Articles+-+2009+Final+Exam - PUBPOL 201 Final Exam Articles...

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PUBPOL 201 Final Exam Articles Packet Article 1 Board backs nature and golf at Sharp Park Rachel Gordon, Chronicle Staff Writer Sunday, December 20, 2009 One of the Bay Area's most impassioned political showdowns involves snakes, frogs and golfers - and a whole lot of interest from local, state and federal officials. The focus is on Sharp Park, an 18-hole golf course located in the seaside city of Pacifica but owned and maintained by San Francisco. The popular course serves as an important habitat for the federally protected San Francisco garter snake and the red- legged frog - the former an endangered species, the latter threatened. San Francisco is under fire from federal wildlife authorities to restore and preserve the habitat of the vulnerable creatures so they don't become extinct. San Francisco reached an important milestone Thursday when the Recreation and Park Commission voted 6-0 to endorse a plan that would restore habitat and move some holes but not shutter the 77-year-old course. The decision, lauded by golfers, angered environmentalists and also set the stage for more battles and more hard work - specifically clearing regulatory hurdles and finding the political backing and financing for the plan. Cheapest of 3 options "Our recommendation, which calls for significant habitat improvements while preserving an 18-hole golf course at Sharp, is a clear environmental win that also recognizes a very legitimate recreational use," said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. "It also turns out to be the least expensive," he added. The project price: $5.9 million to $11.3 million. The city examined three options: -- Close the golf course and fully restore the natural habitat. -- Shorten the course to nine holes and rehabilitate the upland and wetlands home for the frogs and snakes. -- Retain the 18-hole golf course but modify the design to keep golfers away from the most vulnerable wetlands and make improvements to the habitat. Parkland vs. golf Environmentalists hope to revert the golf course to natural parkland and perhaps have it added to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. They have aligned with San Francisco park activists who don't want to see the city's limited recreation and park funding spent on a resource in another county. "We are spending millions of dollars and proposing to spend millions more on a golf course in suburban San Mateo County right at a time when we're proposing 30 percent cuts in our urban neighborhood parks, our recreation centers and our open spaces right here in our backyard," said Brent Plater, executive director of Wild Equity Institute. "That is an unjust solution." Golfers, however, applauded the recommendation to keep intact the Depression-era public course, which last year hosted 54,000 rounds of play. They have joined forces with San Mateo County and Pacifica officials.
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2012 for the course PUBLIC POL 201 taught by Professor Paulcourant during the Fall '11 term at University of Michigan.

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Articles+-+2009+Final+Exam - PUBPOL 201 Final Exam Articles...

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