Our turnout for the Oakland Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission (PRAC) hearing Wednesday night (Oct 22) on whether to recommend that the City Council approve letting the Zoo take even more of Knowland Park was GREAT—well over 50 Park defenders showed up…and wow, were they powerful, articulate, and persuasive! The sea of blue Save Knowland Park t-shirts and buttons was every bit a match for the busload of employees and others the Zoo brought in (see photos here of the assembled crowd and of the zoo’s bus leaving afterwards). Almost all the speakers FOR the recommendation were zoo employees, with a few volunteers, though the great majority of speakers were fighting to save the Park. Continue Reading →
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You may have just heard about the new public poll we commissioned and its stunning results: A supermajority (75%) of likely Oakland voters say the Oakland Zoo should either not be allowed to expand into undeveloped parkland or that any expansion should be built within or near the existing Zoo, impacting the smallest amount of public parkland possible and minimizing impact to threatened plant and animal species. Continue Reading →
As you know, the zoo’s plan to use the most environmentally sensitive areas of the park that are located on the ridgeline is now running into trouble. Because the destruction of wildlife habitat is so severe and permanent, the wildlife regulators are requiring the zoo to make up for it by setting aside more than 50 additional acres of land. So, the zoo wants to take (for free) even more of our public Knowland Park (land that is already protected as parkland under the Deed of Transfer). This land would have all public access removed from it. This fiasco, as the Sierra Club said, has “gone from bad to worse.” Continue Reading →
The East Bay Express has published an in-depth article about the zoo’s expansion plans in Knowland Park called “Zoo Gone Wild.”
Oakland Zoo’s proposed expansion into Knowland Park goes from bad to worse
July 28, 2014
The Sierra Club has grown increasingly concerned about the California Trails exhibit that the Oakland Zoo proposes to build on the ridge line of Knowland Park. The City of Oakland approved the fifty-six-acre project in 2011 on a fifteen-year-old Mitigated Negative Declaration. Since then, however, the permitting agencies have provided significant pushback to the zoo’s claim that the project would have no significant environmental impacts. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recommended that the project be built within the zoo’s existing footprint to avoid significant impacts to rare plant communities and to the threatened Alameda whipsnake. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), meanwhile, sent the zoo’s application back to the drawing board, noting that the project is at best conceptual.
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