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Crissy Bird Protection Area

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Joined: 29 Mar 1994
Posts: 159

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:44 pm    Post subject: Crissy Bird Protection Area Reply with quote

I have had calls from a few people who were told by rangers that they could not launch from near the old Coast Guard station. The waterbird protection area extends from the mine pier to approximately 700 east of the old Coast Guard station. The zone also extends 100 yards offshore. It is possible (but not necessarily practical) to launch and land on the west side of the mine pier or to launch from the beach between the Coast Guard station and the grove of trees on the beach. The beach immediately north of Sports Basement and the beach north of the next foot path to the west of Sports Basement would be clear of the exclusion zone.

The concept of the waterbird protection area was established at least as early as the 1994 Final General Management Plan Amendment. I believe that SFBA tried unsuccessfully to get a modification at that time and I have talked with the Park Service about trying to get some kind of exemption in the past. The idea of the protection area was pushed by a number of influential environmental groups such as Audubon and Sierra Club. The protection zone was entered into the Code of Federal Regulations, so changing it requires a formal process including public hearings. Trying to get a change of this sort going could meet resistance from the Presidio staff and might ultimately require an appeal to the Presidio advisory board. The environmental groups may oppose any changes even if the exclusion would seem overly broad. Obviously if there is a debate, it will be important to be able to explain why access near the old Coast Guard station is important, both in terms of allowing any kind of practical access on very hot days and in terms of safety.

Seasonal Exemption?

The early plans talk about protecting waterbird habitat during breeding and migratory seasons. Because the area is a general protection zone, rather than to protect a specific species, it may be hard to pin down what the window is for the breeding and migratory seasons. If there are months that are clearly outside the breeding and migratory seasons for waterbirds, it could make sense to try and establish a seasonal exemption. Another approach would be to argue for an access corridor where the road curves around the north end of the hanger buildings. This would create an access corridor where the beach is most busy and where there is probably the least habitat value, at least during the busy summer months. Mike Samols has said that he will make contact with National Park Service staff to further pursue an exemption or corridor.

Peter Thorner
San Francisco Boardsailing Association
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