San Francisco's Ecological Crisis:
The City's Biodiversity in Jeopardy
San Francisco's remaining natural wonders are in peril.
Many ecological, political
& cultural factors severely impact our city's natural areas &
biodiversity and acutely threaten their long-term survival.
· The City's wildlands and
watersheds are severely fragmented.
· Invasive plants severely impact and degrade the health of San Francisco's natural areas.
· Ecologically insensitive uses of open space negatively impact local biodiversity & watersheds via pollution and erosion of soil and geologic resources.
· Most of San Francisco's abundant indigenous water resources are channeled into the combined sewer and storm-water system, literally wasted, when they could be enjoyed by wildlife and people.
Political and Institutional
· Public natural resource
management agencies - such as the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Natural Areas Program - budgets are
constantly being slashed.
· Resource agencies, between and within jurisdictions, practice very little collaboration and thus are unable to plan and manage our ecosystems according to a holistic, watershed approach.
· Some agencies do not even manage their natural areas for biodiversity conservation.
· Urban planning and development for automobiles and parking lots.
Social and Cultural
· Many San Franciscans are unaware of their
local biodiversity and watershed.
· A small subset of San Francisco's wildlands and natural areas benefit from locally-based community stewardship groups. Places like Bayview Hill, Twin Peaks, Laguna Honda, Lobos Creek and Yerba Buena Island still need their own local neighborhood groups if their delicate webs of life are to survive.
· The idea that humans are separate from nature permeates modern society; many people still think that nature can only exist and/or be experienced at large nature reserves like Yosemite or Point Reyes and that we cannot interact positively and harmoniously with nature in the city.
· In fact, many modern humans are culturally disconnected from nature's web of life; we no longer define ourselves in relation to the ecological community from which we originate and which gives us life.