An ordinarily routine legislative resolution, Members Resolution No. 976, to honor the 80th anniversary of the Sharp Park Golf Course (see April 27 article), has become a political hot potato, with revelations that Sen. Leland Yee’s signature was used without his authorization.
In a letter to Sierra Club members the senator wrote: “The language of the resolution implied my support for keeping the golf course as it currently is. This language was not cleared by my office, nor does it accurately represent my position on Sharp Park. While my signature was on the resolution, it was electronically generated and not approved by my office.
“As I have stated many times in the past, and as recently as last Fall, I believe we must do more than we are currently doing at Sharp Park to reduce impacts on the habitat. This has always been my position, and it continues to be my position. I believe we have an obligation to protect the Red-Legged Frog and the San Francisco Garter Snake as we do all endangered species and I eagerly anticipate the court’s ruling on the matter.”
Michelle Myers, director of the Sierra Club’s San Francisco Bay Chapter, stated: “The Sierra Club and other community organizations are in court, struggling to protect the endangered species at Sharp Park. To try to drag Sen. Yee’s name in the mud, and make it appear that he supports the current abuses at the park, is reprehensible.”
In March the Sierra Club, along with the Wild Equity Institute, Center for Biological Diversity, National Parks Conservation Association, Surfrider Foundation, and Sequoia Audubon Society, sued the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department for many years of violations of the Endangered Species Act at Sharp Park.
Sharp Park Golf Course faces crumbling infrastructure, annual flooding problems, and ongoing environmental violations. Dozens of San Francisco community, recreation, environmental, and social-justice groups are calling for a more sustainable public park at Sharp Park. In December San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee vetoed city legislation that would have created a long-term solution for Sharp Park by transitioning management to the National Park Service’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area, not only protecting endangered wildlife but also improving recreation and public access and saving San Francisco taxpayers’ money.
Michelle Myers, chapter director, Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter