Save Endangered Plant From Being Bulldozed for a Parking Lot

SFLessingiaByLeaSuzuki

Target: Daly City, California Mayor, Gonzalo “Sal” Torres

Goal: Preserve habitat for the endangered San Francisco Lessingia plant.

A crucial remaining portion of the habitat for an endangered plant is scheduled to be developed for the expansion of a private school facility and parking lot. Lessingia germanium, commonly known as the San Francisco Lessingia, is a rare plant species protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

One of the plant’s last remaining habitats in the world is a parcel of sand dunes in Daly City, California. Over three acres of dunes on the western slopes of the San Bruno Mountain have already been preserved as part of the San Mateo County Parks system.

Formed many thousands of years ago during the Pleistocene, the Daly City Sand Dunes are unique and the oldest on the San Francisco Peninsula. The dunes and surrounding areas are home to an array of rare plants species, as well as butterflies and lizards. This natural area is not only ecologically and geologically significant, but it can serve as an important educational resource for generations to come.

The development of this parcel of sand dunes would divide the San Francisco Lessingia’s habitat and contribute to its decline. Preserving the dunes will not only help protect the several fragile species that live there, but will also provide green open space access to residents of a densely populated suburban area.

The portion of the sand dunes up for development is also of great cultural importance. Located on the dunes is an Ohlone Indian Shellmound and possibly a burial site. The shellmound is registered by the State of California and is considered sacred by the Ohlone people and others.

Adequately protecting this sacred land and the fragile species that live there involves a high level of work and cooperation. Sign the petition below to become part of an important movement to save a threatened species and its habitat.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mayor Torrres & Daly City Council Members,

The remaining parcel of the Daly City Sand Dunes that is privately owned and scheduled for development should be preserved and incorporated into the San Bruno Mountain County Park. This act of conservation will help protect endangered species, sacred sites, and offer much-needed green open space to residents.

The section of dunes planned for the development of school facilities and a parking lot is one of the last remaining habitats for the endangered San Francisco Lessingia plant. Preserving these dunes will aid in the restoration of vulnerable species and provide more adequate protection to nearby sites, sacred to the Ohlone people. The incorporation of the dunes into the park system will provide a continuous stretch of trails for recreational use by visitors and will be of high educational value.

I urge you to offer compensation to the current owners of the dunes who are planning development so that this land can be protected in the public sphere and used as an example for conservation across the nation. Please work with the San Bruno Mountain Watch organization and San Mateo County officials to stop development that threatens the biodiversity of the community.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Lea Suzuki, SF Chronicle

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