Action timeline

2005-2008 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service documented that San Francisco Park Department golf course operations at Sharp Park, such as draining and pumping aquatic habitats and mowing fairways, were illegally killing California red-legged frogs and San Francisco garter snakes.

September 24, 2008 – The Center filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the City of San Francisco for illegally killing and harming California red-legged frogs and San Francisco garter snakes at the Sharp Park golf course, in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act. With a coalition of conservation groups, we called on San Francisco to close the money-losing golf course, cease harming endangered species, restore Sharp Park to its natural state as a coastal wetland, and provide more diverse recreational opportunities for the public at the site.

May 2009 – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a Sharp Park restoration planning ordinance directing the Park Department to develop a plan, schedule and budget for restoring endangered species habitat at Sharp Park, as well as to consider whether to transfer the property or develop a joint management agreement with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Pacifica or San Mateo County.

August 19, 2009 – A group of prominent scientists sent a letter to the San Francisco Park Department urging restoration of wetlands habitat at Sharp Park for the benefit of the endangered species at the site, contending that current golf-course management activities were incompatible with restoring healthy populations of these endangered species. Community, conservation and recreation groups also weighed in advocating for a no-golf alternative.

November 2009 – The San Francisco Park Department released a deeply flawed, incomplete alternatives report for restoring Sharp Park in an attempt to continue status-quo golf operations at the site. The Department downplayed the significant environmental impacts of those operations and falsely inflated the cost estimates for habitat restoration.

December 2010 – After nearly 4,000 online comments submitted by Center supporters, an attempt by Congresswoman Jackie Speier and the city of San Francisco failed to pass an amendment that would have allowed the allocation of federal funds toward protecting the golf course instead of restoring wetland habitat.

February 10, 2011 – A new report by independent scientists and engineers said that the most cost-effective option for Pacifica's Sharp Park was to remove the golf course and restore the functions of the original natural ecosystem, which would also provide the most benefit to endangered species.

March 2, 2011 – The Center and allies filed suit against the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department for continuing to kill endangered San Francisco garter snakes and threatened California red-legged frogs at Sharp Park.

May 2011 – San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos called for legislation to close the Sharp Park golf course, manage the site as open space and partner with the National Park Service to restore endangered species habitat there.

September 26, 2011 – The Center and five other conservation groups filed a court motion seeking a preliminary injunction to restrict the illegal pumping of water from Sharp Park wetlands and to prohibit harmful mowing and motorized golf-cart use on nine golf course holes near wetlands.

December 6, 2011 – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 6-5 to consider a management agreement with the National Park Service for Sharp Park.

March 2, 2012 – The Center and allies asked for a court order to hold the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department accountable for illegal activities at Sharp Park Golf Course, just weeks after the Department was caught killing threatened California red-legged frogs there for a second year in a row. 

April 26, 2012 – U.S. District Judge Susan Illston rejected the City of San Francisco's attempt to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the Center and allies over the ongoing killing of red-legged frogs at Sharp Park Golf Course. 

January 7, 2013 – After the Fish and Wildlife Service found that pumping water from wetlands, habitat alteration, mowing, gopher control, and other activities at the Sharp Park golf course had been hurting and killing California red-legged frogs and San Francisco garter snakes, the Center and allies filed a legal appeal to secure essential protections for the species.


Photo of Sharp Park by achesonblog/Flickr.