The Rescue of Buckeye and Owl Canyons From Industrial Development

The Rescue of Buckeye and Owl Canyons

From Industrial Development

By David Schooley

When I was making connections with all these other environmental groups about the HCP I was trying to get help from other lawyer groups in San Francisco cause it was costing us too much money for Freund. And so I was spending a lot of time in the city and that’s where I met the guy from the Trust for Public Land and I took him for a hike. He and this  woman who worked with him, got all fascinated by Buckeye and Owl. And that’s when we programmed about the possibility for the purchase of that land from the quarry, through the bond act for the state. The Trust for Public Land also liked to be in-between and not in battle with others, so he suggested that we have a meeting first with the owners of the quarry. So we had a nice sweet meeting with the quarry owner, Mr. Bottoms, about a year before the bond act.

When I started working to save Buckeye and Owl, we were having our meetings in the Brisbane library. It was for free, then. And so we’d have 4 or 5  people, all from Brisbane. Cause the group working to save San Bruno Mountain has flown from people to people to people over the years. Some of em got tired.

We had meetings about the about the HCP, the horrors of it and the continued failure thereof. The City of Brisbane was there and my feeling was that saving Buckeye and Owl was a real critical thing. I had some friends in Sacramento. Merrill, he’s the guy who created this bond act business from his efforts with the State of California. I’d known him for 25 years from hikes on the mountain. He and I got together and there was a woman who got hired by Merrill who came to visit me to go for a hike in Buckeye and Owl Canyon for this possible bond act. She got all excited and interested, and her husband too. 

We also had to go to these critical meetings with the California State Park Department. And I took the State Park people for hikes on San Bruno Mountain, which was very important. They were all impressed. I took em all through Buckeye and Owl and they couldn’t believe it. Then we had to go to these meetings and make public statements and agreements with the State. 

They gave me all the details on what we’d have to do for the bond act. So the effort was to get a petition done and you have to get several thousand people to do it. We did a big huge effort for the bond act. It took the rest of that year to get signatures. We spent incredible amounts of time and energy going to all the shopping malls and horrible places like that. Spending hours and hours and hours. We were working to get signatures for the whole state. We went to a big fair near the San Francisco Zoo and we had 5 people. And we were always going to Golden Gate Park. Me and a couple other people would spend the whole day standing at the Bart entrance in Berkeley. So we destroyed ourselves and we had a real good number of signatures. It’s the same thing we had to do to save the Saddle Area—the Measure A bond act. 

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The Trust for Public Land was also involved. There had to be a careful setup with the county agreeing and the quarry owner Mr. Bottoms, who retired, was a nice sweet old man, and his wife. And there was a couple of people from the Trust for Public Land that I took for walks who got all excited. They really went for it. So we had a meeting in their office in San Francisco with the quarry guy Mr. Bottoms and his wife. And they took photographs and printed it out. And it was all in the right direction. It was all in the press. I sent out the press release. We had efforts for press things. Channel 7 came and I never got the tape. It was all lost. But that guy on Channel 7 who does weather, came up on San Bruno Mountain. And we all talked and he saw the shellmound and all the plants. 

Then the word spread out and Brisbane got involved. It was the first time since the HCP battle started that the City Council acknowedged San Bruno Mountain Watch existence. I’ve been at the bottom of Brisbane’s barrel for years. Because we were fighting their agreeing with the HCP. And I was and still am enraged at the co-creator—Freddy-poo. 

Fred Smith and Tom Adams were the creators of the HCP. They were the ones who came up with the idea and made connection with everyone involved and blossomed out the whole thing. And to think, our Original CSSBM advocated Freddy-poo be elected to the city council. When we did that, we thought we’re really on the move and he was gonna be the right man. 

More and more is happening to fight it. We had that meeting down in southern California last year and Leona Klipstein is preparing a whole thing and she sent me a copy. You should read through it. And some people back east are with us.


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