enlivening!

Visit our table at Sunday Streets events to learn about our work uniting the grassroots conservation and environmental justice movements in campaigns that redress inequity — both across our human communities and towards the lands in which we live. We’d love the chance to say, “Hi!”

We are scheduled to be present at all upcoming Sunday Streets events. You can come check us out on 4/12 at Bayview/Dogpatch, or on 5/10 in the Mission, or on 6/14 at the Sunset on the Great Highway… Take your pick!

So be sure to join the fun! If you’d like to volunteer with us at Sunday Streets — or at any of our events — contact jcrofton@wildequity.org to get started.

Photoset: Revitalizing the Antioch Dunes

Recently, Wild Equity was proud to get together with our longstanding partners at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge to work on rejuvenating the precious imperiled ecosystem that is present there. We were privileged to plant young, hand-reared Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose and Contra Costa Wallflower throughout this protected habitat. If all goes well, these specimens will flourish, and we’ll be back to count them in the summer! Stay tuned!

Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose on the right, Contra Costa Wallflower on the left.

One of our baby primroses!

Each little orange flag is a flower we planted. Good work, team!

Satisfying work.

Thanks so much to Molly, the director of our ally group Tatzoo, for making an appearance!

It’s good to really get your hands dirty once in a while.

Nothing more vital to restoration efforts than devoted long-time volunteers.

And here’s what all this work was for: a gorgeous, fully mature, specimen of the Contra Costa Wallflower that bloomed a little early just for us to see.

A stark reminder of the fragility of this beautiful place and the plants and animals that inhabit it: “One careless cigarette or match could exterminate the last remaining population of the Lange’s Metalmark butterfly.”

Coming up: Wahleah Johns speaks at Wild Equity movie night!

Wild Equity is excited to announce that we will be joined by featured activist Wahleah Johns for our upcoming screening of Power Paths!

On Wednesday, March 18th at 7:00pm Wild Equity will screen the film Power Paths, a rousing documentary about the struggles faced by Native American communities at the hands of environmentally devastating energy production.

Featured in the film is noted noted activist Wahleah Johns. Wahleah Johns is featured in the film, and has agreed to answer audience questions at our event!

Power Paths zeroes in on the successful closure of one of Nevada’s most polluting coal-powered plants, as well as the efforts of indigenous Americans to develop clean energy resources on their lands. The movie shows us that “traditional values toward conservation and the earth are also solutions for the rest of America’s energy dilemma.”

Wahleah Johns is a member of the Navajo (Dine) tribe and the community of Forest Lake, which is one of several communities atop Black Mesa, Arizona. Wahleah’s work with the Black Mesa Water Coalition and Navajo Green Economy Coalition has led to groundbreaking legislative victories for groundwater protection, green jobs and environmental justice. As the Black Mesa Solar Project Coordinator, Wahleah is helping to bring utility scale solar to local communities of Black Mesa region on the Navajo reservation. Wahleah currently lives Oakland, CA with her husband Billy Parish and their two daughters Tohaana and Alowaan.

The movie will be screened at the Wild Equity Office in El Centro del Pueblo – right by 16th Street BART! The address is 474 Valencia St, Suite 295, San Francisco, CA 94103. There will be snacks! See you there!!

RSVP here or check us out on Meetup!

Wild Equity at Sunday Streets!

Sunday, March 8th, 2015, 11:00am-4:00pm: Join the Wild Equity Institute for a fun-filled and colorful day at Sunday Streets. Visit our table and learn about our efforts to unite the grassroots conservation and environmental justice movements in campaigns that redress inequity, both across our human communities and towards the lands in which we live. We are working on campaigns that will improve San Francisco’s public parks and save endangered and threatened species such as the San Francisco Garter Snake and the threatened California Red-Legged Frog.

There will be fun activities!

Sunday Streets Embarcadero Route : Northbound lanes of Embarcadero from Powell St to King St, King St to 3rd St, 3rd St to Terry Francois Blvd, and Terry Francois from 3rd St to Mission Bay Blvd North.

Click here for a more detailed map and more info about Sunday Streets.

Antioch Dunes Planting Party

Saturday, March 7th, 9:00am-1:30pm: Join Wild Equity and the folks at Antioch Dunes Wildlife Refuge Sardis Unit for this chance to reinvigorate endangered wildlife populations! We’ll be meeting up at the refuge to plant seedlings of endangered Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose and Contra Costa Wallflower — and of Naked‐stemmed Buckwheat, the host plant of the endangered Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly.

This is an opportunity to visit a unique area normally closed to the public. This dune system is an extremely rare and imperiled habitat, and we need your help implementing its restoration. We look forward to seeing you there, and working alongside you!

Meet at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge Sardis Unit at 1551 Wilbur Avenue in Antioch, CA 94509. Wear sturdy shoes, long pants, and layered clothing. Bring raingear (you never know), lunch and water, a sunhat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and knee pads if you like to use them. Tools, gloves and snacks will be provided.

RSVP on this page — or check us out on Meetup!

Rare Plant Treasure Hunt

Saturday, May 18, 9:00am – 1:30pm: The Wild Equity Institute is joining our friends from the California Native Plant Society to search for San Francisco’s rare plant populations. Search groups will be meeting at Fort Funston, Bayview Park, and Heron’s Head Park.

Groups will meet at the three separate parks to look for and document rare plants, then convene for an optional lunch at Pasquale’s Pizzeria in the Inner Sunset to share photos, our new rare plant knowledge, and of course, pizza.

To RSVP or for more information, please contact dslakey@cnps.org by May 16th.

Or check out our Meetup!

California Red-Legged Frog is officially California’s State Frog

Thanks to Dr Kerry Kriger and friends of SaveTheFrogs.com – and everyone who helped – the California Red-Legged Frog is now California’s State Frog.
Read more

Talk: San Francisco’s Wild Menu: Flora, Fauna, Feast

In 1849 San Francisco was surrounded by wild animals and a flourishing sea and bay, from which most early food was taken. But what is our “wild menu” now? How do foraging, fishing, hunting, and gathering fit into modern life? What role does conservation and ecology play in a contemporary and future wild menu? With Mark Heath, Kirk Lombard, and Chris Carlsson. Co-hosted by Wild Equity Institute, Shaping San Francisco, and Nature in the City.

For more events in this series, click here.

Join Wild Equity Today!

2014 has been a challenging year. On December 20, 2013, Rose Braz—Wild Equity’s Chairperson, my wife, and the person I call “the greatest human I’ve ever met” without reservation—had a seizure. That Christmas Eve she was diagnosed with an invasive and aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma.

It was the scariest moment we’ve ever faced.


Too many days were spent like this in 2014.

Our lives have been transformed. Rose has since had two brain surgeries and endured radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Much of my time has been dedicated to Rose’s care, and searching the literature for treatments that may fight this disease.

This time last year we knew next to nothing about brain cancer. Since then we’ve learned that many researchers now believe there will not be a “silver bullet” cure for glioblastoma. It is much more likely that a cure will be forged from several different treatments, each fighting a different aspect of the disease.

We transformed what we learned into a treatment “cocktail” that seems to be working. Rose’s latest scans are clear, and she’s still fighting fracking throughout California.


Rose rallying thousands just days after treatment.

What is most striking about this seemingly insurmountable challenge is that our struggles and insights parallel Wild Equity’s theory of change.

Wild Equity believes that no one strategy or technique will solve our systemic problems, so we wield a variety of tools—education, public relations, litigation, & grassroots organizing and lobbying—to win campaigns and create a sustainable and just world.

More so than any other Bay Area organization, Wild Equity has the suite of skills needed to wield each of these tools successfully, and we’ve demonstrated our effectiveness in wielding them time and again.

Now more than ever we need you to reinvest in our work: please renew your membership and/or make a tax-deductible contribution to the Wild Equity Institute today.

Even during this exacting year, your support has helped Wild Equity make great strides towards a more just and sustainable community for all:

  • You helped us bring another lawsuit against the endangered species-killing Sharp Park Golf Course. With Save the Frogs! & Sequoia Audubon, Wild Equity is challenging Sharp Park Golf Course’s new attempt to drain critical wetlands for endangered species. With each successful claim we not only help wildlife, we increase the odds that San Francisco will stop wasting funds on this wildlife-killing golf course, and redirect them to San Francisco’s most impoverished neighborhood parks.


Photo © Liam O’Brien

These victories are exceptional; with your support we can accomplish even more in 2015:

Imagine the world we will build together: a more equitable world for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth. Thank you for supporting this vision and contributing to our work today!

With deepest gratitude,

Brent Plater, Executive Director

Rose Braz, Chairperson

PS — Don’t forget to buy an “I ‘Bird’ SF” shirt for you and everyone you love! All sizes are currently in stock. Thank you!

Muir Woods Salmon Stroll

You are invited to join the Wild Equity Institute for a hike at Muir Woods to see the threatened Coho Salmon, Central California Coast Evolutionary Significant Unit, and the Steelhead, Central California Coast Distinct Population Segment. Witness the semelparous spawning behavior of the Coho Salmon and take action to help save these imperiled species. The hike is free, but you must pay an entrance fee to directly to the National Park Service when we enter Muir Woods.

Meet at Muir Woods National Monument Main Entrance Gate, Mill Valley, CA, 94941.

Anniversary Bash: Thanks to everyone who came out!

As you know, 2014 was Wild Equity’s fifth year of building equity around the Bay Area, and last month you, our supporters, came forth to join us in celebration. Happily, the party was a huge success! We enjoyed live music and prizes, there were all kinds of merry-making, and the crowd was rife with animated and insightful conversation.

It was truly poignant to witness so many people converging over the essential principle of equity. It’s the principle that ties each of us to both people and planet, and we believe it’s a cause worth reveling in. It’s affirming to know that you all believe so, too.

Here at Wild Equity, we are eager to be inspired by the people who make our organization possible. Well, this time you’ve gone above and beyond in your passion, and we’re keen to take your enthusiasm and channel it into the work that you love to support.

We are so proud to have such a strong and vibrant community behind us as we push on into 2015, and into our sixth year of fighting. There are many more victories to be had just around the corner, and we can’t wait to celebrate those with you, too!

Thanks so much to all of you, and see you next time!

San Francisco Recreation and Parks Caught Illegally Armoring Sharp Park Beach

March 21, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:

Brent Plater, Wild Equity Institute, (415) 572-6989
Bill McLaughlin, Surfrider Foundation, San Francisco Chapter, (415) 225-4083

San Francisco Recreation and Parks Caught Illegally Armoring Sharp Park Beach

Surfrider Foundation Letter Triggers the California Coastal Commission to Act
on Unpermitted Armoring at Sharp Park in Pacifica

SAN FRANCISCO— In response to notification by The Surfrider Foundation San Francisco Chapter, the California Coastal Commission determined that San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department (SFRPD) illegally expanded the seawall in front of the controversial Sharp Park Golf Course in Pacifica, in violation of California’s Coastal Act.

This armoring was unexpected because SFRPD’s Sharp Park Working Group announced in 2011 that “the seawall should not be further armored or heightened,” and because SFRPD’s public notice for the project stated that it would only grade the path on the seawall’s crown.


Unpermitted armoring of Sharp Park Beach by San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department, February 24, 2013.

“Much of the public’s beach in Pacifica is already buried under piles of boulders. Adding new armor to protect a nearby golf course is just not appropriate,” says Bill McLaughlin, who chairs the Erosion Committee of the Surfrider Foundation San Francisco Chapter. “Sea level rise and long term coastal erosion patterns are a looming threat to all our regional coastlines. If beaches like Pacifica’s are to survive, shorelines need to be able to migrate landward.”

“Either SFRPD’s internal environmental review procedures failed, or SFRPD’s description of the project was misleading,” said Brent Plater, executive director of the Wild Equity Institute. “In either case, we expect the Coastal Commission to ensure that the beach is preserved for future generations to enjoy.”

The Coastal Commission has now demanded that the City apply for an after-the-fact permit, which will come before the Coastal Commission at a future public hearing. Surfrider will work to ensure that the illegally dumped rip-rap is removed, and any future construction on the site is limited to grading the path at the top of the berm, and not an incremental armoring project of berm.

Background

In late February, Surfrider learned that the seawall fronting Sharp Park Golf Course would be closed for “renovation” from February 23-25. Surfrider was told by SFRPD that the renovation work would consist of re-grading a path on the crown of the berm. However, observations made at the site showed that additional boulders were placed on the beach. This new armoring was done without proper permitting or environmental review, which precluded the public from weighing in on the project.

The Surfrider Foundation is concerned about the cumulative impacts of coastal armoring on beaches throughout the region. Placing large boulders on a beach covers otherwise usable beach with rock, and the armoring tends to result in the loss of the beach due to erosion. The shoreline of Pacifica has already experienced extensive beach loss due to the effects of armoring.

This is not the first instance of unpermitted armoring by San Francisco. Back in July 2011, Surfrider went before the California Coastal Commission to argue against after-the-fact permitting of a rock wall at Ocean Beach. The powerful state agency unanimously rejected the project, in part because Commissioners believed an alternative to armoring known as managed retreat warranted serious consideration. Managed retreat is the landward relocation of development so that beaches have the space to migrate inland and to respond naturally to coastal processes.

Despite the predominance of coastal armoring in Pacifica, managed retreat has been successfully implemented here before. The San Pedro Creek area at Linda Mar State Beach is the site of such a project, which included restoration of beach, wetlands, and the estuary, as well as the relocation of commercial and residential infrastructure to more sustainable locations. Managed retreat is also part of the restoration vision advocated by Surfrider and others for Sharp Park Beach. The lack of critical infrastructure or development near the ocean make this site an ideal location to implement managed retreat.

For more information on shoreline armoring, please visit the Surfrider Foundation’s Beachapedia page.

For more information about the campaign for a better public park at Sharp Park, please visit wildequity.org.

About Surfrider Foundation

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 250,000 supporters, activists and members worldwide. For more information on the Surfrider Foundation, visit www.surfrider.org.

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


http://wildequity.org


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Endangered Wildlife Bike Ride

Sunday, November 9, 9:30am – 12:30pm: You are invited to join the staff of the Wild Equity Institute on a bike ride through some of San Francisco’s last wildlife habitats. We will search for and learn how to save the endangered species living within the Golden Gate National Parks. We will have the opportunity to see the Gowen Cypress, Raven’s Manzanita, Humpback Whale, San Francisco Lessingia, the Western Snowy Plover, and if we are very lucky, the Steller Sea Lion, the Marbled Murrelet, and the Southern Sea Otter!

We will start and end at the Bazaar Cafe, 5927 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94121. Bring water and snacks. Rain cancels.

If you don’t want to ride your bike to the meeting point, the 1 California bus will drop you off directly in front of the cafe. The bike racks on the bus are easy to operate. Visit 511.org to plan your route.

Five Years Fighting: Wild Equity’s Anniversary Celebration

On November 6th we will be proudly celebrating our five year anniversary! That’s right, it’s already been Five Years Fighting, and we’ve decided to throw you, the people who’ve made Wild Equity possible, a party! Please join us for drinks, live music, games, an outdoor gear raffle, and an art enthusiast’s silent auction at our celebratory end-of-year fundraiser. We’ll also showcase what we’ve accomplished to date, and, of course, show how we intend to keep Wild Equity’s momentum growing.


And that’s how we roll.

More details to follow, but tickets are available for sale now for just $15 (no one turned away for lack of funds). We can’t wait to see you!

Tonight’s the Night: Wild Equity’s Anniversary Celebration!

Tonight’s the night: Wild Equity’s five year anniversary celebration!  A limited number of tickets have been reserved for sale at the door for only $15, so come on by! 

Thursday November 6th, 6pm,

at the Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics 

Thank you from all of us at Wild Equity!



Wild Equity Party

These are not actors: it’s an actual scene from Wild Equity’s most recent bash!!

Buy Your Ticket Now!



 

Nov. 6, 6pm: Five Years Fighting, Wild Equity’s Anniversary Celebration!

On November 6th, 6pm, at the Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics Wild Equity will be proudly celebrating our five year anniversary! That’s right, it’s already been Five Years Fighting, and we’ve decided to throw you, the people who’ve made Wild Equity possible, a party!

Please join us for food, drinks, games, goodies, and most importantly good company! We’ll have live music by singer/songwriter Kristin Plater, as well as an outdoor gear raffle and vintage endangered species artwork up for auction at this celebratory end-of-year fundraiser. We’ll also showcase what we’ve accomplished to date, and, of course, show how we intend to keep Wild Equity’s momentum growing!

Tickets are on sale now for only $15! Space is limited, so reserve yours today!
(No one turned away for lack of funds.)

We can’t wait to see you!

State of the City Forum at Modern Times Bookstore Collective

Thursday, October 23, 7:00pm – 9:00pm: This edition of the Modern Times State of the City panel welcomes Brent Plater, Executive Director of the Wild Equity Institute; Richard A. Walker, author of The Atlas of California; and Diane Serafini, bicycle activist to discuss the issues concerning citizens living in a rapidly changing San Francisco.

Open since 1971, Modern Times Bookstore Collective is one of San Francisco’s oldest bookstores. Modern Times is committed to the “literate and lively exchange of ideas and ideals.”

Wild Equity Presents at the Oakland Zoo: Twain’s Frog and the Beautiful Serpent

Thursday, 23 October, 12:00pm: The Oakland Zoo’s staff and supporters are welcome to join Wild Equity’s Brent Plater for a photographic exploration of the Bay Area’s best chance to save two wondrous and imperiled animals: the California red-legged frog and the San Francisco garter snake. Wild Equity has identified an opportunity to help these species recover by transforming a money-losing, endangered species-killing golf course into a new public park everyone can enjoy. Join Brent to learn about this proposal, discover what you can do to implement it, and see how Wild Equity is working with partners around the Bay Area to create a more equitable world for all—including the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth.


North America’s Most Beautiful Serpent: the San Francisco Garter Snake


Twain’s Frog: the California Red-legged Frog

Western Snowy Plover Walk About

Sunday, October 19, 10:00am – 12:00pm: Join the Wild Equity Institute for a leisurely walk along Ocean Beach to search for the threatened Western Snowy Plover. This small shorebird is threatened by human activities and habitat degradation. Join us to see this adorable species in its native habitat and learn ways that you can help this little puffball of feathers, before it is too late.

Meet at the patch of grass at the intersection of Taraval and the Great Highway – 2400 Great Highway. The L Taraval Muni train stops two blocks from the meeting point.

Lit Crawl 2014 Reading – (In)Visibly Green

Saturday, October 18, 6:00pm: Please join Wild Equity and four local authors for the InVisibly Green reading at Lit Crawl 2014. Reconsider the definition of what constitutes nature writing, examine the dominate narrative of the environmental movement, and rethink our relationship with nature.

Authors:

Carolyn Finney – reading from her book Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors

Kim Shuck – reading from her book Rabbit Stories

Nellie Wong – reading a selection of poems

Al Young – reading a selection of poems

Author Bios:

Carolyn Finney, assistant professor of environmental science at U.C. Berkeley, researches the significance of identity, representation, and struggle in shaping strategies for negotiating daily life.

Kim Shuck, recipient of the Native Writers of the America’s First Book Award, lectures on the subjects of math, art, and Native American issues.

Nellie Wong, one of the founding members of the writing collective Unbound Feet, her poetry confronts social problems such as racism, sexism, and labor issues.

Al Young, poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, professor, and former Poet Laureate of California, lectures internationally on American and African American literature and culture.

This event is part of Lit Crawl 2014, an evening filled with readings of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and more in bookstores, bars, art galleries, restaurants, stores, cafés, laundromats, and community spaces in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Wild Equity at the Wildlife Conservation Expo!

Wild Equity is an exhibitor at the upcoming Wildlife Conservation Expo. Come by and say hi! buy tickets now, or discover more about the expo.

The 2014 Wildlife Conservation Expo is almost here! And we have big news. Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, one of the leading elephant experts in the world, will be coming to the Expo. Dr. Douglas-Hamilton will join nineteen other inspiring conservationists from all over the world. Hear their stories of working in remote lands, surrounded by wild animals. Learn how they create innovative solutions and work closely with local people to create big impacts for wildlife. The Expo is your chance to join the conservationists’ world, even if only for a day. Join us on October 11 in San Francisco for a truly wild day.

Elite Students Complete Wild Equity/FWS Conservation Internship

Wild Equity Institute Staff Attorney Laura Horton ended a year-long project with the Toyota TogetherGreen fellowship program on August 8, 2014. Laura received a grant from the TTG program in September, 2013, and created a project that brought together high school students and teachers, government land managers, and environmental advocates in an effort to save the highly endangered Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly. The project centered around the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, and Laura facilitated a two-part restoration program with Antioch High School students.

During the spring, Laura brought sixty students from Antioch High School to the Refuge to engage in native plant restoration and invasive removal. During the summer, Three students, Daja Miller, Adeeb Nazam, and Emily Hendricks, were awarded a summer internship with the Fish and Wildlife Service. The summer program included intensive hands-on training in land and wildlife management as well as a behind the scenes look at the California Academy of Sciences.


From L to R: Liz Reynolds, Adeeb Nazam, Emily Hendricks, Daja Miller, Louis Terrazas, Laura Horton.

On Friday, August 8th, the summer participants gathered at the Fish and Wildlife field office in Petaluma with friends and family to celebrate the successful program. Also in attendance were Laura and Fish and Wildlife employees including biotech Liz Reynolds and Wildlife Refuge Specialist Louis Terrazas, who acted as Refuge supervisors to the students.

Rick Barton, Environmental Studies Academy director at Antioch High School, plans to continue the relationship with Wild Equity and the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge in the future. Here’s to building new conservation leaders!

Park Equity Project

The Wild Equity Institute’s Park Equity Project builds a more sustainable relationship between our communities and urban parks in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Our work focuses on protecting natural areas for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth, ensuring that those communities with the fewest resources are able to experience the natural world.

In the Bay Area we are blessed to live near the Golden Gate National Parks, perhaps our nation’s greatest urban national park. The GGNP was established during the National Park System’s “parks to the people” era of park creation, an era defined by bringing the values of the National Park System closer to where people live. During this era, some 35 years ago, our nation realized that the values preserved in the National Parks System were not reaching all of America’s communities equitably. With most national parks preserving places far from urban areas, those with the will and wherewithal to visit were primarily wealthy and white.

The National Park Service’s response to this information was, in hindsight, its first environmental justice program. The GGNP was part of this response: as explained by Congress in 1973, “many families in this urban impacted area do not enjoy the affluence which would enable them to take advantage of the outdoor recreation areas located even as close as the Point Reyes National Seashore,” and thus there was a pressing need to provide National Park values to Bay Area residents.

Today the GGNP gives people who otherwise cannot or won’t drive to Yellowstone or Yosemite National Parks an opportunity to enjoy San Francisco as interpreted by the preservationist values that are the core of the National Park System. This of course applies to those without the fiscal resources to travel to our distant National Parks, but it also provides opportunities for the over-worked and time-stressed individuals who, because of life’s daily grind, cannot scrape the time together to visit far-away places.

The GGNP is also a hope-filled example of the transition communities can make from war and militarism to environmental protection and contemplative recreation. Much of the land that comprises the GGNP today was once used by the United States military to defend the San Francisco Bay and the Nation. The GGNP is a global model for the coming transition from militarism to environmental justice and reconciliation.

National Parks such as the GGNP cannot accomplish this purpose while simultaneously accommodating all forms of recreation enjoyed by the public without restriction. The National Park Service has thus recognized that the role of the National Park System is to “provide opportunities for forms of enjoyment that are uniquely suited and appropriate for the superlative natural and cultural resources found in the parks” and that the park service will “defer to local, state, and other . . . organizations to meet the broader spectrum of recreational needs and demands.”

The Wild Equity Institute’s work encourages the GGNP to meet its objectives of building diverse audiences for national parks while protecting the unique mandate of the National Park System.

Pale Male Petition

Pale Male Petition to Obama: Stop Nest Destruction Now

On July 24, 2012, the Wild Equity Institute filed a formal administrative petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) urging it to change its migratory bird nest policy. The policy encourages destruction of migratory bird nests, which is prohibited by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MTBA). The Service’s policy has led to the destruction of countless bird nests since it was enacted, including one of a famous New York red-tailed hawk.

Pale Male is a red-tailed hawk who has nested near Central Park in New York City since 1991. He has many fans throughout the world. During the 2004 holiday season, Pale Male’s nest, built on the side of a residential Fifth Avenue building, was deliberately destroyed. The nest was approximately 400-pounds and was built over several years. Almost immediately, this act of destruction was met with popular uproar among his fans. Newspapers ran stories as far away as Saudi Arabia and India, and over ten articles appeared in the New York Times. Protests and vigils were held outside the apartment building while Pale Male and his mate, Lola, fruitlessly attempted to rebuild their nest. The pairs’ efforts failed because the structure that had previously supported the nest had been deliberately removed to prevent the birds from nesting again. After 21 days of public pressure, the building co-op board relented and reinstalled a supporting structure for Pale Male and Lola. The red-tailed hawks immediately began to rebuild their nest.

Unfortunately, although the pair mated in the spring of 2005 and Lola laid a clutch of eggs, the eggs failed to hatch—likely because of the stress inflicted by their eviction or because the nest was too thin, causing the eggs to be damaged by its supporting structure. Over the next seven years, Pale Male and Lola continued to produce eggs that would not hatch. Although Pale Male finally was able to produce offspring with a new mate in 2011, during those years when his eggs failed to hatch Pale Male did not recruit new members into the local population, and his birdwatching fans did not have a new set of nestlings to celebrate.

This tragic story could easily have been avoided if the Service had correctly carried out its duties under the MTBA. The MBTA expressly prohibits the destruction of migratory birds and their nests unless the Service issues a permit to do so. Although the Fifth Avenue building co-op board applied for a permit to remove Pale Male’s nest, it was told by the Service that no permit was necessary because the nest was “unoccupied,” which is defined as “without birds or eggs.” The Service made this determination even though Pale Male and Lola were residing in the nest year-round.

This odd result is the product of a Service policy that encourages destruction of nests even if a property owner is willing to move a nest rather than destroy it. Under this policy, anyone may destroy a nest so long as no egg or fledgling is within it at the moment of destruction, regardless of whether an adult bird is using the nest for shelter, roosting, or returns to the same nest every spring.

The Service continues to follow this policy today and, consequently, countless functioning bird nests have been destroyed without oversight from expert biologists and without legal consequence. The Service must change this policy in order to adequately protect birds as the MBTA requires. The changes suggested in WEI’s petition to the Service would address the policy’s illogical approach to dealing with migratory bird nests.

Nightlife at Cal Academy of Sciences

Come visit Wild Equity during Nightlife at California Academy of Sciences!
Nightlife is a 21+ event


Our Nightlife Station!

Endangered Species Spotlight at California Academy of Sciences

Monday, September 1, 11:00am – 2:00pm: The Wild Equity Institute is going to be at the California Academy of Sciences for their Endangered Species Spotlight.

Come find us in the Swamp! Take a closer look at endangered species and explore interactive programs to learn ways that we can protect and conserve species.

See you there!

Oakland Zoo, Education Building – Zimmer Auditorium

Oakland Zoo
9777 Golf links Road
Oakland, CA 94605
General Information number: (510) 632-9525.

Directions:

To arrive via public transit plan your trip using the 511 Trip Planner.

Rebels with a Cause Movie Screening

Thursday, August 21, 6:30pm: Please join the Wild Equity staff for the screening of the inspiring film Rebels with a Cause. The film follows the story of the people who took on developers to save open space and create two national treasures: Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

View the trailer by clicking here

We are honored to be joined by Amy Meyer, a leading activist in this amazing campaign and Wild Equity supporter, and the film’s writer/director, Nancy Kelly for a post film discussion.

Please RSVP above or on our Meetup group page.

October 11, Wild Equity at the Wildlife Conservation Expo!

Wild Equity is an exhibitor at the upcoming Wildlife Conservation Expo. Come by and say hi.

Muir Woods Salmon Stroll

Sunday, December 14, 11:00am – 1:00pm: You are invited to join the Wild Equity Institute for a hike at Muir Woods to see the threatened Coho Salmon, Central California Coast Evolutionary Significant Unit, and the Steelhead, Central California Coast Distinct Population Segment. Witness the semelparous spawning behavior of the Coho Salmon and take action to help save these imperiled species.

Meet at Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, CA, 94941. $7 entrance into the park. Entrance is free for visitors aged 15 yrs and under.

Wild Equity at Foster City Public Library: Saving Endangered Wildlife Near You

Monday, July 28, 7:00pm: Please join us for a slideshow and discussion about saving endangered wildlife near you and protecting coastal communities from sea level rise. Learn how you can see and save two federally protected species, the California Red-legged Frog and the San Francisco Garter Snake.

Wild Equity Institute Challenges Harmful Sharp Park Water Quality Decision

For Immediate Release, July 24, 2014

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

Wild Equity Institute Challenges Harmful Sharp Park Water Quality Decision

San Francisco, Calif.—Wild Equity Institute is challenging the Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board’s approval of a controversial dredging project led by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department at Sharp Park’s Laguna Salada wetland complex. The decision to approve the project was made despite clear harm to water quality and local species including the California Red Legged Frog and the San Francisco Garter Snake. The challenge will go before the State Water Resources Control Board.

“Rec and Park’s Sharp Park dredging project will cause devastating impacts to the water quality and imperiled species that depend on the area for survival,” said Laura Horton, Staff Attorney at the Wild Equity Institute. “We gave fair warning of these impacts to the Regional Water Quality Control Board, but our concerns were ignored and now the State Board needs to step in.”

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California Red-Legged Frog, Photo © Brent Plater



Rec and Park is proposing to dredge and remove aquatic vegetation in Sharp Park’s Laguna Salada wetland complex—arguably the most ecologically important part of Rec and Park’s most biologically important land—so it can drain the wetland more rapidly during winter rains that cause flooding on the Sharp Park Golf Course. The project is called the Sharp Park Safety, Infrastructure Improvement and Habitat Enhancement Project and it has long been criticized by the environmental community. Rec and Park applied for a Clean Water Act Section 401 “Water Quality Certification” for the project, and in a shocking move, the Regional Board recently issued the certification even after acknowledging the potential harmful impacts of the dredging project to water quality and species at Sharp Park.

The dredging will cause the resuspension of sulfide in the water, which causes harm to wildlife, and Wild Equity requested that further testing be done on the site in comments to the Regional Board. Moreover, experts have explained that the aquatic vegetation to be removed can only grow in shallow water. If Rec and Park destroys the vegetation while draining the wetland to shallow levels, the vegetation will grow back, creating an ongoing, expensive, and harmful cycle of dredging and draining.

Despite the clear scientific evidence and likelihood of future harm, the Regional Board is allowing the project to move forward, citing poor data as a basis for its decision. Wild Equity is challenging the Regional Board’s decision at the State Board level in hopes that the decision will be overturned and further testing will be conducted to fully assess the potential impact of the dredging project.


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

http://wildequity.org/

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