Parks protect open space, wildlife, and habitat, reserving land for conservation and recreational use, and offering solace from the stresses of “modern” life for all members of our society regardless of socio-economic status.
On the Western shore of Richmond lies Point Molate, a gem of open space. SPRAWLDEF is fighting along with the Richmond community to save this land as a park with its hills filled with wildlife including hawks and cougars, open space for future sports fields, and other recreational opportunities. SPRAWLDEF has funded lawsuits to stop the back room deals that Mayor Tom Butt has tried to engineer to allow for massive luxury housing development at the site. The site should be a regional park and is in the East Bay Regional Park District’s master plan for a park.
SPRAWLDEF’s lead attorney Norman La Force is fighting for Pt. Molate in coalition with the Sierra Club, Citizens for East Shore Parks (CESP), the Native Plant Society, and Friends of Molate Park, among others. For details, see Legal Defense Fund.
A second campaign in which SPRAWLDEF is playing a role is a critical long-term effort to reduce the fire risk in the Oakland/Berkeley hills by abatement of eucalyptus and other highly flammable non-native species on the regional park interface with residential areas. SPRAWLDEF advocated and with the Sierra Club created the 3R’s for reducing fire risk in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI)
The 3R’s are phased Removal of blue gum eucalyptus and other non-native fire fire dangerous trees and plans; Restore the native Oak-Bay woodland and grasslands which pose a reduced risk of fire, and thereby Re-Establish the prior native diversity in wildlife and habitat and endangered species. This will substantial lower the fire risk and cost far less to maintain. See the 3Rs Info Sheet.
SPRAWLDEF took on FEMA when it proposed granting FEMA Funds for vegetation management that simply thinned the blue gum eucalyptus plantations which would not reduce the fire risk and which would be far more costly for the affected public agencies like the East Bay Regional Park District and the Cities of Berkeley, Oakland, El Cerrito, and Richmond.