Golden Gate National Recreation Area

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Golden Gate National Recreation Area
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
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View of the Golden Gate from Lands End
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Golden Gate NRA
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Golden Gate NRA
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Golden Gate NRA
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Golden Gate NRA
Location San Francisco Bay Area, California, United States
Nearest city San Francisco, California
Coordinates 37°47′N122°28′W / 37.783°N 122.467°W / 37.783; -122.467 Coordinates: 37°47′N122°28′W / 37.783°N 122.467°W / 37.783; -122.467
Area82,116 acres (332.31 km2) [1]
EstablishedOctober 27, 1972
Visitors12,400,045(in 2020) [2]
Governing body National Park Service
Website Golden Gate National Recreation Area

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is a U.S. National Recreation Area protecting 82,116 acres (33,231 ha) of ecologically and historically significant landscapes surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area. Much of the park is land formerly used by the United States Army. GGNRA is managed by the National Park Service and is the most visited unit of the National Park system in the United States, with more than 15 million visitors a year. It is also one of the largest urban parks in the world, with a size two-and-a-half times that of the consolidated city and county of San Francisco.

Contents

The park is not one continuous locale, but rather a collection of areas that stretch from southern San Mateo County to northern Marin County, and includes several areas of San Francisco. The park is as diverse as it is expansive; it contains famous tourist attractions such as Muir Woods National Monument, Alcatraz, and the Presidio of San Francisco. The GGNRA is also home over 3,000 plant and animal species, [3] encompasses 59 miles (95 km) of bay and ocean shoreline and has military fortifications that span centuries of California history, from the Spanish conquistadors to Cold War-era Nike missile sites.

History

The park was created thanks to the cooperative legislative efforts of cosponsors Congressman William S. Mailliard (R-San Francisco) and Congressman Phillip Burton (D-San Francisco). The plan for a non-contiguous national recreation area was conceived by Dr. Robert Busha, an administrator in Mailliard's Washington office, as a way to circumvent the prevailing limitation that national park property should be contiguous. In 1972, President Richard Nixon signed into law "An Act to Establish the Golden Gate National Recreation Area." The bill allocated $120 million for land acquisition and development. The National Park Service first purchased Alcatraz and Fort Mason from the U.S. Army. Then to complete the national park in the north bay, the Nature Conservancy purchased the land in the Marin Headlands that made up the failed development project called Marincello from the Gulf Oil Corporation. The Nature Conservancy then transferred the land to the GGNRA. These properties formed the initial basis for the park.

Throughout the next 30 years, the National Park service acquired land and historic sites from the U.S. Army, private landowners and corporations, incorporating them into the GGNRA. The acquisitions range from the historic Cliff House restaurant and Sutro Baths in San Francisco, to large and expansive forest and coastal lands, such as Sweeney Ridge in San Mateo County and Muir Woods National Monument in Marin. Many decommissioned Army bases and fortifications were incorporated into the park, including Fort Funston, four Nike missile sites, The Presidio and Crissy Field. The latest acquisition by the National Park Service is Mori Point, a small parcel of land on the Pacifica coast.

In 1988, UNESCO designated the GGNRA and 12 adjacent protected areas the Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve.

In February 2005, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation in the United States Senate that would add 4,700 acres (1,900 ha) of natural land to the GGNRA in San Mateo County including a 4,076 acre parcel known as the Rancho Corral de Tierra. The property, located south of Pacifica and surrounding the communities of Moss Beach and Montara, is home to many diverse plant and animal species. The bill passed in the Senate, but did not pass the House of Representatives.

On December 9, 2011, Rancho Corral de Tierra was transferred from the Peninsula Open Space Trust to the GGNRA and the National Park Service. [4]

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San Francisco Bay, and the city skyline seen from Marin County in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Locations in the park

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Marin County

Camping sites

Bicentennial Campground arranged around a small clearing, with each site accommodating a maximum of two people. Bicentennial Campground San Francisco.JPG
Bicentennial Campground arranged around a small clearing, with each site accommodating a maximum of two people.

Camping Information for the GGNRA

  • Bicentennial Camp - open year-round, three 3-person sites, no pets or fires, stoves ok
  • Hawk Camp - open spring and summer, three 4-person sites
  • Haypress Camp - open spring and summer. Five sites. 4 campers maximum per site
  • Kirby Cove Camp - open Daylight Saving Time period, March–November, five 10-person sites and one 35 person Day Use site.

Youth Hostel

Hostelling International USA (part of Hostelling International) maintains the Marin Headlands Hostel located in a historic military hospital in the Marin Headlands

San Francisco

Camping sites

  • Rob Hill Group Camp - open April through November, $125/night, two 30-person public sites, each with four parking spaces, must be reserved three days in advance with the Presidio Trust.

San Mateo County

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Sweeney Ridge

See also

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Nike Missile Site SF-88

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Sutro Heights Park

Sutro Heights Park is an historic public park in the Outer Richmond District of western San Francisco, California. It is within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Sutro Historic District.

Fort Baker Former US Army base on the Golden Gate

Fort Baker is one of the components of California's Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Fort, which borders the City of Sausalito in Marin County and is connected to San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge, served as an Army post until the mid-1990s, when the headquarters of the 91st Division moved to Parks Reserve Forces Training Area. It is located opposite Fort Point at the entrance to the San Francisco Bay.

Presidio Fire Department

Established in 1917, the Presidio Fire Department provides primary emergency response to the Presidio of San Francisco.

Founded in 1981, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit cooperating association that supports park stewardship and conservation in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area—the most visited national park in the U.S.

Marincello

Marincello was a failed development project in Marin County, California that would have put a planned community atop the Marin Headlands, overlooking the Golden Gate. Its upheaval set the precedent for Marin County's rigid anti-development stance and push for open space.

Fort Funston

Fort Funston is a former harbor defense installation located in the southwestern corner of San Francisco. Formerly known as the Lake Merced Military Reservation, the fort is now a protected area within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). It was named in honor of Frederick N. Funston (1865–1917), a Major General in the United States Army with strong connections to San Francisco, and included several artillery batteries. The fort is located on Skyline Boulevard at John Muir Drive, west of Lake Merced.

Sutro District National Park Service historic district in western San Francisco within the GGNRA

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Brian ONeill (superintendent) Golden Gate National Recreation Area Superintendent

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Kirby Cove Camp Campground in California, United States

Kirby Cove Camp is a campground and scenic area managed by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) in the Marin Headlands, California. It is located at sea level below Conzelman Road, which leads from the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge up and along the Marin Headlands overlooking the Golden Gate strait that leads into San Francisco Bay. A road behind a locked gate leads to Kirby Cove from just beyond Battery Spencer, the first set of bunkers encountered from Highway 101 at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Fort Cronkhite

Fort Cronkhite is one of the components of California's Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Today part of the National Park Service, Fort Cronkhite is a former US Army post that served as part of the coastal artillery defenses of the San Francisco Bay Area during World War II. The soldiers at Cronkhite manned gun batteries, radar sites, and other fortifications on the high ridges overlooking the fort.

References

  1. "Listing of acreage – December 31, 2011" (XLSX). Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-03-20. (National Park Service Acreage Reports)
  2. "Annual Visitation Highlights". nps.gov. National Park Service. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  3. "iNaturalist: GGNRA". iNaturalist.
  4. "Rancho Corral de Tierra Transferred to Golden Gate National Recreation Area - Golden Gate National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  5. Hamlin, Jessie. (Oct. 17, 1999). San Francisco Chronicle. Coming Up - What's New This Week: ART: Visions of Preservation Sunday Datebook section, Page 11.
  6. Heid, Matt (2003). Camping and Backpacking the San Francisco Bay Area. Wilderness Press. p. 54. ISBN   0-89997-295-0.
  7. "Sutro Heights History - Golden Gate National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov. Archived from the original on 2016-06-09.
  8. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-11-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. Rancho Corral de Tierra: Fact Sheet - Golden Gate National Recreation Area Archived 2012-07-17 at the Wayback Machine . Nps.gov (2013-07-14). Retrieved on 2013-07-21.