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California red-legged frog. Photo credit: Jamie Bettaso/Save the Frogs.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted last week to transfer management of the Sharp Park golf course to the National Park Service starting what may be a final showdown pitting environmentalists who want the course shut down in an effort to protect the endangered California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) and the San Francisco garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia) against golfing interests that wish to keep the golf course open for business. The vote, 6-5 in favor, as reported by SFGate, does not specifically mandate for the closing of the golf course, which is built on wetlands, but opponents of the transfer say that would be the outcome.
Meanwhile, environmental groups are upset that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, whom they claim is an avid golfer, is refusing to meet with them to discuss the recently passed legislation. According to Save the Frogs, one of the groups that pushed to get the legislation passed, the golf course loses $100,000 a year to keep in operation, and the practice of pumping the wetland's water out to sea to improve course playing conditions contributes to the demise of the California red-legged frog by sucking the tadpoles out to sea and stranding egg masses on the course as the water is pumped out. And as the frogs go, so does the San Francisco garter snake, which relies on the frog as its primary food source. The mayor's office has not yet responded to a query by ReptileChannel. For those residents of San Francisco who wish to get their voices heard, you can contact the mayor's office directly at (415) 554-6141. They will ask if you are for or against a veto. This story will be updated in the event that Mayor Lee responds.
For more on this ongoing story, visit the links below:
The CA Red-Legged Frog and Frisco Garter Snake Are Coexisting with Golfers at Disputed Park, Judge Rules
San Francisco Residents to Have say on Red Legged Frog and San Francisco Garter Snake Habitat