|Dogs at Crissy Field
Photo via parkplanning.nps.gov
Ever since that fateful meeting of the GGNRA Advisory Commission exactly 10 years ago at the Presidio's Golden Gate Club as well as the subsequent Natural Areas Program Citizens' Advisory Committee (NAPCAC) debacle of the Gonzalez/Yee years, our SF nature conservation community have been largely holding their breath, wondering how the dog debate will ultimately play out.
Thanks to the release on January 14th of the long-anticipated GGNRA Dog Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and a subsequent spectacularly biased article by Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle, the dog debate is back (see also, Letters to the Editor). Unfortunately, it did not come back in a healthy form. Fimrite's article is so blatantly pro-manifest pet destiny that legitimate and crucial questions about natural resources impacts, destruction of endangered species habitat, freedom to sunbathe, walk with your toddler, or to play frisbee, were totally ignored in the Chronicle piece. It's as if we should all just accept a) that there are more dogs in the city than children, and b) just like the pampering way we raise our humans nowadays, our dogs should have the choice to go wherever they please. We can't restrain them! Or set limits! Their creativity will be stifled!
|Crissy Field Salt Marsh Habitat
Photo by Peter Brastow
Don't misunderstand us. We know the scofflaws are a small percentage of the total number of folks with dogs, and that most people, given the facts, will follow the rules that the National Park Service ultimately creates for Dog Management in the GGNRA. But it only takes a few scofflaws and their media pals to stoke misinformation and distortion of the issue of dogs in parks and to propagate bad information about natural resources management all over the internet, contaminating the thinking of otherwise reasonable people.
In terms of the GGNRA document itself, you might want to start with the Executive Summary, which illustrates in tabular form the various alternatives being studied by the National Park Service. The Park appears to have coined a new term, Regulated Off-Leash Areas (ROLAS), which are the areas of the Park where dogs would be allowed off-leash as part of the Preferred Alternative. Interestingly, we just discovered a Facebook page for "ROLA" up in Washington State.
The deadline for comments is the middle of April, so you have plenty of time, though the document is 1200 pages along!
Thus, our recommendation to start with the Executive Summary.
ROLAS proposed in the Preferred Alternative are located at the following National Park sites:
Crissy Field Beach and Airfield
|Poppies in Glen Canyon
Photo by Ellie Billings
Please consider attending the meetings for Glen Park Trails planning, and voice your desire for an interconnected ecological experience from Glen Park to Twin Peaks. Some folks are less inclined to encourage people to walk or hike through Glen Canyon from either direction, and so we need all voices to express the vision for a Twin Peaks Bioregional Park Trail and Corridor.
Trail Walk in Glen Canyon
10 am - 12 pm
Glen Canyon Park Trails Meeting #2
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Glen Canyon Park Improvement Plan - Design Alternatives
6:30 - 8:30 pm
|Mission Blue Butterfly
Photo by Amber Hasselbring
Are you an accomplished and talented writer/grant writer who has some spare time on your hands? If you're not a natural born weed puller, but more of a natural born grant writer, then Nature in the City really needs you!!
We're looking for the right person who has the skill, enthusiasm, commitment, independence, and of course time to devote to writing grants for our celebrated organization.
If you or someone you know is that person, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Michael Chasse and Judith Larner Lowry at the Jan 15 Green Hairstreak Workshop Photo by William E. Fee|
"Greetings Green Hairstreak Corridor Restoration Community! Happy New Year to you and yours. I want to take an opportunity to give you a quick update about the Green Hairstreak Corridor Restoration project.
1) Starting with the people:
Melanie Trelles, as her SFSU internship, is now our Stewardship Coordinator for the remainder of the winter and spring.
Deidre Martin is continuing to volunteer to coordinate the Backyard Native Plant Nursery Network (BYNN).
Liam O'Brien and yours truly obviously remain the butterfly and plant science leads, respectively, on the project, and so we're always standing by to help with any questions you have.
Finally, we have a phenomenal cadre of 6 local volunteer site stewards, who are managing the 7 DPW sites of the Green Hairstreak Corridor. Melanie will be working with them and with me to make sure this project thrives and grows. We have identified 4 possible new sites that we think are "low-hanging fruit" for adding to the Green Hairstreak Corridor system!
I am delighted at the success of this project - the model grassroots neighborhood stewardship system!
2) Ways you can get involved:
- Become a site steward! Example of possible new sites include: Radio Terrace, adjacent to north end of Golden Gate Heights Park Natural Area; Mandalay Stairs, bottom; and Quintara Stairs, mid-portion. Contact email@example.com.
- Grow local native plants in your backyard as part of the Backyard Nursery Network! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Plan community events, such as a Green Hairstreak Festival! Contact email@example.com.
- Help Nature in the City financially. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Join our new Development Board to collaborate on fundraising for Nature in the City. Contact email@example.com.
Thanks again for your commitment to nature in the city, Nature in the City, and the Green Hairstreak Butterfly and its San Francisco dune habitat!!"
Thanks in part to a stronger publicity push, including being the Guardian's Weekly Pick #1, we packed the house at Counterpulse last Wednesday night for our first and last Nature in the City TALK of the season. A great turnout for a great panel on a great subject was an inspiring way to say a temporary goodbye to our TALKS at Counterpulse, and we remain inspired by and in solidarity with the radical ecological transformative vision of Shaping San Francisco!
|Volunteers Matt and JoAnn Zaltunich demo proper planting technique w/ Tom Annese looking on approvingly.|
"We were delighted to have Tom Annese join us for this 2011 kick-off work party!
For several years Tom was our Oak Woodlands Natural Areas staff leader whose expertise and hard work inspired and guided us through some challenging times...
So, our work party last Saturday [January 8] was very upbeat. Led by our current Oak Woodlands chief, Dylan Hayes and Natural Areas leaders Christopher Campbell and Kirra Swenerton, the volunteers... put in about 100 native shrubs along Fulton slope of Coon Hollow and on the 3rd Avenue entrance/west slope of Coon Hollow...
Our next official Oak Woodland work party is SAT FEB 12. Please join us!"
Dee Dee Workman is helping the San Francisco Parks Trust convene a brand new urban trails stakeholder group called the San Francisco Trails Council. The new entity has been meeting regularly as well as going on field trips toward building inter-organizational collaboration around a vision for a San Francisco trails system. The new group is a who's who of local and regional trails professionals and advocates, who collectively believe that we need a Trails Master Plan for San Francisco. The group is also working on imagining and ultimately planning an improved trail along the route of Nature in the City's Twin Peaks Bioregion Trek, from Golden Gate Park to Twin Peaks!
At their January 25th meeting, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Citizens' Advisory Committee unanimously passed a resolution that urges the extension of the SFPUC's 5 year-old environmental stewardship policy to its natural areas and reservoir lands in San Francisco County!
|Laguna Honda Reservoir
Photo via Friends of Laguna Honda Reservoir
To date, the Natural Resources Division of the SFPUC only works outside of the city limits in such beautiful and biodiverse places as the Peninsula, Alameda and Tuolumne Watersheds. Nature in the City and our environmental colleagues have been working with many SFPUC staff to push the agency in the direction of managing its local lands for biodiversity. The agency is still working on the Lake Merced Watershed Plan/Report, a lengthy effort during which Nature in the City and other environmental organizations have provided substantial feedback. And much more recently, we met with SFPUC staff to help them prioritize how to spend much needed funds on vegetation management at Laguna Honda, the most beautiful coastal sage scrub hillside left in the city.
The CAC's resolution provides the overarching framework for the SFPUC to begin to devote resources to its San Francisco lands, and so now we urge the Commission itself to adopt the CAC's resolution as their official policy. Stay tuned for more on this exciting development including the full text of the resolution.
Thanks to the heroic efforts of two of our environmental colleagues, the impact of the bridge over Yosemite Slough will be significantly mitigated. Included in the legal agreement with Lennar is a provision to create a lagoon along the south shore of Hunter's Point, which will be a nursery for bay creatures.
SF's own PUC President Waxes on Water
"Water, water, everywhere. Reservoirs are overflowing, utilities are beaming and skiers are ecstatic. The City and County of San Francisco is experiencing the wettest year-to-date on record, and we are only half way through January.
Ironically, we are also seeing the highest levels of water conservation and lowest water use in decades. Combined averages of wholesale and retail sales in San Francisco, which have historically hovered around 250 Million Gallons per Day (MGD) are down to a low of 215 MGD and water use is down almost 4 percent from last year."
The endangered species busses are up and running! This incredible project was created by artist Todd Gilens and features SF Muni busses wrapped in images of the mission blue butterfly, the coho salmon, the brown pelican, and the salt marsh harvest mouse.
This temporary public art project uses transit vehicles and their environments as a medium, investigating relationships between city and region, social and environmental values. From January into April 2011, four Endangered Species buses will circulate throughout San Francisco, dispatched to different routes each day.
To learn more see http://baynature.org/endangerbus and remember to keep a lookout for endangered species in the city!