The Natural Areas Program of SF Recreations and Parks Department (NAP)
was originally intended to protect and nourish a sampling of San
Francisco's plant heritage where it existed. That is worthwhile.
Yet today the program has morphed into an empire that is claiming
control of one-fourth of city parkland to create barely-sustainable
native plant museums. It will drastically alter our parks in a program
-Cuts down 18,500 healthy trees, simply because they are considered non-native.
-Uses more toxic pesticides than the rest of SF RPD put together,
though it is only 1/4 of SF RPD's total area.
-Closes nearly 10 miles of popular hiking and jogging trails.
-Destroys impenetrable thickets and trees that provide shelter and
protection for wildlife.
-Replaces existing vibrant green landscapes with dry, brown grassland
and piles of brush.
Please do not let NAP destroy our parks in a misguided attempt to turn
back the evolutionary clock and re-create an idealized "better"
environment from a time before European settlers arrived, a time when
San Francisco was mostly sand dunes and rocks, with few trees. Our
city faces strict prioritization of scarce resources that when
allocated to parks should be to keep them safe and accessible, not
create fenced-off gardens in the process destroying what we already
have. This so-called “wholesale habitat conversion” would require tens
of millions of dollars in taxpayer funding and unprecedented
broad-scale volunteer hours for modest gains, if any.
We, the undersigned, do not want to return our parks to such a barren
landscape absent for centuries. We ask that you stop NAP from
destroying trees, spraying dangerous herbicides, ripping out
understory habitat, disrupting a healthy ecosystem that supports
hundreds of species, and restricting access to our city parks.