The Natural Areas Plan proposes
to designate all 2.8 acres in this park as a “natural area”. The rationale for this designation is not clear, as NAP admits this park has high levels of recreational use, yet has
little or no “original habitat”. There is no Federal or State listed
endangered or threatened animal, bird, butterfly or plant in this area. There are three species of birds the local bird enthusiasts
in the Golden Gate Audubon Society consider “sensitive”. There are two species of plants the local native plant
hobbyists consider “sensitive”. To protect these “sensitive”
birds and plants (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 all (1411 feet) of
· Access to the public will be
provided on 1261 feet of NAP designated trails only. Fencing will be maintained
to keep the public and their pets on the trails.
· Augmentation and reintroduction
of “sensitive” species of plants to attempt to justify the closures.
· No further removal of trees. The saga of trees removed at this site is ugly and has been a source of controversy
for many years. Please click here for some history of this issue at Tank Hill. More...
· Large trees will be prevented
from establishment on the slopes above Twin Peak Boulevard, and invasive trees will be prevented from
establishing themselves in NAP designated areas. NAP removes non-native seedlings
and saplings and does not report them as trees they have removed. Please see Wayne’s World Item #4
for further explanation.
· Erosion control will be implemented
· Plants at entry points to the
park will be destroyed to make way for native plant gardens.
This NAP proposal for Tank
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 relatively little habitat here for small birds, and little or no original habitat. NAP states specifically there is a “potential” habitat for bird, plant and Federally endangered
butterfly species. It is this specific habitat they hope to create. Is this the Field of Dreams…build it and they will come? What
of the nightmare for neighbors, wildlife and non-native plants?
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?