Tuesday, December 30, 2008


2009. What lies ahead? A large hotel and a contemporary art museum in the center of a national park and a national historic landmark? The path open for more wealthy donors to build their personal dreams in a park that belongs to all of the people? The present proposals and the revisions we are told to expect in January will continue to endanger the Presidio's status as a national park. If it to continue as a national park, it must be managed to the standards of a national park. Every action that the Presidio Trust Board takes that impairs the historic resources of the Presidio is one step closer to the Presidio's losing its status as a national park and national historic landmark. There are people in San Francisco and in Washington who would be delighted to see that happen. Some don't want the Presidio to be governed by national park rules, but to be a gorgeous vacant lot upon which they can build their fantasy of the moment. Others probably think that they could profit from such a development. Still others think that they can manage the park functions of a national park better than the men and women of a Park Service that has nearly 100 years of experience and proud tradition as custodian of America's national parks.

All the public - even those who admire Mr. Fisher's art collection- cannot find a single reason why the Fisher Museum has to be in a national park rather than in the thriving, arts-loving city nearby. That is because a contemporary art museum is alien to the values of the Presidio. It expresses the values of a modern city. It makes the Presidio someplace that is fundamentally different than when it was designated a national historic landmark.

So, how can we continue to keep the pressure on to save the Presidio? Write now to Congresswoman Pelosi to express your outrage that this struggle is still going on. Ask on what authority the Presidio would be a part of the only national park in the nation with a newly built contemporary art museum, when no other national park would have such an alien activity forced upon it. Ask her why the Presidio believes that it is not required to follow the laws concerning the protection of national park resources that guide all other other national parks. Does she support that position? Was the intent of Congress in the Presidio Trust Act for the Presidio to be in the parks system, but not follow the rules that define what a national park is? Is or is not the Presidio a national park? Send a copy of your letter to .

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