Stopping San Francisco’s biggest land grab

By Sally Stephens : sfexaminer – excerpt

When the first Spanish explorers came to San Francisco, they weren’t impressed. They described it as “the very worst place for settlement in all of California” with “nothing but sand, brambles, and raging winds.” The landscape was dune scrub and grassland. There were no trees.

Amazingly, some people consider that brown, treeless, scraggly landscape to be “better” than today’s lush, green, forested parks. They have the ear of the Recreation and Park Department through its Natural Areas Program. NAP plans to tear out the existing trees and plants on one-quarter of The City’s parkland and recreate the pre-Spanish landscape.

Two meetings at City Hall on Dec. 15 may be your last chance to stop this destructive, expensive and hugely unpopular program.

NAP grew out of a fad in academic biology in the 1980s and 1990s that “native” plants — arbitrarily defined as those that were here before the Spanish came — are somehow “better” and have more reason to be here than those that arrived later. This idea has since lost favor, as more research has shown the ecological benefits of “non-native” plants, especially when dealing with the consequences of climate change…

If those (NAP) plans make no sense to you, please write both commissions and the mayor and tell them you don’t support NAP. Tell them you want all forests in “natural” areas transferred away from NAP management. You want NAP to stop using poisonous herbicides. You don’t want the NAP Management Plan implemented. And you prefer instead what’s known as the “Maintenance Alternative” that would allow NAP to continue to manage those areas they’ve already replanted, but prohibit them from doing any new destruction of non-native habitats(more)

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