Field of Lupins at Knowland Park

Field of Lupines in the Knowland Park Grassland Spring 2013 photo: Mack Casterman

In March, the Oakland Zoo submitted a Biological Assessment to the Regulatory Agencies as part of their permit process for their proposed expansion project in Knowland Park. Unfortunately, the Zoo omitted any mention of the rare maritime chaparral plant community that would be impacted by the project. This omission came in spite of the fact that the top state vegetation ecologist visited the site with Zoo personnel and confirmed the occurrence in person. In response to this omission, EBCNPS submitted a detailed report last month, including a legal letter, to the agencies documenting the “denial and disappearance” strategy that the zoo is using to try to gain its permits.

You can view a copy of EBCNPS’s report to the regulators here: EBCNPS Letter to Agencies RE Oakland Zoo 2013 Biological Assessment

And a copy of the accompanying legal letter from our attorneys here: Legal Letter to USACE and CDFW re Oakland Zoo expansion

Included in EBCNPS’s report package to the agencies was an extensive review by wildlife biologist, Dr. Shawn Smallwood, of the highly flawed Alameda whipsnake portion of the zoo’s Biological Assessment.

The Center for Biological Diversity concurred with this analysis and submitted a letter of its own to the agencies, urging that they withhold permits from the project.

We will be following up our letter with actions in which the public can become involved.  Stay tuned to this website in the coming weeks for our next steps.