Federal Court Supports SF Rec and Park’s Motion to Dismiss Sharp Park Claim
The Court concluded Wild Equity Institute’s claim moot
SAN FRANCISCO – The Northern California Federal District Court has dismissed Wild Equity Institute’s claim against the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. In March 2011, Wild Equity Institute filed a lawsuit alleging the Department’s operations and activities at Sharp Park violate the Endangered Species Act. The Court concluded that plaintiffs’ claims are moot, in light of a permit that SF Rec and Park received from the federal Fish & Wildlife Service authorizing continued golf course operations and maintenance at Sharp Park.
“The Federal Court’s decision validates the Department’s efforts and ability to protect wildlife in our park system,” said, Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “We will continue our park management and operations that offer the balance for healthy recreation and wildlife protection.”
SF Rec and Park has been in close consultation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for many years to ensure that endangered species continue to thrive at Sharp Park. On October 2, 2012, the FWS issued its final Biological Opinion which analyzed the effects of SF Rec and Park’s Sharp Park Pump House Safety and Infrastructure Improvement Project, the ongoing golf course maintenance and operations, and the Department’s restoration activities. The FWS concluded that the Project, as proposed, is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the California red-legged frog or San Francisco garter snake, and issued an Incidental Take Statement authorizing the Project as well as continued golf course operations and maintenance at Sharp Park.
As a result, Federal Court ruled that Wild Equity Institute’s claim alleging violations of the Endangered Species Act is moot.