To all of you who enjoy this beautiful town's outdoor treasures by biking, hiking, walking the dog, surfing, or just strolling the beach: How many times have you been forced to go another way, or have your pet attacked by an off-leash aggressive dog, or been screamed at by some disrespectful punks for commenting about the leash law ?
There was a severe example of this recently at Mori Point. A woman walking her dog on leash was accosted by four young thugs who screamed obscenities at her, threatened her small dog with their large off-leash pit bull, and laughed at this woman's terror.
After I intervened, which caused them to turn their wrath away from the woman and onto me, she had a chance to escape down the stairs. These punks came after me, forcing me to back down the trail and run for safety.
Rather than confront such bullies, call Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) and report these situations. The direct line to the park ranger dispatch line is 415-561-5505. The ranger in charge of our area is Officer Durham and his direct line is 415-561-5190.
Instead of risking your life and your pet's life, call these numbers and report what is going on. Try safely to get good descriptions or pictures so we can help make our town safer for all of us.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) announces the transfer of 3,800-acre Rancho Corral de Tierra from Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) to the National Park Service (NPS). The new park is off Highway 1, south of Devil’s Slide between Montara and El Granada, under the shadow of Montara Mountain. The property features rolling hills, hidden vales, and coastal vistas.
“We are pleased that Congress has provided funding to complete the purchase of Rancho Corral de Tierra,” says GGNRA Superintendent Frank Dean. “This magnificent parcel adds to the region’s protected open space, and helps extend existing national parklands on Milagra Ridge and Sweeney Ridge southward in the coastside of San Mateo County. Thanks to the vision of POST, this remarkable parcel—and its breathtaking coastal views, ecologically vital watersheds, and miles of public trails—were protected and preserved for all. We look forward to continuing our work with the coastside community in planning for Rancho Corral de Tierra as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.”
One of the largest swaths of undeveloped land on the San Mateo County coast, the rancho once had been envisioned to become a patchwork of private subdivisions, “ranchettes,” and golf links. POST has a history of working with NPS to extend GGNRA down the San Francisco Peninsula. POST President Walter T. Moore says, “I’m thrilled to see Rancho Corral de Tierra officially become part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. We are honored to be able to add almost 4,000 more acres of parkland for the public to enjoy. It is a testament to the beauty and ecological significance of this land that it is now a national park.”
Highlights of Rancho Corral de Tierra include: * Dramatic ascent of 2,000-foot-high Montara Mountain * Scenic viewshed for California State Highway 1 * Multiuse trail segments for hikers, bikers, and equestrians * Headwaters of four important watersheds (Martini, Montara, San Vicente, and Denniston creeks) * Riparian, coastal scrub, and coastal chaparral habitats supporting diverse array of animals and plants
Transforming the property into a park is just beginning. In coming months, NPS will work with local communities and public land agencies on the coastside to develop maps and signage for the existing network of trails, and develop a long-term plan for the new national park. Visitors to Rancho Corral de Tierra should be aware that the stables and farms in the area (Ocean View Farms, Cabrillo Farms, Renegade Ranch, Ember Ridge, and Moss Beach Ranch) are working operations. Visitors should not enter these properties or approach the animals without permission.
CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE: Boardwalk crosses wetlands and ponds at Mori Point GGNRA south of Sharp Park Golf Course. In the distance is the levee (berm) holding back the Pacific Ocean. (Bob Pilgrim photo)
A recent study by the National Parks Conservation Association asked how much revenue national parks in California contribute to local communities. The answer is in the millions, from $3 million at Pinnacles National Monument to $83 million at Point Reyes National Seashore. Endorsed by dozens of California businesses and chambers of commerce, the study infers that Pacifica would enjoy, conservatively, $7 million a year. Click link to read the full report: National Treasures as Economic Engines—The Economic Impact of Visitor Spending in California's National Parks http://www.npca.org/pacific/economic_report/
The Mori Point elevated trail (above) and pond overlook are now complete. Thank you for your patience and support these past few months. It’s been a great project, and we’ve enjoyed sharing our time and work with you at beautiful Mori Point. In the next few months, we will install a few more benches and interpretive signage along the trail corridor, but most important, we need volunteers to help plant thousands of native wetland and coastal scrub plants in the areas around the new trail. These plants are essential to the diverse wildlife at Mori Point, providing food and shelter for frogs, snakes, lizards, rabbits, birds, insects, and other critters. If you are interested in helping with planting this winter, click http://www.parksconservancy.org/help/volunteer/habitat-restoration-monitoring/park-stewardship-2.html or contact Price Sheppy at 415-561-3073 or firstname.lastname@example.org. (The Mori Team: National Park Service [Golden Gate National Recreation Area--GGNRA], Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and community volunteers like those pictured below)
The storm last week delayed construction, so we’ll be working 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) instead of four. We are also extending our work hours from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (instead of 5:30 p.m.). We will limit loud equipment use during the last hour so as not to disturb our neighbors. On Tuesday, October 27 from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Old Mori Road, the back Pollywog Path, and part of the meadow loop (Lishumsha Trail) will be closed, for one day only, as we complete drainage improvements that you’re sure to appreciate all winter long! You still may enter the park at the Upper Trail (by Moose Lodge) and the seawall that day. All project work should be completed and all trails open by mid-November. Thank you for your patience and support. We look forward to seeing you on the trails!
Greetings, Mori Point Friends and Neighbors: Nearly a month has passed since our last update and much has happened! Work on the Upper Trail was completed a few weeks ago, and the trail is open and ready for you to enjoy. Last week we removed the staging area from the Upper Trail entrance cleaned out a dump-truck load of trash and debris, mulched for erosion control, re-installed directional signs, and placed boulders at the entrance to ensure that motorists do not mistake the trail for a road. The majority of work in the last month has focused on the elevated trail (or boardwalk) between the ponds. Recently, you may have seen that the elevated trail framework is completely in place! Over the last 4 weeks we have installed all the supports and have built two earthen island overlooks/ seating areas. Over the next few weeks all of the decking and hand rails will go in. Next we’ll install the Upper (Meadow) Pond Overlook. From here you’ll be able to watch frogs, snakes, dragonflies and other wildlife visiting the waters. The overlook will include a bench and will be accessible via a gently sloped trail or by stepping up from the boardwalk. During the last week of October we will be cleaning up the project area and getting it ready for its debut. If all goes according to plan you will be able to walk on the new trail before the month is over! Thanks for your patience and support! We hope you will enjoy the new trail and overlooks. [Susie Bennett for The Mori Point Planning Team]
Some Riptiders persist in the myth that Pacifica city money was used for the Mori Point project. A snide remark here, a faint suggestion there, and soon you have a campaign issue. Here is the breakdown on what the project cost, where the money came from, and who worked on it. Congress member Jackie Speier's office requested this information from the staff of the Golden Gate Recreation Area. The contact person for this information is Christine Powell, Public Affairs Specialist, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Park Service, office 415-561-4732, fax 415-561-4353, cell 415-559-8596. The project is funded from several sources (no City of Pacifica funds were used): ARRA funds, private donors, foundations, corporations. The breakdown between the ARRA funds and the remaining funds in the project is noted below. The total cost of the project is $2.1M, with $780 K coming from ARRA funds.
ARRA Only: $780K Funding 5 BioMonitors 2 Public Information Contact Staff 2 Project Managers 14 Contractors: Water Quality Monitoring, Biologist, Invasive Plant Control 23 Total Jobs
Total Mori Point Project: $2.1 million 5 BioMonitors 2 Public Information Contact Staff 2 Project Managers 7 Construction Crew 17 Contractors: Water Quality Monitoring, Biologist, Invasive Plant Control, Construction 10 Youth Interns 2 Conservation Corps of the North Bay Supervisors 13 San Francisco Conservation Corps 58 Total Jobs
I’m sure by now you’ve probably noticed the big changes at Mori Point. We’re removing the artificial berms on either side of Mori Road, installing an accessible elevated trail near the ponds to improve the visitor experience, and restoring an eroded slope along the Upper Trail. For more details and maps, you can look at our flier, posted on-site and at http://22.214.171.124/dynamic/subpages/image_1_3059.pdf. So far, we’ve cleared vegetation in the project areas and biological monitors have been hard at work excavating rodent burrows looking for snakes, frogs, and other critters. Snake exclusion fencing (with exit funnels) will ensure that snakes and other wildlife won’t enter our project area while we’re working with heavy machinery. We’ve just begun removing the artificial berms (and uncovering lots of discarded relics from Mori’s more raucous past.) We’ve temporarily widened the Upper Trail to allow dump trucks in to restore an eroded slope with the soil removed from the berms along Mori Road. For your safety, the part of Mori Road between the ponds will be closed until the elevated trail is completed in the fall. You may use the Lishumsha Trail (that loops around the meadow) during this time to reach the beach and the Point. Also, we need to close some trails while we’re using them to transport soil. This means the park entrances by the Moose Lodge (Old Mori Road and the Upper Trail) will be closed on weekdays, Monday through Thursday during our work hours of 6:30 AM-5:30PM. These closures should only last about a month and a half. The entrances along the Sea Wall and the south side of Mori Point will remain open all summer. Thanks for your patience during this busy season! I’m including some photos showing a gopher snake (above) that biomonitors rescued from a burrow. and a pile of old metal (below) we unearthed near Old Mori Road. (We think that’s an old car chassis and the frame of an old dirt bike (with a padlock still attached!) Please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at email@example.com or call me at 415-561-3054 for more information. See you in the park!
Susie Bennett Project Coordinator and Wildlife Monitor, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy http://www.parksconservancy.org[nonprofit partner of the Golden Gate National Parks] office: (415) 561-3075
cell: (415) 683-8459
fax: (415) 561-3010 [and
the Mori Point Team: Kate Bickert, Caroline Christman, Christina
Crooker, Sharon Farrell, Darren Fong, Sue Gardner, Steve Griswold, and
I was stunned to read in this morning's San Francisco Chronicle (May 14) that Brian O'Neill, Superintendent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, had died. He was a key person in bringing the GGNRA into Pacifica and the inclusion of Mori Point in the GGNRA.
"Get a load of the prepped-out dude with helmet hair," says Peter Loeb of this Bob Pilgrim photo showing the young Pacifica mayor speaking at Sweeney Ridge GGNRA dedication ceremony in 1984. Loeb rode up to Sweeney Ridge in a car with S.I. Hayakawa (above, right), who fell asleep in the car, which he was famous for doing. Peter says he can't remember who the gent on the left was. Anybody remember him???
Susie Bennett of GGNRA passes along this message from the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (SFRPD) about Mori Point’s neighbor: Sharp Park Golf Course and surrounding area. Please note that SFRPD likely will access Horse Stable Pond from the sea wall (also known as the levee and the berm). For more information, please contact Lisa Wayne at Lisa.Wayne@sfgov.org or 415-831-6326. ================================
This fall, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (SFRPD) plans to remove the tire corral at Sharp Park in Pacifica, California. The purpose of the project is to reduce blight and restore the site to pre-tire conditions. The tire corral is located between Mori Point and Sharp Park Golf Course, immediately north of Mori Point Road and east of the pump house at Horse Stable Pond. The tire corral was used to exercise horses until 1988 at which time then City Attorney Louis Renne issued a cease and desist order to the horse stable operator. The abandoned tire pile, which is estimated to contain approximately 3,000 tires, is also considered to be refuge and basking habitat for the endangered San Francisco Garter Snake (SFGS). The Sharp Park Tire Removal Project will include clearing an access route to the tire pile, moving the tires by hand and/or small vehicles to a staging area, loading the tires on to trailers, hauling the tires to a rubber recycling facility, and restoring the site. As part of the conditions of the project, a Biological Monitor will be on site during all phases of the project and the tire corral will be replaced with small brush piles to mitigate the loss of SFGS refuge and basking habitat. This project is being performed in coordination with the National Parks Service, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game, and the City of Pacifica. The project is anticipated to begin on September 29 and is expected to take approximately three weeks to complete. The regular project work hours will be Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please contact Lisa Wayne at Lisa.Wayne@sfgov.org or 415-831-6326.