If you’re a reader of this blog, you’ve probably signed this petition already. Between the electronic version (under the big green button) and the paper version (which you can download under the yellow button), we already have close to 1500 signatures – without using professional signature-gatherers or setting up signing tables or anything at all except explaining what is planned for the Natural Areas. (It’s technically called the “Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan” or SNRAMP — aka, according to a SFRPD employee, “Sin-ramp.”)
Why didn’t most people know already? The most common response we get when we inform people what’s going on is, “Really? I had no idea!” (Also, “You must be joking!”) They hadn’t heard, until they read about it in the press, or from one of our presentations, or from talking to someone.
Of course the people who’ve been fighting this battle for years on either side of the issue actually were aware of it. They may have gotten their names onto SF Recreation and Park Department’s mailing list. But that’s not true of most living near “Natural Areas.” Folks are busy. Many weren’t even aware that their neighborhood park was one of the 32 “Natural Areas.” They certainly weren’t aware of major plans to fell thousands of trees, close miles of trail, restrict access to the parks, or that they were using toxic pesticides.
WHY DIDN’T PEOPLE KNOW?
- Posted public notices – in one low-traffic location. They did post a notice. But it wasn’t near the 32 affected parks. It was at McLaren Lodge, the SF RPD headquarters, a stand-alone building in Golden Gate Park, out of everyone’s way. You’d only look for a notice there if you knew to expect such a notice.
- Published a notice in the papers – two small notices, once. They published a notice in the papers – but only in the SF Examiner, and the Pacifica Tribune. They looked like these pictures. Most people don’t read papers thoroughly enough to discover these notices. They didn’t place notices in other papers.
- Mailed out notices – but only to their list. If you had gotten on their mailing list before, then they mailed you a copy of the notice. If you just happened to live near a place they were planning to cut down trees and restrict access, it’s unlikely you would find out until the plan was being executed.
So that’s why our outreach is important. We’re trying to preserve public parks for the public, but most of all, we want the public to be aware of what is actually planned. (The information above was obtained from SF RPD under the Sunshine Act.)
NOW, THAT PETITION…
If you haven’t signed the petition, but would like to, you could go to the online version under the green button on the right of the screen, labeled SIGN.
Or if you prefer not to sign online (your signature would be visible to everyone, together with any comments you choose to make), there’s a paper version available. (It’s a PDF file that you can print out, and there’s space for more than one signature in case you’re getting others to sign as well.)
Download that, sign it, and mail it to us, by April 27th, to: SFFA, P.O.Box 460668, SF, CA 94146
Even more importantly, spread the word. Let people know what’s planned. Whichever side you’re on, the “Sin-ramp” shouldn’t be a secret.