Natural Areas Program video

A video about the Natural Areas Program, from SF Rec and Park. According to the video, the program is “a division of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department dedicated to the preservation of nature in the City. The Natural Areas Program, along with thousands of community volunteers, stewards San Francisco’s open spaces for the good of people and wildlife by restoring habitat, controlling erosion, maintaining trails and educating youth of all ages. Please join us by celebrating and preserving San Francisco’s biodiversity and natural heritage for generations to come.
For additional infomation please visit”



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18 responses to “Natural Areas Program video

  1. SNRAMP Reader

    This video is nauseating. It contains so many bold-faced lies that it makes the blood boil. Here is just a brief list of the lies in this video.

    The approved management plan (SNRAMP) for the Natural Areas Program makes the following WRITTEN commitments:
    NAP will close 9.2 miles of trails in the so-called “natural areas” and confine all recreational access to trails.
    NAP will remove 18,500 trees over 15 feet tall and countless smaller trees. It makes NO commitment to replace those trees. It specifically states that these areas will be converted to grassland and dune scrub.
    NAP uses pesticides to destroy non-native trees and vegetation which is not mentioned in this video. NAP sprayed pesticides in the natural areas 86 times in 2011 and is on track to double that number in 2012.

    Other conspicuous lies are as follows.
    The Mission Blue butterfly is not “thriving” on Twin Peaks. Four attempts have so far been made to reintroduce this endangered butterfly. So far only a handful has survived into the following year.
    There are not “thousands” of volunteers in the natural areas. There are many children who are essentially conscripts and their heads are being filled with unscientific nonsense about “biodiversity” which science defines as all species, whether native or non-native.

    How much of the taxpayers money was spent on this outrageous fantasy?

  2. SNRAMP Reader

    One more important point: SNRAMP does not say that any of the trees that it intends to destroy are hazardous or dying. In fact, it says specifically that the trees are being removed solely because they shade native plants which require full sun. The dune scrub and grassland which is the native landscape was virtually treeless and that’s the goal of the Natural Areas Program. Anyone who believes otherwise has not read SNRAMP.

    • Eileen

      I see this repeated over and over, and it’s so silly. Returning the city to dune scrub and grassland is not a goal promoted by any group in the city, period – not NAP, not the Native Plant Society, nobody. Maintaining some of the still-existing grasslands – like the one on Mt. Davidson’s east slope – is a goal; this is far, far from the wild-eyed notion that NAP wants to rip out lawns and forests and re-create sand dunes. And thinning stands of too-dense, unhealthy eucalyptus trees is not deforestation.

      • SNRAMP Reader

        READ the plan! It says repeatedly that the 1,100 acres of parks managed by the city of San Francisco will be “restored” to dune scrub and grassland. Yes, there are two small exceptions to that goal where oak woodland is the goal. Yes, the same oaks that are being killed by Sudden Oak Death.

  3. Anastasia Glikshtern

    How ‘natural’ is the program which ruotinely uses herbicides which are known carcinogens and are highly toxic even in smallest amounts? Do you know that according to the city records the amounts used by ‘Natural’ Areas Program have increased more than 300% from 2009 to 2011?

  4. Kudos to whoever made that video, it’s beautiful. It’s also extremely misleading. The Natural Areas Program isn’t preserving anything, it’s destroying trees and habitat, closing 9 miles of trails, and using pesticides (Roundup, Garlon, Aminopyralid, imazapyr) on a regular – and rising – basis. There will be no 1:1 replanting of trees. They’re planting shrubs like elderberry and counting them as trees. And they are not planted in the same place, often not even in the same park. In Glen Canyon, most of the promised “163 trees” are really large shrubs, not the majestic eucalyptus they are removing.

  5. Mic

    We’re hearing from the same zealots who want to save us from ourselves. Piling on with outrageous rhetoric about DRP “clear cutting the forest” underestimates the intelligence of the silent majority. Chill out, people and drink your tea. The sky is not falling, trails won’t be barricaded and the coyotes, butterflies and owls will be safe from the NAP.

    By the way, whoever got the idea that this is a *forest* issue rather than a *park* issue needs to get out of town and see how our national forests are maintained thru planned ‘cut and replace’ techniques. When we just sit back and let nature happen, the result will inevitably be a devastating fire burnout.

  6. Dolan Eargle

    Years ago I did some weed-pulling and some small clearing work with some NAPsters. Then they got terribly fixed and then expanded into an exploding mentality that that goes far beyond “preserving” to widespread destruction. They must be stopped.

  7. Kerry

    I almost lost my lunch after watching this sappy lying piece of garbage. They made a big mistake using the word “Biodiversity.” The grassy fields, waving in the breeze with children happily wandering about is certainly not what one might see in Glen Canyon. Take a look at the eastern slopes where these fantatics have literally stripped the hillsides of all living things except the wonderful Coyote Bush. No tall grasses, no happy children, just a poisoned, dead wasteland. Go look closely, folks. Hike up the trails and you will see a devistating array of black, dead plants that used to be the homes of many birds. No longer. 100% of the thistles have been poisoned. 99% of the wild plantain plants have been poisoned. All of the Sticky Monkey plants are dead. All of this poisoning has been done illegally, with no signs posted, warning of their intent to poison the land we walk on. I sent five pages of photographs to all the people in City Hall who should be concerned about this, documenting the destruction of our canyon. Even Mayor Lee, who lives among us, doesn’t give a damn. These people have way too much power with absolutely NO TRANSPARENCY. If we do nothing, they will destroy the beauty and ” Biodiversity” of all our parks and open spaces. I am very frightened.

  8. Eric

    I’m no fanatical treehugger but like most people I like trees. My children play in the park and I routinely jog there. My home is in GP and we pay our share of property taxes. When I read (actually read, Eileen and Mic) the DIER I was amazed to find a plan that would waste many tens of millions of dollars toward exactly what SNRAMP Read described.

    The public has no clue what’s going on with RPD because its management avoids communicating the facts and relies upon saccharine PR like this video to bolster its image. If the public knew the current RPD budget priorities there is no way Prop B would ever pass. The NAP program was given $900,000 from the previous bond for Glen Canyon Park while my youngest child’s toddler program at the GP rec center was discontinued and his Rec and Park teacher was laid off. NAP is evidently using this money to “improve” the park trails and have cut down healthy trees while doing so – however, they obviously left dead trees near the entrance? Bizarre. RPD is clearly disorganized and their priorities are clearly not mine. Even if you hate the eucalyptus it takes a real fanatic (or profiting consultant/company or NAP manager establishing job security with a “20 year plan”) to prioritize their removal over improved facilities, traditional recreation, and children’s programs.

    • Eileen

      Actually, I have read it, Eric and SNRAMP Reader. I can’t reply directly to SNRAMP Reader for some reason, so I’ll say it here: the 1,100 acres you refer to are the current number of acres that have been designated as natural areas – in other words, they are already either grassland, coastal scrub, oak woodland, whatever. NAP’s mission is to restore and and enhance those acres, not expand endlessly over parks and playing fields and the like. That’s why I say this “returning the Sunset to sand dunes” meme is ridiculous and hysterical – most of the Sunset is pavement, anyway, people! Get a life.

  9. Rather tellingly, both comments and ratings have been disabled on the actual Youtube video. SFRPD Cannot bear very much reality.

    • Mic

      Also rather tellingly -with one exception- the only multiple posters on this thread chose to do so anonymously. RPD doesn’t subscribe to the”reality” show version of voting, which allows voters to pile on as many posts/votes as they want. So I applaud RPD’s common sense decision in response to what you’re doing here.

      Just curious, how many of you anti-NAPsters are also against Prop B?
      You do realize these are two different programs, don’t you?
      Whether intentional or not, your efforts are only dragging down the prospects of Prop B which would provide funding for improved recreational facilities, which Eric says FA supports.

  10. Eric

    Mic, the sad fact is RPD is its own worst enemy – it has made many decisions over the last couple decades that have alienated many people. If it stuck to traditional recreation, enhancing the park experience for the mainstream public, and organizing children’s programs and youth sports, its public image would be in excellent shape. It is RPD senior management who set upside-down priorities across multiple projects and sub-departments. Seriously, can you imagine park departments in other cash-strapped big cities across the US saying to themselves – What we really need to do now is spend many tens of millions of dollars to cut down 18,500+ park trees and close 9+ miles of trails so we can establish native gardens? 20 neighborhoods sent a resolution to RPD and City Hall to stop NAP excesses – does RPD management change its course? And this is just one sub-department – NAP. What about the park ranger overtime scandal? Looks like that department has some serious ethical hygiene issues that are not being addressed (at least according the the Guardian). The public doesn’t like it when RPD allocates substantial funds for fringe programs while laying off park workers. Instead of listening to public opinion RPD pumps out fluffy videos devoid of facts for its supporters in the GPA to pump out to GP citizens.

    Glen Park has deserved an upgraded rec center and playground for years – my kids would love a new playground – everyone will benefit from a new rec center. That doesn’t change the fact that the buck stops with RPD senior management; if prop B doesn’t pass and we don’t get our much needed park upgrades it is nobody’s fault but RPD.

  11. Mic

    There you go again. I wasn’t going to respond to your confusion about the spending restrictions imposed on Prop B *capital improvement* funds, but since you insist on gnawing on that bone… Those “traditional recreation and children’s programs” that you refer to must be funded by the city’s general fund or special private bequests, NOT by Prop B. Please don’t mislead others into thinking that this bond money can be spent on top management salaries or even local recreation directors – it can’t.

    Obviously no one thinks the RPD walks on water. This often-dysfunctional department has delayed maintenance in our canyon for the last 30+ years and they’re more than willing to walk away and focus on neighborhoods that have got their act together. Apparently you’re willing to cut your children’s noses to spite their faces. No updated playgrounds for them. And your teenagers will have to take their chances playing ball in seismically-unsafe structures and flooded ball fields because it’s more important to teach RPD a lesson. Really?

    As your children get older you’ll realize that time is not on our side. Responsible adults need to make tough choices that rarely get them everything they want. Part of being an adult is learning the art of compromise and teaching your kids how to get along, including the neighborhood bully if there is one. By the way, I really didn’t mean to come off as condescending here, but If I did, I’m sorry. Let’s just agree to disagree and let others vote their conscience, based on verifiable facts – and nothing else.

    Mic Ames

    GPA Environ Committee Chair and
    GPA Corresponding Secretary

  12. Shelley

    I feel compelled to leave another positive comment in support of NAP here. I am an ecologist, and appreciate even the small fragments of natural area that we have left here in the city. If you know plants, you would also be thrilled to see rarer ones like columbine growing in the restored section of Islais Creek in Glen Canyon, or the goldenrod in the natural area on Mt. Davidson that I saw this weekend, and all the spring wildflowers in April. I applaud their efforts to keep the Mission Blue and Green Hairstreak butterfly populations from dying off in San Francisco.

    Also, the video clip of the kid in the spiderman costume pulling radish is priceless.

  13. Ted Edwards, Glen Park

    So where is the arm of the Glen Park Association that should be calling for moderation of NAP in Glen Canyon? Just whose interests does this organization represent? There are clear signs that the community does not want the NAP to move forward with its full plan in Glen Canyon, and to keep saying that the community process decided on it disregards the building momentum that very clearly signals significant opposition. We can all argue on these pages until the cows come home but the time is nearing for the Glen Park Association to decide if it’s going to unite the community or let it bitterly divide to serve a narrow focus. Ted.

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