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Billy Goat Hill

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Legend
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Billy Goat Hill

The Natural Areas Plan proposes to designate all 3.4 acres in this park as a “natural area”.  The rationale for this designation is not clear.  There is no Federal or State listed endangered or threatened animal, bird, butterfly or plant in this area.  This area has no important bird habitat and in fact, its habitat for nesting and cover is inadequate to sustain local bird populations. There are five species of birds the local bird enthusiasts in the Golden Gate Audubon Society consider “sensitive”. There is one species of plant the local native plant hobbyists consider “sensitive”, however it has not been found here since 2001.  To protect these “sensitive” birds and mythical plant (all of whose proposed protection has no official scientific recognition), NAP proposes:

 

        Destruction of non-native plants and shrubs at NAP discretion.

        Reduction in “predation pressure”.  This would refer to the killing of feral cats and any other wildlife NAP deems unacceptable.

        Closure of undetermined number of social trails.

        Access to the public will be provided on NAP designated trails only.  Fencing will be installed if necessary to keep the public and their pets on the trails.

        Reintroduction of “sensitive” species of plants to justify the closures.

 

This NAP proposal for Billy Goat Hill violates the underlying premise for NAP.  As stated by NAP Director Lisa Wayne, “preserve what is left of the original habitat and protect it from further degradation…enhance these little remnants that are degraded”.  NAP admits there is NO habitat here to protect. NAP states specifically there is a “potential” habitat which they hope to create.  Does this desire to create habitat justify the destruction of wildlife, and plants, as well as the limitation of recreational access to the public?

 

NAP has refused to disclose the cost to create this habitat.  Are these funds that could better be spent elsewhere in the park system?  Will there be the manpower and funds to maintain this new habitat?  Will it be sustainable? 

Pine tree