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7 Things You Can TELL NAP

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Silence is Compliance

7 Things you can TELL NAP

Natural Areas Program Management Areas Plan (NAPMAP) Public Comments
Must be postmarked by Thursday July 28, 2005

1. ISSUE: Cost of NAP and accountability
--NAP currently costs almost $1,000,000/year, and receives additional funding through the Capital Projects division of Rec and Park.
--NAP encompasses over 1,000 acres of park. Currently each NAP gardener has over 100 acres to maintain.
--NAP recognizes that it cannot maintain all sites and that the greatest amount of attention will be the high priority sites (MA1 and MA2). However, MA1 and MA2 still comprise over 600 acres, i.e. more than 50% of NAP acres
--NAP maintains that volunteers will help maintain these sites. However, only about dozen of the 31 sites have stewardship groups. The majority of volunteer hours are donated by school groups and other one-time volunteers. Volunteers enjoy building sites and planting, but it is difficult to recruit for long-term weeding and other routine maintenance tasks.
--Many NAP sites have been planted but are now neglected, overgrown, weedy plots.
--NAP maintains that grants will help maintain these sites. However, these grants are not identified and "future grants"are not a dependable source of funding

--Recreational needs should receive priority, i.e. people before plants in urban parks.
--NAP must provide detailed long-term plans that state the funding, staff and volunteer hours, and other resources needed to create, maintain and monitor each site. Competing Rec and Park programs and facilities are also in dire need of staff and funding (e.g. athletic fields, recreational programs, day camps, building and equipment maintenance, watered and mowed lawns, accessible trash cans, clean restrooms, etc). Until detailed NAP plans are available, NAP actions should not be initiated, and sites should remain as open space but not designated as NAP acres.

2. ISSUE: Introduction of "sensitive" species
--NAP can introduce "sensitive species" even if there is no record they ever existed at that site.
"Sensitive species"can be defined by the Audubon Society, California Native Plant Society, and Sierra Club
--The presence or introduction of sensitive species can result in loss of recreational access.

--Do not introduce new species into the park. NAP was designed to protect remnants, not to recreate nature preserves.
--"Sensitive species" should be defined only by Federal and State statues on Endangered Species, not by private clubs such as the Audubon Society, CNPS and the Sierra Club.

3. ISSUE: Removal of cats
--NAP will remove cats (NAP General Recommendation GR-7, page 5-6). The plan cites studies that are not scientifically sound (i.e. not peer-reviewed) and that were done in rural and island sites, not dense urban parks. If NAP traps cats, which may include feral as well as roaming pet cats, the majority of these cats will not be adoptable, i.e. they will be killed.
--Cats are currently part of the urban ecosystem and may help keep rodents in check.
--The SPCA Feral Fix Program has successfully reduced the number of feral cats in a humane manner.

--Delete General Recommendation GR-7 (removal of cats) from the Plan.

4. ISSUE: Removal of non-native wildlife and plants.
NAP proposes the removal of non-native animals such as turtles, frogs, and non-native trees such as the blue gum eucalyptus. People enjoy their local wildlife, the trees have high aesthetic value, and many of the non-native plants provide protection against erosion and against fire hazards (as contrasted to native grasses and shrubs). Scientific studies must be conducted at park sites and there must be a clear benefit BEFORE controversial actions are taken. In many cases, the existing ecosystem works fine and shouldn't be tinkered with.

--Non-native wildlife and plants can co-exist with native species. Do not remove them.

5. ISSUE: Reduction in off-leash recreation
NAP proposes changes to off-leash dog recreation (legal DPA and de facto areas). For example, the Bernal Hill DPA will be reduced by 20%. Changes are also proposed at McLaren Park and the Golden Gate Park DPAs.

--Off-leash dog recreation and the native remnants have co-existed for decades.
--No restrictions until there is scientific evidence documenting a detrimental impact of off-leash recreation and until all other measures (i.e. trail borders, erosion controls, etc.) have been attempted to mitigate any impact.

6. ISSUE: Herbicides: NAP has stated that 2% of staff time is spent administering herbicides.
--Although herbicides are widely used throughout the park system, the use of herbicides in Natural Area sites is new. These are previously neglected sites which were not maintained as weed-free. The Precautionary Principle, adopted by the SF Dept of Environment, indicates that in the absence of data, one selects the safest option. Since there is a lack of scientific data supporting the safety of herbicide formulas (glyphosate and additives) we should not expose park visitors to unnecessary risk.

--Do not use herbicides in the Natural Areas.

7. ISSUE: Response to Public Comment
--NAP has stated public comment will be "incorporated as appropriate." Who decides what is appropriate? The citizens or NAP staff and its consultant? Given the impact of this 20-year NAP plan and the history of Rec & Park's lack of response to public comment, it is important to demand that revisions of the NAP Management Plan address public concerns from the Public Comments form, as well as previous comments about NAP from letters to RPD, Supervisor hearings, PROSAC and other public meetings.

--Public concerns must be heavily weighed.
--Ask NAP to contact you regarding your comments.

--Include your NAME and contact information (optional, but helpful). Also you might write about which parks you visit, how you use the parks, personal experiences, etc.
--Write about General ISSUES that concern you
--Write about Specific Concerns, for example:

Pine Lake Park: Do not create a Western Pond Turtle Habitat. Do not introduce rare plant species such as the SF Gumplant, or Lessingia, Do not restrict dogs from going into the lake.

Bernal Hill and McLaren Park: Do not reduce the Dog Play Area

Send your comments to:
NAPMAP, SF Rec and Park Dept., 501 Stanyan St, SF CA 94117 or e-mail:
or FAX: 661-1979, Attention NAPMAP

RECOMMENDED that copies be sent to:
Mr. Yomi Agunbiade, Acting General Manager, SF Rec and Park Dept., 501 Stanyan St, SF CA 94117
or e-mail or FAX: 661-1979, Attention: Yomi Agunbiade

Margaret McArthur, Park & Recreation Commission Liaison, SF Rec and Park Dept., 501 Stanyan St, SF CA 94117, or e-mail: or FAX: 221-8034

And e-mail a copy to SFDOG:

For more information: see NAP RAP: Telling it like it is, i.e. FAQ, NAP's dirty little secrets, Your Park, Maps & contacts.