Rewilding San Francisco pt. 1

Many more people want to address environmental issues than in past generations. Especially here in San Francisco, a city known for it’s environmental activism. However, few know exactly how to tackle this hot button issue. Many of us recycle as well as choose the “green” option while shopping, which although are both valid and extremely important efforts,  these address very human issues like consumerism.  There are so many more aspects to environmentalism to consider, such as the well-being of the animals that live among us and in the surrounding areas. download

So what can we do on a larger scale to really make a difference? Can humans learn to exist in the natural world again as well as coexist with nature?  While the field may be young, there is compelling scientific evidence that rewilding is our answer. Rewilding is an aggressive approach that would involve increased day-to-day interaction with wildlife yet less human interference in nature; thus rehabilitating once dwindling ecosystems. This project has less to do with humans saving the environment and more with the radical notion of allowing nature to take back what was once wild.

Rewilding projects have already launched to restore national parks around the world and there are numerous proposals to initiate rewilding on abandoned farmland in Europe. But that is not enough. Think of rewilding as Un-domesticating, an undoing of some of man’s work; not to move backward in time, but rather to ensure a thriving future for generations to come. What is more domesticated than a bustling city? We’ve built our own forest of concrete and glass but at the expense of the lives and habitats of countless other species. That is why action must be taken to combat and prevent any more of the damage that has been done.

I believe that San Francisco is a choice candidate for rewilding land. As one of the greenest cities in America, San Francisco is an example for the rest of the world to follow when it comes to environmental sustainability. We have the attitude, all we need is the plan. What I am proposing is a three part plan that is already going into

English Bay, Vancouver
English Bay, Vancouver

effect in Vancouver, a city in the process of rewilding itself. The steps are: 1. Designate special wild places in the city 2. Incorporate nature into everyday life 3. Create a system that is effective in leading and maintaining these rewilded areas (City of Vancouver, 2015).  This plan has been positively received by the public after an exhibit opened in 2014 chronicling the atrocities committed by humans against the natural life once abundant in the area.  I will further explain this proposal in greater detail in subsequent posts.  But with this plan we can better understand our relationship with animals by recognizing the natural history of the San Francisco Bay Area.  We can repair our relationship with the world so that it is once again a mutually beneficial one. Rewilding may be relatively new and sill yet an unknown choice but I hope that with time and more knowledge that can be changed and as a result we can live on a wilder, healthier planet.


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