For Immediate Release
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San Francisco, CA - 18-September-2011. A coalition of environmental and social justice groups are calling on the City of San Francisco to support proposed legislation that would close the city's Sharp Park Golf Course and turn the management of the Sharp Park Wetlands over to the National Park Service. The wetlands, which are regularly drained by the city to improve golfing conditions, are home to two federally endangered species, the California Red-Legged Frog and the San Francisco Garter Snake. On top of violating environmental requirements by killing protected wildlife, the city-subsidized golf course -- located in San Mateo County -- has been under constant scrutiny because it loses the city money every year, even as the city cuts important programs in San Francisco.
The proposed legislation was prompted by the request of 1,359 supporters of the Santa Cruz-based environmental conservation group SAVE THE FROGS!, who sent letters to the City of San Francisco asking them to save the wetlands; and 100 supporters of the Wild Equity Institute, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity and HOMEY, who attended the Save The Frogs Day "Endangered Species, Endangered Community" Rally at the steps of City Hall on April 29th. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote October 24th, 2011 on the legislation put forth by Supervisor John Avalos', who announced his support at the Save The Frogs Day Rally.
Amphibian populations in California and worldwide have been declining at unprecedented rates, and 16 species in the state are threatened with extinction. To create dry land on which to play golf, the City drains the Sharp Park Wetlands out to sea, killing federally endangered California Red-Legged Frogs in the process. So far this year, over 100 of the frogs' egg masses have had to be re-located as their water bodies dried up. The City is currently being sued by the Wild Equity Institute, Center for Biological Diversity and other groups for its failure to adhere to environmental regulations under the Endangered Species Act. The red-legged frogs, made famous by Mark Twain in "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", were nearly eaten to extinction by the California gold miners in the late 19th century. They have completely disappeared from most of southern California, but hang on -- for now – in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Kerry Kriger, Ph.D.
SAVE THE FROGS! Founder, Executive Director and Ecologist
Phone: (831) 621-6215
Any photo from savethefrogs.com can be used; credit should be given to savethefrogs.com. High resolution images available upon request.
SAVE THE FROGS! (http://savethefrogs.com) is America’s first and only public charity dedicated to amphibian conservation. The mission of SAVE THE FROGS! is to protect amphibian populations and to promote a society that respects and appreciates nature and wildlife.