We always love going up to Twin Peaks, the place for the iconic view of our magnificent city. Recently, though, we were on a different mission: To look at Twin Peaks, not from Twin Peaks.
This is a “native area” – one where the nativists are attempting to “restore” the habitat to what it might have been a couple of hundred years ago. It could be an example of what Mt Sutro would look like if the Stewards’ hopes for “restoration” are achieved and the eucalyptus felled.
What we saw (once we ripped our eyes from the view) wasn’t encouraging.
Rockslides and erosion. In many places around the peaks, rock had slid down the mountain onto the road. It looked like enough to bury a car or take down a garage if it landed against a house (which fortunately don’t exist right there). There could be more after this winter’s rains – there are many bare areas.
The trash. It was all over, but particularly visible in the tinder-dry plants. (Is that the native coyote bush? Not sure.) Some of it was the kind of trash people leave when they visit a place – cigarette butts, plastic bags, wrappers. Some was thrown there.
Roundup and Garlon toxic herbicides. The ammunition in the constant battle for native plants. It has to be dumped over large patches of the mountain to keep down the weeds and save the native plants.
Weeds, dry vegetation, and de-vegetation: bare rock.
There wasn’t much wildlife – some Brewer’s blackbirds, some white-crowned sparrows, and this impressive butterfly. We looked it up. It’s an Anise Swallowtail. Its caterpillars live on non-native fennel. Oops.