Recently, the television station KPIX ran a story about the Franciscan manzanita. US Fish and Wildlife, threatened by a lawsuit, designated this plant as an endangered species. It’s now in the process of designating critical habitat for it. This critical habitat includes part of Mt Davidson – and some private land in people’s back yards.
Here’s the video:
Even supporters of Native Plants – such as Jake Sigg, interviewed for this TV clip – are saying this effort is expensive and futile. Meanwhile, plants grown from cuttings of the Doyle Drive specimen now grow in many botanic gardens (including Golden Gate Park), as school yards, back yards and who knows where else, since the plants are commercially available for under $20.
So why did San Francisco Recreation and Parks’ Natural Areas Program add more land to the designated areas?
(See our story about that HERE, and an article about the neighbors’ reaction HERE. )
Dear SFFA, I think your efforts would be better spent stopping the chopping down of existing trees than expending energy on the manzanita. We watched the segment; and the introduction of manzanita compared to the wholesale chopping down of living ecosystems do not compare. Focusing on this is a public relations blunder. Your friend, Tomasita Medál 415.242.1144
[SFForest: Hi Tomasita, thanks for commenting! Our focus is Trees, Access, Toxins, and Taxes. We want to preserve our parks – trees and habitat; we want to maintain public access; we want to discourage the use of toxins such as the increasing amounts of herbicides in use on the Natural Areas; and we want a sensible use of public monies. Our concern with the manzanita is that if its planted on these lands, it will be a costly excuse for more tree-felling and access restrictions. We’ve learned from experience that by the time changes become visible – it’s too late to stop them.]
The transplant of the manzanita from Doyle Drive to The Presidio cost about $200K, picked up (literally) by CalTrans. US Fish & Wildlife was sued by an extremist enviro group to list the plant endangered and later the group demanded that Rec & Park increase the number of acres for planting in SF Parks to 270 rather than a sample area it originally designated. The same enviro group had earlier sued Rec & Park over Sharp Park and was awarded attorney’s fees of $300+K. Gee, seems to be a pattern here. Follow the money!
Why do posts on your site require approval by a moderator? Why not allow the unfiltered free exchange of opinions and ideas?
[SFForest: Hi Ted, thanks for your comment! We do moderate comments because we get quite a lot of spam. Also, we do have a comments policy – for instance, we don’t allow personal attacks. (We’re happy to publish opposing views.) Moderation may mean a delay in publishing comments, but we like to keep things civil. Unmoderated comment sections can quickly turn into spam-holds or into name-calling and flame-wars.]