San Francisco’s Mountain Lake, neglected and degraded through centuries of urbanization, became a cesspool of invasive wildlife, toxic algae blooms, and poor water quality. Many native species that depended on the lake succumbed to local extinction, pushing the lake’s health further past the precipice. Beginning in the early 21 st century, the newly formed Presidio National Park began to actively shift the ecological trajectory by restoring the health and function of the lake. From terrestrial and aquatic vegetation to wildlife reintroductions and stormwater runoff management, join Presidio Trust Wildlife Ecologist Jonathan Young as he journeys through the socio-ecological past, present, and future of Mountain Lake.
Jonathan Young, a native southern Californian, began his relationship with the Presidio restoring habitat as a volunteer in 2010. During a three year stint as a Presidio ecological restoration intern, Jon completed his Master’s degree studying amphibian conservation and disease ecology at San Francisco State University. Throughout this time is when he became intimately involved in the Mountain Lake project. Upon completing his graduate studies he became the first Presidio Trust staff member fully dedicated to the park’s wildlife and has been continuing to build the Presidio’s wildlife program over the last five years.