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McLaren Park

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McLaren Park

McLaren Park is a large park with high recreational value and usage for San Franciscans.  Recreational facilities within McLaren Park include over 11 miles of trails, tennis courts, ball fields, a golf course, picnic areas, overlooks, and an amphitheater. A designated Dog Play Area (DPA) exists within the John F. Shelley Drive loop.  NAP intends to declare 165.1 of the 312.6 acres at McLaren Park as a “natural area”.  NAP acknowledges that 148 of those 165.1 acres are dominated by “invasive” species.  The underlying premise for NAP, as stated by NAP Director Lisa Wayne is, “preserve what is left of the original habitat and protect it from further degradation…enhance these little remnants that are degraded”.   By that definition, the “natural area” here should comprise just 15-20 acres, the area dominated by the original, native habitat.  Instead, NAP intends to take 165.1 acres of land away from recreational use to create habitat at McLaren Park.  This is a violation of the taxpayer’s trust. 

 

There is no species of plant, bird, butterfly, mammal, reptile, amphibian or animal present in this park that is listed by the State or Federal government as threatened or endangered.  There is no mandate from any governmental agency to create habitat here.  This is merely the desire of a few native plant and bird enthusiasts here in San Francisco.  Does this desire of a few to create habitat justify the widespread destruction of wildlife, trees and plants, as well as the limitation of recreational access to the public?  NAP’s plan for McLaren Park will destroy numerous ecosystems in the park and includes the following:

 

        The Dog Play Area will be reduced by some 14%.

        Elimination of 3 miles of social trails commonly utilized by people and dogs.

        Visitors to the park will be restricted to the trails NAP has designated, by fencing if NAP deems it necessary.

        809 trees will be removed.  Beyond that, destruction of non-native saplings and seedlings (these are by common definition trees) in areas designated by NAP shall be in total.  NAP officials do not believe they need to be accountable to the public for the number of seedlings or saplings they remove.  Please see Wayne’s World Item #4 for further explanation.

        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.

        Destruction of all plants near the entrances of the park, to be replaced with native plant gardens.

        People will be banned entirely from .6 acres of Gray Fox Creek.

        Augmentation and reintroduction of “sensitive” species of plants to attempt to justify the closures.  Please note the designation of “sensitive” is not mandated by the State or Federal government.  This designation was assigned by local native plant and bird enthusiasts.  It is an arbitrary designation, not an official one.

        Creation of artificial pool habitats for the Pacific Chorus frog (not a protected spercies).

        Mountain bikes and off-road motorcycles will be banned.

        Fruiting non-native plants that birds feed on will be removed and replaced with native fruiting plants.  Should the native plants not flourish, the birds will be jeopardized for no other reason than NAP prefers native plants over non-native plants.

 

This NAP proposal for McLaren Park is beyond belief.  It cannot be justified on any basis; there is no scientific justification for destroying ecosystems to this degree, public planning does not support the loss of recreational facilities in a dense urban area, and the financial expenditure is massive.  So massive, NAP has refused to disclose the cost to create this natural area.  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? 

 

We suggest you go to our comment page and communicate with your elected officials as to how you feel about NAP.  Should you desire more information about McLaren Park, go to:

http://www.mclarenpark.org

 

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