Andrew Carothers-Liske 
Member since Sep 9, 2014


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Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

As a longtime resident of Oakland, and the father of two daughters who are now high school students-- both keenly interested in ecological matters of moment, I can say that the environmentally-conscious side of their personal interests is due in large part to the unique attributes for self-discovery that many of our local open spaces afforded them for personal investigation and protracted observation of the natural world during the many outings my wife and I took with the girls during their childhoods. These are experiences that you cannot purchase a ticket for, they cannot be duplicated in a zoo, nor can you hope buy them in a restaurant that misguided Zoo Board Developers want to perch on top of unique California Bay Area habitat-- Regardless of how much energy and thought goes into the design of such a space the vision is myopic and commercial: zoos are fundamentally a contrived set of relations, and their ecology is not open, or even natural in any real sense.

We don't need a big theme park and restaurant plopped down at the top of the ridge in Knowland Park to tell us what the Bay Hills were like pre-contact, when the grizzly bear roamed the watersheds and salmon teamed in the streams. We have already destroyed that eden with our overdevelopment and avarice. Common sense tells us that all we need to do is keep the zoo contained within its current footprint and encourage people to explore and understand the intrinsic ecological mosaic that already exists in the sensitive habitat that is still there on the undeveloped acreage of Knowland's open upper reaches. The zoo and it's board needs to take a step back and consider the absurdity of what it is attempting to ramrod down the taxpayers throats. We don't want Jellystone Park and a cage full of grizzly bears and bison warehoused on a relatively unsullied existing open area whose unique attributes make it a last refuge for endangered species like the California Whip Snake.

The Zoo Board has attempted to sidestep and brush away the many legitimate concerns that clearly point to the fact that expanding the Zoo is not only a financial burden which is not best use of available resources, but more to the point, burgers and fries and stuffed animals made in sweat shops in China on the top of the Knowland ridge is not a sound ecological approach to stewardship of one of the East Bay's few remaining prime hills habitat. What we need to be doing it educating people and continuing to support native plant and animal species by monitoring and removing invasives ( Let's start with the Zoo Board-- get your hooks out of our publicly entrusted open park space here in Oakland)

As a resident of Oakland I am opposed to this misuse of our tax dollars for an ill-conceived and ecologically destructive "pet project." Native animals are already struggling for survival in the sensitive and largely degraded Knowland land habitat. The zoo board should focus on keeping the zoo where it is and improving its vision by evolving its mission inside the fence they've already erected on this piece of public land. It is our obligation to protect and enhance the native mosaic of biodiversity that is already there on the upper reaches of the park.

Andrew Carothers-Liske
Oakland, CA

33 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Andrew Carothers-Liske on 09/09/2014 at 11:30 PM

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