Today, only three natural freshwater lakes are left in San Francisco—Mountain Lake, Pine Lake, and Lake Merced. In 1995 the lakes were designated Significant Natural Resource Areas by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission. Their wetland fringes are an important component of the Pacific Flyway, providing quality refuge for birds in a densely populated urban area. While Lake Merced’s declining water levels have received some press attention, few people know that the health of Pine Lake and Mountain Lake are also in question due to human activity and urbanization. The Neighborhood Parks Council of San Francisco has published a report on the current and future status of these lakes, “Leaving a Lake Legacy: San Francisco Lakes in Peril.” For more information or to get a copy of the report, visit www.sfneighborhoodparks.org or contact Amber Rosenberg at (415) 621-3260.
Bay Nature magazine ◦ April-June 2003