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University of California Berkeley 

Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

California Water Resources Oral History Series 


Interviews with 

Howard L. Cogswell 

John M. Thorpe 
Robert C. Douglass 

Steve Foreman 
Karen G. Weissman 
Peter C. Sorensen 

Carl G. Wilcox 
Roberta G. Cooper 

Janice Delfino 

Interviews conducted by 

Malca Chall 
in 1996, 1997, and 1998 

Copyright o 2000 by The Regents of the University of California 

Since 1954 the Regional Oral History Office has been interviewing leading 
participants in or well-placed witnesses to major events in the development of 
Northern California, the West, and the Nation. Oral history is a method of 
collecting historical information through tape-recorded interviews between a 
narrator with firsthand knowledge of historically significant events and a well- 
informed interviewer, with the goal of preserving substantive additions to the 
historical record. The tape recording is transcribed, lightly edited for 
continuity and clarity, and reviewed by the interviewee. The corrected 
manuscript is indexed, bound with photographs and illustrative materials, and 
placed in The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, and in 
other research collections for scholarly use. Because it is primary material, 
oral history is not intended to present the final, verified, or complete 
narrative of events. It is a spoken account, offered by the interviewee in 
response to questioning, and as such it is reflective, partisan, deeply involved, 
and irreplaceable. 


This manuscript is made available for research purposes. All 
literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, 
are reserved to The Bancroft Library of the University of 
California, Berkeley. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for 
publication without the written permission of the Director of The 
Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley. 

Requests for permission to quote for publication should be 
addressed to the Regional Oral History Office, 486 Library, 
University of California, Berkeley 94720, and should include 
identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated 
use of the passages, and identification of the user. 

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows : 

To cite the volume: The Baumberg Tract: From the 
Proposed Shorelands Development to the Wetlands 
Restoration (Eden Landing Ecological Reserve), 1982- 
1999, an oral history conducted in 1996, 1997, and 

1998, by Malca Chall, Regional Oral History Office, 
The Bancroft Library, University of California, 
Berkeley, 2000. 

To cite an individual interview: [ex.] Howard L. 
Cogswell, "College Professor, Ornithologist, Active 
Citizen," an oral history conducted in 1996 and 1998 
by Malca Chall in The Baumberg Tract: From the 
Proposed Shorelands Development to the Wetlands 
Restoration (Eden Landing Ecological Reserve), 1982- 

1999, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft 
Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2000. 

Copy no. 

Cataloguing information 

x, 393 pp. 

Interviews with eleven persons involved in controversy over plans to build 
a racetrack and business park (denied) on a wetland site along the Hayward 
shoreline and approval to restore it as a wildlife sanctuary. Leslie Salt 
Division (Cargill Corporation); environmental regulations; compilation of 
Environmental Impact Reports / Statements ; correspondence, memoranda, 
research papers appended. Interviews with: Howard L. Cogswell (b. 1915), 
retired professor, ornithologist; Janice Delfino (b. 1926), community 
activist; John M. Thorpe (b. 1932), developer; Roberta G. Cooper (b. 1937), 
mayor of Hayward; Robert C. Douglass (b. 1943), property manager, Leslie 
Salt Division, Cargill; Steve Foreman (b. 1953), Karen G. Weissman (b. 
1947), environmental consultants; Peter C. Sorensen (b. 1950), staff, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service; Carl G. Wilcox (b. 1950), staff, California 
Department of Fish and Game. Unreviewed draft transcripts of interviews 
with Carolyn Cole and Richard Murray are available for research in The 
Bancroft Library. 

Interviewed 1996-1998 by Malca Chall, Regional Oral History Office, 
The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. 


PREFACE by John Letey, Jr. i 

INTRODUCTION by Malca Chall iv 


College Professor, Ornithologist, Active Citizen 






Salt Production and the Leslie (Cargill) Salt Company 5 

Wetlands and the Public Trust Doctrine 10 
The Proposed Shorelands Development: Howard Cogswell s Interest 

and Analysis 12 

Defining a Wetland and Consequent Mitigation Requirements 16 

Agencies Involved in the Complex Permitting Process 20 

Baumberg Tract Restoration Plan the Result of Mitigation 23 

Early Interest in Birds 29 
Whittier College, 1947-1948 33 
UC Berkeley, 1948-1952; 1962 33 

Mills College: Assistant Professor, 1952-1964 36 
National Science Foundation Fellowship: Pennsylvania State 

University, 1963-1964 38 

Site Studies with Starlings 40 

California State University at Hayward, California, 1964-1980 43 
Studying Garbage Dumps, Birds, and Airports: Howard Cogswell 

Learns to Fly 45 

Author, Water Birds of California 55 

Early Studies of Water Birds in the Hayward/San Leandro Area 56 

John Thorpe s Mitigation Proposals for the Shorelands Project 59 
Plans for the Baumberg Tract Restoration Project 61 
Helping to Set Bay Area Regional Wetlands Goals 64 
Analyzing Environmental Regulations for Environmental Protection 65 

The Shorelands Project: The Unattained Vision 





The Maternal Side: The Schwabs 81 

The Paternal Side: The Thorpes 81 


Herman Mark and Albert Einstein 90 


Winning Important Lawsuits 93 

Workman s Compensation 93 

The National Assessors Bribery /Property Tax Scandal: 

The California Class-Action Suit and Its Reward 93 

Long-Term Interest in Property Development 96 

From Whence the Special Thorpe Spirit? 97 


Working with the Leslie (Cargill) Salt Company 102 

The Response of the City of Hayward 104 

The Baumberg Tract: Marginal Open Space Value 105 


DEFEAT, 1982-1992 118 

The Basic Plan 118 

Problems with the Environmental Community 122 

Plans for the Racetrack 12A 

The City of Hayward: A Roadblock 127 

Attempts to Overturn the Jeopardy Opinion of 1987 129 

Meetings with Representatives of Environmental Agencies 131 

Attempts to Solve the Predator Problem 133 
Lack of Support from the City of Hayward: Thorpe Drops the 

Shorelands Project, 1992 133 
The Finances: The Limited Partnership, Bankruptcy, and 

Subsequent Continuing Litigation 134 
John Thorpe s Personal Loss: The Historic House, the Classic 

Cars 139 

Background on Interested Commercial Developers for Shorelands 141 

More on the Racetrack 142 

The Corps of Engineers 143 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 145 

The State Department of Fish and Game 146 

The Bay Conservation and Development Commission 146 

The East Bay Regional Park District 147 

The Media 148 

"The Wild Edge" TV Documentary on the Baumberg Tract 148 

The Cargill Company (Leslie Salt Division) and the Shorelands Project 




Background: Education and Career with the Cargill Company 156 
John Thorpe Takes an Option on Leslie (Cargill) Salt Property 

to Build the Shorelands Project 158 

Major Problems Concerning Mitigation 160 
Environmental Agencies: Their Mission, Their Personnel, and 

Their Effect on Local Control 163 

Local Activists and the Environment 166 

Cargill Accused of Reconstructing the Land 167 

The City of Hayward and the Shorelands Project 168 

The End of the Stretch for the Shorelands Project 169 
Baumberg Tract Purchased by the California Wildlife 

Conservation Board, 1996 170 


Principal Author, "Biological Assessment for the Proposed Shorelands 

Project," 1987; Project Manager, Baumberg Tract Wetlands Restoration 






Background: Education and Career 179 

Requirements for the Environmental Impact Reports/Statements 183 

Interpreting the Endangered Species Act 188 

Mitigation and Jeopardy 192 

Trying to Achieve a Balance Between Habitat and Species Needs 196 

Predation and the Fences 197 

Further Research: Reconsidering Mitigation and Jeopardy 199 


Acquisition by the California Wildlife Conservation Board 201 
The Selection Process: RMI Wins the Bid; Steve Foreman 

Project Manager 203 

Restoration Project Staff 205 

Many Factors Involved with Restoration 206 

Other Restorations Projects Around the Bay 212 

Final Biological Assessment and Mitigation Plan for the Shorelands 
Project, 1988-1990 



Karen Weissman s Background and the Origin of Thomas Reid 

Associates 219 
Establishing Contact with John Thorpe and the Shorelands 

Project 220 

Preparing for the Task Ahead 224 

Overcoming the Hurdles: Mitigation Due to Loss of Wetlands Area 225 

Planning and Working Toward a Successful Outcome 227 
Habitat Mitigation Issues: The Snowy Plover, the Salt Marsh 

Harvest Mouse, the Clapper Rail, the Least Tern 228 

The Concern for the Future of Wetlands 230 

Attempts to Control Predation of the Clapper Rails 232 

The Second Draft Jeopardy Opinion Means Defeat for the 

Shorelands Project 236 

The Frustration of a Consultant Failing to Reach the Desired 

The Current Status of the Baumberg Tract 

Examining the Processes Required to Restart the Project 239 

Critique of Government Environmental Regulations in General 

and on the Shorelands Project in Particular 242 

Author, Jeopardy Opinion on the Shorelands Project 



Background: Education and Career with the U.S. Fish and 

Wildlife Service 249 

The Shorelands Project: Interagency and Other Contacts 250 
Mitigation Concerns for Shorelands: Legal and Scientific 

Considerations 253 

Reviewing the Environmental Impact Report /Statement 254 

What Constitutes Jeopardy of an Endangered Species? 255 

Predation: Everyone s Concern 257 
Response to Arguments Regarding Non-Jurisdiction on the 

Baumberg Tract 

Analyzing the Government s Role in Protecting the Environment 259 

Jeopardy Opinions and the Process, 1987, 1990 261 
Looking Back on the Shorelands Project and the Ramifications 

for the Bay Area Environment 265 

The Baumberg Tract Wetlands Restoration Project 



Background: Education and Career Path to the California State 

Department of Fish and Game 274 
Department of Fish and Game: Lead Manager for Review of the 

Shorelands Project 

The Shorelands Project: An Ill-Conceived Plan 277 

Developers and Environmental Regulations 279 

Development Plans for the Oliver Property 281 
The Baumberg Tract Wetlands Restoration Project: Carl Wilcox, 

Project Manager 282 

Site Selection 283 

Fixed Commitments for the Species Habitats 284 

Funding for Restoration and Long-term Management 287 

Additional Constraints 288 

The Public Comment 290 

The San Francisco Bay Area Wetlands Goals Project 292 

Historic Preservation and the Baumberg Tract 294 

The Hayward City Council and the Shorelands Project 




Background: Education, Career and Route to Mayor of Hayward 301 

The Shorelands Project 303 

Early Considerations 304 

Final Decisions of the City Council 307 
The Ballot Measure HH and Land Use Plan on the Weber Tract and 

Oliver Properties 308 

The Role of the City Managers and the Shorelands Project 310 

Activist for the Environment 





Education and Career in Nursing 317 

Genesis of Activism for the Environment 319 


The Hayward Area Shoreline Planning Agency [HASPA] 323 

John Thorpe and the Shorelands Project 324 

The Public Trust Issue 329 

The Eventual Purchase of the Baumberg Tract for the Wildlife 

Restoration Project 330 

Analyzing the Restoration Project 332 


The Value of Vernal Pools 339 

Opposition to "Re-creating" Creeks 340 

Roberts Landing: The Toxic Soil Issue 342 

Citizens for Alameda s Last Marshlands [CALM] 345 

The Suit Against Leslie (Cargill) Salt Company 346 
Save San Francisco Bay Association, The San Francisco Airport, 

and Other Matters 348 



Map 1 355 

Map 2 356 

Map 3 357 

Map 4 358 



A Pages Selected from the Biological Assessment and Mitigation 

Reports of WESCO [Western Ecological Services Company] and TRA 
[Thomas Reid Associates] for the Proposed Shorelands Project 362 

B The Leslie Salt Division of the Cargill Company: Its History; 

Current Legal, and San Francisco Airport Issues 370 
C The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge; 

Bair Island; The Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center 377 

D Proposition HH 381 

INDEX 390 


The Water Resources Center of the University of California 
established a California Water Resources Oral History Series in 1965, to 
be carried out by the oral history offices at the Los Angeles and 
Berkeley campuses. The basic purpose of the program was to document 
historical developments in California s water resources by means of tape 
recorded interviews with men who have played a prominent role in this 
field. The concern of those who drafted the program was that while the 
published material on California water resources described engineering 
and economic aspects of specific water projects, little dealt with 
concepts, evolution of plans, and relationships between and among the 
various interested federal, state, and local agencies. 

To bridge this information gap, the Water Resources Center, during 
successive direction of Professors Arthur F. Pillsbury, J. Herbert 
Snyder, Henry Vaux, Jr., Don Erraan, and John Letey, Jr., has provided 
funding in full or in part for interviews with individuals who have been 
observers and participants in significant aspects of water resources 
development . 

Interviewees in the Berkeley series have been pioneers in western 
water irrigation, in the planning and development of the Central Valley 
and California State Water Projects, in the administration of the 
Department of Water Resources, and in the pioneering work of the field of 
sanitary engineering. Some have been active in the formation of the San 
Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission; others have 
developed seminal theories on soil erosion and soil science. But in all 
cases, these individuals have been deeply concerned with water resources 
in California. 

Their oral histories provide unique background into the history of 
water resources development and are valuable assets to students 
interested in understanding the past and in developing theories for 
future use of this essential, controversial, and threatened commodity- 
water. Bound copies of these oral histories are preserved and made 
available to the public by the Water Resources Center Archives and The 
Bancroft Library located on the Berkeley campus. 

John Letey, Jr., Director 
Water Resources Center 

March 2000 

University of California, Riverside 


April 2000 

The following Regional Oral History Office interviews of have been funded in 
whole or in part by The Water Resources Center, University of California. 

Banks, Harvey (b. 1910) 

California Water Project. 1955-1961. 1967, 82 pp. 

The Baumberg Tract: From the Proposed Shorelands Development to the Wetlands 
Restoration (Eden Landing Ecological Reserve). 1982-1999. Interviews 
with Howard L. Cogswell, John M. Thorpe, Robert C. Douglass, Steve 
Foreman, Karen G. Weissman, Peter C. Sorensen, Carl G. Wilcox, Roberta 
G. Cooper, and Janice Delfino. 2000, 393 pp. 

Gianelli, William R. (b. 1919) 

The California State Department of Water Resources. 1967-1973. 
1985, 86 pp. 

Gillespie, Chester G. (1884-1971) 

Origins and Early Years of the Bureau of Sanitary Engineering. 
1971, 39 pp. 

Harding, Sidney T. (1883-1969) 

A Life in Western Water Development. 1967, 524 pp. 

Jenny, Hans (1899-1992) 

Soil Scientist, Teacher, and Scholar. 1989, 364 pp. 

Langelier, Wilfred F. (1886-1981) 

Teaching, Research, and Consultation in Water Purification and Sewage 
Treatment. University of California at Berkeley. 1916-1955. 
1982, 81 pp. 

Leedom, Sam R. (1896-1971) 

California Water Development, 1930-1955. 1967, 83 pp. 

Leopold, Luna B. (b. 1915) 

Hydrology, Geomorphology , and Environmental Policy: U.S. Geological 
Survey. 1950-1072. and UC Berkeley. 1972-1987. 1993, 309 pp. 

Lowdermilk, Walter Clay (1888-1974) 

Soil, Forest, and Water Conservation and Reclamation in China, Israel. 
Africa, and The United States. 1969, 704 pp. (Two volumes) 

McGaughey, Percy H. (1904-1975) 

The Sanitary Engineering Research Laboratory; Administration. Research, 
and Consultation, 1950-1972. 1974, 259 pp. 


Robie, Ronald B. (b. 1937) 

The California State Department of Water Resources. 1975-1983. 
1989, 97 pp. 

The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. 1964-1973. 

Interviews with Joseph E. Bodovitz, Melvin Lane, and E. Clement Shute. 
1986, 98 pp. 

The Central Valley Project Improvement Act Oral History Series 

Beard, Daniel P. (b. 1943) 

Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992: The 
Role of George Miller. 1996, 67 pp. 

Boronkay, Carl (b. 1929) and Timothy H. Quinn (b. 1951) 

The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992: 
The Metropolitan Water District Perspective. 1999, 152 pp. 

Golb, Richard K. (b. 1962) 

The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, 1991-1992: 
The Role of John Seymour. 1997, 136 pp. 

Graff, Thomas J. (b. 1944) and David R. Yardas (b. 1956) 

The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, 1991-1992: 
Environmental Defense Fund Perspective. 1996, 133 pp. 

Nelson, Barry (b. 1959) 

The Passage of the Central Valley Prelect Improvement Act. 1991-1992: 
Executive Director, Save San Francisco Bay Assocation. 1994, 88 pp. 

Peltier, Jason (b. 1955) 

The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992: 
Manager, Central Valley Project Water Association. 1994, 84 pp. 

Somach, Stuart (b. 1948) 

The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992: 
The Central Valley Project Water Association Perspective. 1999, 99 pp, 

For other California water-related interviews see California Water Resources 

INTRODUCTION by Malca Chall 


The status of wetlands in the San Francisco Bay Area, became, in 
the mid 1960s, a growing concern among persons and groups intent on 
"Saving the Bay", and, by inference, adjoining wetlands. This concern 
was spawned by the increasing encroachment into Bay waters of major 
urban business, housing, sea and airport development, for which there 
were seemingly no controls. By the end of the 1970s, a spate of state 
and federal agencies, environmental laws, and regulations restrained 
development into wetlands: the San Francisco Bay Conservation and 
Development Commission, the California Environmental Quality Act, the 
National Environmental Policy Act, the Environmental Protection Act, the 
Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act. In addition, research 
proved the value of wetlands for maintaining viable ecosystems. By the 
1990s activity on behalf of wetlands, endangered species, and habitats 
had assumed greater urgency for environmentalists both within and 
outside government agencies. While all of this activity certainly 
slowed down unrestrained development, saving species and wetlands 
remains controversial and is a continuing subject of debate. Today, it 
is claimed that 92 percent of wetlands in the San Francisco Bay-Delta 
have disappearedthat only 45,000 acres remain. 

Given this background, the Baumberg Tract became an ideal choice 
for an oral history project. Historically, a tidally-inf luenced salt 
marsh comprising 835 acres along the Hayward shoreline, it was the 
object of contention between development and regulatory forces. With 
its wetlands focus, the Baumberg Tract fit the ongoing interest of the 
Regional Oral History Office in California water policy issues. 
Furthermore, this study provided an excellent example, in one limited 
area, of the impact of the federal Clean Water Act and the Endangered 
Species Act on developers, professional environmentalists, and concerned 
citizens alike when a builder applies for a permit to place a major 
development on a wetlands area. 

To assess a project s potential harm or jeopardy to endangered 
species, the developer must pay to have extensive data compiled 
detailing any potential jeopardy and indicating how such harm could be 
mitigated. The compilations, written by professional environmental 
scientists /consultants, are portions of the Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS), in compliance with the requirements of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) , and the Environmental Impact Report 
(EIR) , in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act 
(CEQA) . The final determination regarding jeopardy to endangered 
species is the responsibility of the staffs of the U.S. Fish and 

Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This oral history 
points to gray areas in defining the regulations. 

Many professional environmentalists began their careers in this 
new environmental management field in colleges during the 1960s and 
1970s, where they majored in ecology and environmental science, after 
which they honed their skills on the staffs of state or federal 
agencies. This oral history offers insight into the backgrounds of the 
men and women in government who influence the decisions on permit 
applications, and those in private employment who devise studies and 
advise on methods by which development might comply with regulatory 
standards. The consultants, an important part of the regulatory 
process, whether on government staffs or employed by small to large 
companies, are deeply committed to the environment and to implementation 
of the regulations. The oral history suggests that there may be a 
difference in the outcome of the permit process depending on who is 
assigned to a project. 

Finally, active citizens engage in all stages of the process, 
particularly the public hearing phase following the completion of the 
draft EIS/EIR. The oral history points up the vitality and influence of 
the citizen activists on the outcome of a proposed development and, 
conversely, the reasons why developers consider the environmental 
regulations onerous and why they are constantly under attack in the 
Congress, state legislatures, and the courts. 


The Baumberg Tract had been, for more than a century, a site for 
salt production. In 1971, the Leslie Salt Company (now the Cargill 
Corporation), stopped production there, but continued to use the 
shoreline for its crystallizer ponds. The company offered the tract, 
for a price, to the East Bay Regional Park District (and others) for 
recreation purposes. None accepted the offer. 

From 1982-1993, John Thorpe, a Hayward attorney, proposed the 
controversial Shorelands racetrack/business park development for the 
site. Mr. Thorpe applied to the city of Hayward for a permit to develop 
736 acres on which to build his project. By requesting to place fill 
material on the site, he triggered the required permission under Section 
10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, and Section 404 of the Clean Water 
Act. In addition, his project had to insure, under Section 7 of the 
Endangered Species Act, that it would not threaten any federally listed 
or threatened endangered species specif ically the salt marsh harvest 
mouse, the least tern, the clapper rail, and the snowy plover. In 1993, 
Mr. Thorpe s application was denied a second time. Like the first, in 
1987, it was rejected by the Fish and Wildlife Service on the basis that 


tlie project would jeopardize the species and their habitats, and did not 
provide measures to compensate for these adverse impacts. 

In 1996, it was purchased by the California Wildlife Conservation 
Board for conversion as a permanent open space wildlife siterenamed 
the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve to serve as mitigation for adverse 
developments in nearby communities. Following several years of study 
and the public comment period on the draft EIS/EIR, the California 
Department of Fish and Game expects to turn the first shovel of soil on 
the restoration project by July 2000. 


The goal of the oral history project was to "flesh out" the known 
facts of the Baumberg history (1970 to 1999) by linking them with the 
stories of persons who knew about its past history and current status. 

When I began the Baumberg Oral History Project in 1996, with a 
grant from the Centers for Water and Wildland Resources of the 
University of California, I knew only that the Baumberg Tract was 
considered a wetlands on the Hayward shoreline; that it had been the 
scene of a controversial battle over the Shorelands development project; 
that it was currently the site of a restoration project. Because I was 
a member of the Hayward area chapter of the Audubon Society I knew 
Howard Cogswell, Janice Delfino, and others actively concerned with the 
local environment. I knew John Thorpe, an attorney who had cracked an 
assessors scandal during the sixties, a developer of homes in Castro 
Valley, and a local benefactor who generously allowed charitable groups 
to use the "carriage house" of his historic landmark house/office 
building for fundraising events. I had been aware of his plans for 
Shorelands but had not followed the story to its conclusion. Although I 
knew about various federal and state environmental policy acts, I did 
not understand how they were implemented. By interviewing eleven 
persons who had held key roles in the Baumberg story, I gradually pieced 
together a history (by no means definitive) of the Baumberg Tract. 

October 6, 1996; Howard Cogswell: I began my research by 
interviewing retired Hayward State University biology and ornithology 
Professor Howard Cogswell. He gave me the benefit of his extensive 
knowledge of the Baumberg Tract, including background on the methods of 
salt production, essential historic and current legal issues, and 
information about specific endangered birds and their habitats. He 
discussed the potential impact of the Shorelands development on the 
tract, and explained the reasons why John Thorpe s project had failed to 
pass jeopardy. He broadened the scope of his story to consider the city 
of Hayward s upcoming interest in housing on adjoining Baumberg property 
(Proposition HH) , and plans of the San Francisco Airport to build new 
runways into the baylands. Finally, he permitted me to look through his 


collection of papers on Shorelands and select those I wanted to study: 
newspapers clippings from 1983-1987; correspondence between himself and 
John Thorpe, and between Mr. Thorpe and his backers; and various 
biological, mitigation, and other studies related to the EIS/EIR. 

May 10, 1997; John Thorpe: The information provided by Dr. 
Cogswell led me to my interview with John Thorpe who had spent ten years 
and millions of dollars seeking permission to build Shorelands. He 
talked eagerly about his dream for Shorelands, providing additional 
facts about his attempts to pass the environmental hurdles, especially 
to satisfy mitigation requirements posed by the Fish and Wildlife 
Service. He related his encounters with local environmental activists 
and those on the staffs of regulatory agencies. In fact he thought he 
had approval to develop Shorelands but his own financial difficulties 
made it impossible for him to continue. 

(July 10, 1997; Baumberg Tract Field Trip; Digression: When I 
called Janice Delfino, local environmental activist, to find out what 
she knew about the Baumberg Tract, she informed me that within the week, 
the Baumberg restoration team was leading a field trip on the tract for 
those with specific interests in the restoration. She suggested that I 
attend. I did so, along with a large group of persons representing 
various public and private agencies. Here I met restoration managers, 
Steve Foreman and Carl Wilcox, each of whom I later interviewed. That 
evening I attended the first meeting of the Technical Advisory 
Committee, at which 1 saw Howard Cogswell, Robert Douglass, property 
manager of the Leslie Salt Division of the Cargill Company, Janice and 
Frank Delfino, and others with specific technical concerns about the 
plans for the restoration project. I attended a second inter-agency 
meeting, November 20, 1997.) 

November 4, 1997; Karen Weissman: Karen Weissman, partner in the 
environmental consulting firm, Thomas Reid Associates, candidly 
discussed how she had attempted to work with John Thorpe and other 
consultants to overcome jeopardy. She criticized the rationale of the 
Fish and Wildlife Service and their claims that Shorelands would 
jeopardize endangered species, at the same time making clear the serious 
problems inherent in the project. Ms. Weissman enlarged my 
understanding of environmental laws and the role of agency personnel 
trying to enforce them. She gave me copies of her "Revised Biological 
Report", correspondence, and memoranda related to her work on the 
Shorelands Project. She provided questions to use with other 
interviewees. More recently she agreed to review and revise my draft of 
the glossary. 

February 24, 1998; Robert C. Douglass: Robert Douglass is property 
manager for the Leslie Salt Division of the Cargill Company. Leslie 
owned the Baumberg Tract and had given John Thorpe an option on which to 
build Shorelands. Mr. Douglass discussed his relationship with John 


Thorpe and his interest in seeing him succeed. He criticized the staff 
of the regulatory agencies and the city of Hayward for their treatment 
of Mr. Thorpe. He questioned the need for certain environmental 
regulations and the close relationships between some agency staffs and 
local environmentalists. His concerns as a businessman and an official 
of the Leslie Salt Division, a major local industry, still harvesting 
salt in the Bay Area, provided useful questions for other interviewees. 

March 11, 1998; Steve Foreman: Steve Foreman, author of the 
"Biological Assessment" for the EIS/EIR on Shorelands in 1987 and 
currently manager of the Baumberg Tract Restoration Project, provided 
background spanning the years encompassed by the oral history project. 
He discussed the methods by which he and others studied the Shorelands 
Project. As project manager of the restoration project, he explained 
what prompted the decision to establish it on the Baumberg site rather 
than Bair Island near Redwood City. He talked about the challenges 
inherent in refashioning Baumberg into a wildlife preserve, answering 
questions which had come to me during my attendance at the technical 
committee meetings. 

April 21, 1998; Carolyn Cole: Carolyn Cole, responsible for 
compiling the Shorelands EIS/EIR, offered a fascinating glimpse into the 
world of young women graduate students in the field of environmental 
science who moved easily from graduate school to business. She 
explained how she and her business partner, Caroline Mills, divided 
their work, and the process by which she selected the authors for the 
various EIS/EIR studies. She then loaned me her only copy. I regret 
that Ms. Cole, by declining to review her edited transcript, made it 
unavailable as a chapter in this volume. It will, however, be available 
for research in The Bancroft Library. 

June 1, 1998; Richard Murray: Landscape architect Richard Murray 
was hired by John Thorpe to develop mitigation plans for Shorelands. He 
had come to John Thorpe s attention because he had developed a snowy 
plover habitat in Parajo Dunes in California. His detailed "Shorelands 
Biological Mitigation Master Planrevised 12/12/87" was in Howard 
Cogswell s collected papers. I talked by phone with Mr. Murray who 
explained the difficulties in trying to create an acceptable mitigation 
plan for Shorelands. Because he did not review his edited transcript, 
regretably, it cannot be included in the volume. It will, however, be 
deposited in The Bancroft Library for research. 

June 10, 1998; Peter Sorensen: Peter Sorensen, on the staff of the 
regional office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was author of 
both the 1987 and 1992 jeopardy opinions which spelled failure for the 
Shorelands Project. Speaking to me by phone from his present post in 
Carlsbad, California, he enunciated clearly his reasons for considering 
that Shorelands would jeopardize several endangered species and their 
habitats. He responded to criticisms leveled against his conclusions, 


and his agency s treatment of John Thorpe which had been expressed by 
other interviewees. 

July 20, 1998; Carl Wilcox: Carl Wilcox, environmental services 
supervisor with the California Department of Fish and Game, is currently 
manager of, and responsible for, the Baumberg Tract Restoration 
Project. We talked by phone. Although he had worked on the Baumberg 
Tract during the Shorelands Project, and expressed his opinions about 
that development, we concentrated on his plans for the restoration. He 
expanded upon the information supplied by Steve Foreman, indicating what 
problems prevented the project from moving ahead as rapidly as 
anticipated. Recently, by phone, he told me that the project had had 
other problems causing delays, but that they intended to put down the 
first shovel in July 2000. He took time to help with definitions for 
the glossary. 

July 21, 1998; Janice Delfino: Janice and Frank Delfino have been 
active on the local environmental scene for some thirty years. Several 
interviewees had spoken about Janice. She agreed to be interviewed. 
She discussed Shorelands and the current restoration plans. But she 
broadened the scope of the interview to talk about the Delfinos 1 other 
activities on behalf of the local wetlands, about protecting streams 
from encroachment of housing and golf courses, about her legal suit 
against Leslie Salt, and about her work with the Committee to Complete 
the Refuge. She provided maps, newspaper clippings, memoranda, 
correspondence, and bulletins to add to the collection of material on 
the Baumberg Tract and other local wetland issues. She remained 
available from time to time to assist with maps and other queries. 

October 14, 1998; Roberta Cooper: Roberta Cooper, mayor of 
Hayward, had been a member of the city council during the debate over 
the Shorelands Project. Because of the need to reconfigure the streets 
leading into Shorelands, the city had a stake in the project and was the 
lead agency involved in the permitting process. At different times 
during the Shorelands decade, staff and council members took differing 
positions on the project. Much of this information was available in the 
press. Along with her recollections of the relationships between the 
city and the Shorelands Project, Mayor Cooper responded to criticisms 
that the city had not dealt fairly with John Thorpe. Before completing 
her brief interview, she discussed Hayward s current plans for housing 
on land adjoining the Baumberg TractProposition HH. 


Once the interviews were transcribed, edited, and reviewed by the 
interviewees, nine interviews were compiled into one volume, linking 
them chronologically to the Baumberg historynot necessarily to the 
dates of the interviews. 

In sun, these interviews, while highlighting the Baumberg Tract, 
point out implications beyond the San Francisco Bay Area: the complex 
interaction between the conflicting goals of urban development and the 
conservation of wetlands and endangered species and habitats. 


Because many interviewees referred to specific areas of the 
Baumberg Tract, numbered maps have been placed, for easy reference, 
after the final pages of the interviews. The glossary contains 
definitions of unfamiliar terms. The appendix includes information on 
other topics important to the Baumberg history. The tables of contents 
and the index should assist readers to locate items of specific 
interest . 


I wish to thank those who helped produce this oral history: The 
Water Resources Center for continuing interest in our water-related 
projects and the funds to develop them; the interviewees for their 
commitment of time and the gifts to The Bancroft Library of papers which 
enriched the history; Jill Singleton, public affairs officer for the 
Leslie Salt Division, for material on the history of salt production in 
the Bay Area; Sara Diamond for her much appreciated editorial 
assistance . 

Malca Chall 
Senior Editor 

Regional Oral History Office 
The Bancroft Library 
University of California, Berkeley 
March 20, 2000 

Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

California Water Resources Oral History Series 


Howard L. Cogswell 

An Interview conducted by 

Malca Chall 
in 1996 and 1998 

Copyright C 2000 by The Regents of the University of California 

Howard L. Cogswell 

TABLE OF CONTENTS--Howard L. Cogswell 




Salt Production and the Leslie (Cargill) Salt Company 5 
Wetlands and the Public Trust Doctrine 10 
The Proposed Shorelands Development: Howard Cogswell s Interest 

and Analysis 12 

Defining a Wetland and Consequent Mitigation Requirements 16 

Agencies Involved in the Complex Permitting Process 20 

Baumberg Tract Restoration Plan the Result of Mitigation 23 

Early Interest in Birds 29 
Whittier College, 1947-1948 33 
UC Berkeley, 1948-1952; 1962 33 

Mills College: Assistant Professor, 1952-1964 36 
National Science Foundation Fellowship: Pennsylvania State 

University, 1963-1964 38 

Site Studies with Starlings 40 

California State University at Hayward, California, 1964-1980 43 
Studying Garbage Dumps, Birds, and Airports: Howard Cogswell 

Learns to Fly 45 

Author, Water Birds of California 55 

Early Studies of Water Birds in the Hayward/San Leandro Area 56 

John Thorpe s Mitigation Proposals for the Shorelands Project 59 
Plans for the Baumberg Tract Restoration Project 61 
Helping to Set Bay Area Regional Wetlands Goals 64 
Analyzing Environmental Regulations for Environmental Protection 65 

INTERVIEW HISTORY- -Howard Cogswell 

I met Howard Cogswell some thirty years ago when he led a field 
trip for members of the recently organized Hayward area chapter of the 
Audubon Society. It was a fascinating introduction to birds, and 
through the years, whenever possible, I have opted to tag along on a 
Cogswell-led field trip. At the time of my first field trip, Dr. 
Cogswell was a professor of ornithology, vertebrate zoology and ecology 
on the faculty of California State University at Hayward. I knew that 
he flew his own plane, that he was considered an authority on western 
birds, and was the author of Water Birds of California. One of his 
projects had been studying the habits of birds on garbage dumps in the 
San Francisco Bay Area. I assumed, therefore that he would have some 
knowledge of the Baumberg Tract and its history. He agreed to talk to 
me; we made a date for an evening meeting on September 6, 1996, in his 
home, not far from mine in the Hayward hills. Initially, I did not 
intend to record this background briefing for the oral history project, 
but I took my tape recorder to ensure accuracy. 

At the time I knew virtually nothing about the Baumberg Tract; 
Howard Cogswell was an overflowing fount of information. He produced 
historic and current maps, pointing out sloughs and streams, revisions 
to topography, public trust issues, changes in salt harvesting methods 
in the Bay Area, changes in property ownership, and much more. He 
discussed his reactions to John Thorpe s Shorelands Project, and those 
of some of his Audubon colleagues. That preliminary recorded 
"background" meeting was so full of essential information on the history 
of the Baumberg Tract up to its current designation as a wildlife 
preserve that it necessarily became Chapter I of this volume. 

During that first meeting I also learned that Dr. Cogswell had a 
box full of material he had collected on Shorelands. I returned a few 
weeks later; spent a few hours looking through his collection, gradually 
selecting items I wanted to take with me to study. I listed them and 
signed a "mini-contract" to ensure their safe return. It is my hope 
that Dr. Cogswell will eventually deposit this collection in The 
Bancroft Library. Some of the material has been inserted in this and 
other chapters throughout this volume, or is included in the appendices. 
After reading the transcription of this interview, I realized that Dr. 
Cogswell would have to identify on small maps those locations he had 
specifically pointed to. The locations were an integral part of his 
story, but would not be understood without visual documentation. Since 
Howard Cogswell s account would come first, the geography of the various 
private property boundaries in the area had to be clear. We reviewed 
these maps several times to ensure accuracy. They follow the final 

I gave Dr. Cogswell a lightly edited transcript and asked him to 
review it carefully to be sure it was accurate, since at the time of his 
first interview neither he nor I thought it would be a part of the 
volume. He did this with the attention to detail one might expect of a 

Ultimately, I realized that Dr. Cogswell s story would not be 
complete without some information about his personal background. How 
had he arrived at his knowledge of birds, wetlands, and the history of 
Baumberg? He agreed to a second interview. We met on July 12, 1998. 
The lightly edited transcript of this second interview required only a 
few minor revisions, dealing mainly with spelling of names and the 
insertion of important dates. 

Dr. Cogswell s home, which he shares with Betsy, his wife of sixty 
years, includes an office which has been converted from the former 
dining room. It houses boxes, books, and a computer on which he keeps 
detailed information on birds of the area, the Audubon chapter s 
membership list, and other data, including his family tree. Windows 
look out into the trees, shrubs and all types of feeders designed to 
attract different species of birds. As we sat at the table in the 
breakfast nook, we tried to keep our attention focused on the interview, 
but sometimes our attention strayed to the birds at the feeders. 

These interviews set the framework for the ongoing chapters on the 
history of the Baumberg Tract. My assumption that Dr. Cogswell would 
know something about it was, happily, a correct one. 

The Regional Oral History Office was established in 1954 to 
augment through tape-recorded memoirs the Library s materials on the 
history of California and the West. Copies of all interviews are 
available for research use in The Bancroft Library and in the UCLA 
Department of Special Collections. The office is under the direction of 
Willa K. Baum, Division Head, and the administrative direction of 
Charles B. Faulhaber, James D. Hart Director of The Bancroft Library, 
University of California, Berkeley. 

Malca Chall 
Interviewer /Editor 

January 2000 

Regional Oral History Office 

University of California, Berkeley 

Regional Oral History Office 
Room 486 The Bancroft Library 

University of California 
Berkeley, California 9A720 

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[Interview 1: September 6, 1996] ## 

Salt Production and the Leslie (Cargill) Salt Company 

Chall: Whom could I contact in Cargill who would know something about 
the history of the Baumberg Tract? 

Cogswell: Robert C. Douglass. He s a property manager or something like 
that, for their non-operating things. He also has, I believe, 
under his jurisdiction the environmental team for Cargill Salt. 
So they have finally come around to recognizing that they do 
have to meet environmental laws. [chuckles] Jill Singleton is 
their actual environmentalist, but she s under his supervision 
I believe. But he s called a manager. He s better than a 
supervisor, but he himself reports, of course, to the overall 
manager of the Cargill Salt Division. 2 

Chall: Where are they located? 

Cogswell: Newark. The salt division is headquartered in Newark. Cargill 
is headquartered in Minnesota. Leslie Salt became the Salt 
Division of Cargill Incorporated. 

Chall: Before Leslie, according to newspaper accounts, the Baumberg 
Tract had been for a hundred years or so, really diked for 
salt. Maybe not for the last few years, but a hundred years 

## This symbol indicates that a tape or tape segment has begun or 
ended. A guide to the tapes follows the transcript. 

2 In 1999 the corporate listing was: Jill Singleton, Public Affairs 
Manager; Catherine Gump, General Manager; Robert C. Douglass, Property 

ago, other salt companiesnot Lesliebegan to put the dikes 
in there and develop salt. [See Appendix B] 

Cogswell: Over a hundred years ago. There were salt ponds at Alvarado, 
which is further south, and salt ponds at Baumberg in the 
1890s. They had already been there for some time and there are 
some very ancient, historic maps that show some of those old, 
small salt companies, numerous small salt companies. Janice 
and Frank Delfino of Castro Valley have been interested in this 
for a long while, have gotten some of these old maps, and have 
provided some copies to me. So I have some of those if I can 
dig them out. 

Chall: Janice might be somebody to talk to, you think? 

Cogswell: I don t know what she knows. She s done some research simply 
on what there is available in the way of maps and things of 
that sort. Almost probably all of the Baumberg Tract proper, 
the 838 acres or so, was originally salt marsh to begin with 
under natural condition. 

Chall: Years ago, Oliver Salt played a role in the area here. Was 

Oliver Salt, or any part of their holdings, ever taken over by 

Cogswell: Well, I don t know the complete history of the property 

changes. Oliver s name appears on some of those old maps which 
Janice uncovered for part of the area in general along Mt . Eden 
Creek, which borders the Baumberg Tract. Whether or not Oliver 
had any property within what is now state property, the 
Baumberg Tract proper, I m not sure. 3 They certainly had salt 
ponds down there. [See Map 1] 

I understand Leslie Salt became incorporated as a separate 
company in 1933. They started in Newark, what is right now by 
Jarvis Avenue; the Coyote Tract was their Plant Number One 
site. They started by buying up a number of these small salt 
companies, and then they progressed rather rapidly, buying more 
and more and more. And at what point Oliver sold out or 
whoever may have sold out in the Baumberg area, I don t know. 

3 State property refers to the fact that the state California Wildlife 
Conservation Board [CWCB] purchased the Baumberg Tract in 1996 to develop 
as a wildlife refuge. The 129 acres of more recent Oliver property to the 
east are not within the CWCB, nor the 150+ acres of "Oliver Brothers" salt 
ponds north of Route 92, recently acquired by HARD [Hayward Area Recreation 
and Park District]. --H.C. Letters B on the map refer to Baumberg. 

When I came to Hayward in 1964--on my first trip in there 
[Baumberg]--it was a separate operating unit of the Leslie Salt 
Company then, with a plant and crystallizers--which are part of 
this purchase now. The old crystallizers, a major part, were 
still being used to harvest the salt from all the ponds north 
of the New Alameda Creek, until about 1972. All the water from 
the evaporators north of Coyote Hills, in other words, was 
funneled into this Baumberg plant. 

Over on the west side of the Bay, Leslie Salt had a Redwood 
City plant still operating then, which they still have now but 
there s a story to that, too. 

Chall: Yes. 

Cogswell: Previous to that, they d had a plant down in Alviso, which was 
the first one to have been closed and the water transported 
somewhere else. I don t know just when, but it was closed 
before I came to Hayward, so certainly before the 1964 period. 
But in 1972, both the Baumberg plant and the Redwood City plant 
were closed. 

Chall: I see. Both of them. 

Cogswell: The company decided to funnel all the water into the Newark 

plant, their headquarters. They changed the structure. They 
didn t really build any new dikes to speak of; they simply 
changed the water flow sequences it s all flat anyway--and 
they put new pumps in certain strategic locations so that the 
water moved in different directions through the ponds. 

For example, pond number one, which is what you face when 
you go up to the National Wildlife Refuge headquarters and look 
out toward the Bay, is Pond 1.* That was their intake pond 
before then; it s now their final pond before the 
crystallizers. So they changed the whole sequence of movement 
of water. That s when they closed these outlying plants. The 
actual crystallizer ponds, the final stage ponds, and what they 
call wash ponds and pickle ponds associated with them, were 
taken out of use. They re not using them in the Baumberg area. 
They have not used them since 72. That s when they placed 
that property on the market--! think it was about 73--that 
they offered the Baumberg Tract to, among other agencies, the 
East Bay Regional Park District. 

4 The San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, located near Highway 
84 in Fremont, is now officially known as the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay 
National Wildlife Refuge. 






Oh, they did? 

They offered it for $5,000 an acre. And I happened to be on 
the board of directors of East Bay Regional parks then, and I 
remember that situation. 

And how many acres--? 

It s 838 acres. The state is paying more than that. 5 Because 
between 72 and 96, the value of land has gone up. 

So they were offering it to you for-- 

Five thousand dollars an acre. 

What did the East Bay Regional Park District decide to do? 

It wasn t worthwhile. We decided that it was not worth that 
much. They had no way of seeing that there were park values in 
it beyond what they were already acquiring along the Bay north 
of Route 92. Over a million dollars was spent for the Hayward 
Regional Shoreline as it exists now, and it would have been 
another $10 million or so. I agreed with the rest of the board 
at the time that there was no way that we could spend all of 
our money available for land acquisitions in one location, you 
see, when you have a two-county system of parks to be fair to. 

So then where did they go? 

Leslie Salt didn t get a buyer. No other public agency wanted 
it at $5,000 an acre either, apparently. 

When did John Thorpe get into it? 
other developers, besides John? 

Were there any other people, 

I don t know, because Leslie Salt wouldn t come out with public 
information. I happened to know about this offer because I was 
on the East Bay Regional Park board. And they apparently 
offered it at similar price to all other public agencies. They 
claimed they wanted to give park agencies the preference to it, 
but I m sure it was offered to any other public agency that 
would come up with the money. 

And at that time, I didn t think it was worth $5,000 an 
acre myself. You know, it s obviously mostly wetland; you 

5 The California Wildlife Conservation Board paid $12.5 million for the 
property; about $15,000 an acre. 




can t really develop on it unless you can get a permit from the 
proper agencies, and that was already in force. It wasn t 
quite in force in 72, but it came in force in 75--the Clean 
Water Act. The wetlands provisionall these protections for 
the wetlands comes as a result of the passage of the Clean 
Water Act which was indeed passed by Congress in 1972, but then 
was subject to immediate litigation and didn t get enforced 
until about 1975. So where along the line John Thorpe s 
corporation came in- -I don t know. 

But you have that in your collection of papers maybe? 

Well, I don t know that the date is there. I have just 
documents that came after he was underway. When Leslie Salt 
first gave him an option I can t tell you. But they did option 
the entire 838 acres to him, or they optioned most of it, and 
they added the gun club. I don t know whether you know the 
property subdivisions or not [moves to get a map]. There s a 
former gun club section. 

No. I don t know much about the land yet. You are my first 

I ll get a map here I hope in a minute. [Presents map, and 
points out areas under discussion.] Here is a blow up of this 
particular section of this original Nichols and Wright map, 
which was done from the earliest hydrographic charts ever done. 
They re mostly 1848 to 1870 at the latest. [See Map 2] In the 
Baumberg Tract, you can see there are a lot of creeks. There 
is the San Mateo Bridge in its present conformation [circled 
large A on Map 2]. Dumbarton Bridge down here [D] . The New 
Alameda Creek comes out there [N] , which is along what used to 
be just an overflow channel of Alameda Creek. 

The original main Alameda Creek swung in through here [0] , 
and a couple of what I call "distributaries." Under flood 
conditions or winter storm conditions, it would overflow in the 
marsh and run out these various other channels. Mt. Eden Creek 
[M] is one of those. Sometimes during its original, pre- 
managed history, Alameda Creek probably flowed out via Mt. Eden 
Creek Channel; other times, it flowed out down here [1 1/2 
miles to south, at 0). Other times it flowed out by Plunnner 
Slough down here, and through Coyote Hills Slough, most of 
which became the new leveed channel in the early 1970s. Well, 
now it s all channeled so it all goes out down here. [Through 
this leveed channel to the Bay at N.] 


Wetlands and the Public Trust Doctrine 

Chall: Now why does the state own- -did you say the state owns part of 
the Baumberg Tract? 

Cogswell: There s a long, long story about property ownerships. This is 
the most complex set of property ownerships under original 
title anywhere in the San Francisco Bay region. It was not 
settled with the state from the standpoint of che public trust 
in the first round of negotiations which did settle title 
disputes around most of the South Bay in the 1960s. 

There are several kinds of property involved. Different 
kinds of bay lands or submerged lands. I think the technical 
term for one type is submerged lands. These are always state 
property; they re never private. Second, there are tidelands 
which may be purchased by people, but the title is subject to 
the public trust for the rights to navigation and "fisheries," 
which has been interpreted by the courts as including all 
wildlife oriented uses. And, third, there are swamp and 
overflow lands, which are also wetlands depending on how long 
they are wet. The original title was set up to take care of 
those properties which seasonally would flood and other times 
would not. They might be farmed in between times and so on. 
So, on such swamp and overflow land there s no public trust 

Theoretically, the submerged lands are out here in the 
west, in the Bay proper; the tidelands are in this zone between 
high and low tides, including into the marshes that are up to 
the ordinary high water mark in the marshes--not the highest 
high tides, but up to the ordinary one [broad zone of Map 2 
showing many marsh channels]. The lawyers will argue about 
what is ordinary. And then the swamp and overflow lands are 
those which only get flooded under extreme conditions. Well, 
if the designation of properties was proper, you would have a 
succession from submerged lands to tidelands to swamp and 
overflow lands as you moved landward from the Bay. But that 
isn t the way the property was, in fact, bounded when the state 
sold it. 

In the 1860s and 1870s there was so much graft in the state 
giving these titles to peopleand they actually essentially 
gave them away for such a pittance, a matter of a few cents an 
acre sometimes there is a whole hodgepodge. I can get another 
map to show you if you wish. 

Chall: Not today! 


Cogswell: A whole checkerboard, a real checkerboard arrangement. So the 
state could claim wherever the original title said it was 
tidelands, they could claim an interest. Where the original 
title said it was swamp and overflow lands, they could not. 
Well, some of those swamp and overflow lands are located out 
here [in the outer marsh zone or even in the Bay], and others 
are way in here [along the inner side of the original marshes], 
where they should be. There was just a checkerboard, because 
it was all done from Sacramento without anybody ever coming out 
to look at the place. 

Chall: Just calling it- 
Cogswell: Just designated it this and selling it. 

The state settled some time in the early 1980s, late 
seventies perhaps. It was around 1980, 1982, that the state 
and Leslie Salt finally came to an agreement on all the 
properties in Hayward except some parcels out on the Bay front 
where there are still arguments. [See Map 3 and Map 4] 

Chall: So then Leslie Salt- 
Cogswell: So Leslie Salt did acquire full and free title to most parcels 
in this entire Baumberg area and gave up their claim to the bed 
of the tidal part of Mt . Eden Creek [M2 on Maps 1 and 3]. At 
one point, they had diked off Mt. Eden Creek out here [Ml on 
Maps 1 and 3, 1/3 mile from Bay]. That partial dike is still 
there. But they had to break through it again because it was 
illegal for them to dike it. So Mt. Eden Creek is a tidal 
channel again, 2 1/4 miles long up to this point [just east of 
Eden Landing Road on M2, Maps 1 and 3], except it is such a 
restricted channel and not much water comes all the way up 
there any more. But from near Eden Landing Road on the east 
and south, the State gave up all title to the old channel and I 
guess, all title there to the meandering original channel 
farther south called North Creek [M3 on maps 1 and 3]. 

This is all part of the salt pond system now, up to that 
point. The one pump, this one pump [at east end of evaporators 
12, 13, & 14, and north end of 15 Map 3], moves all the water 
among all these ponds. It has access to this pond down here 
[8A], which is connected through this incomplete dike, so it 
can draw water or send water south. In this case, all the 
water from this in intake Pond 10 is moved along here by a 
brine ditch, a narrow ditch parallel to Mt. Eden Creek, into 
the non-tidal part and down to the pump which can take or send 
water from or to Pond 12, Pond 13, Pond 14, or Pond 15, and so 
on south. 


Chall: I see, so these are their ponds that th.>y are still using. 

Cogswell: They re still using. 

Chall: Now where is the Baumberg Tract? 

Cogswell: This dark red line on Map 1 [or heavy dash line on Map 3], 

bounding the tract as purchased by the state. But now it has 
been extended. The gun club, which triggered my getting the 
map, was labeled Lattig, but is now shown as Weber on Maps 1 
and 3. Lattig sold to Weber. That s one of the other private 
parcels still in the area. 

Chall: And they still use it as a gun club? 

Cogswell: No, they don t. They want to develop it, and there s another 
whole story there. 

If you ve not kept up with what s been happening in the 
city of Hayward, the last six months, there s been argument 
over it. The Oliver brothers, the Oliver Estate all the 
brothers are dead. Gordon Oliver, who was the recipient of all 
the properties, also died, leaving his estate to the 
Congregational Church, Mt. Eden Church, plus the Hayward 
Historical Society. These two entities comprise the Oliver 
Trust. They still are hoping to sell to a developer who would 
build on those properties. [Proposition HH, See Appendix D] 

But this piece, at the east end of the Baumberg Tract 
[small v on Map 3 and so labeled on Map 1], which was called 
the Perry Gun Club, was never used for salt production. It was 
owned by Leslie Salt Company and is a part of the tract which 
was now acquired by the state [CWCB]. The state acquired that 
and also at least a major portion of this strip from the old 
crystallizers through the salt ponds leading to the old channel 
of the Alameda Creek [east end of Pond 8A on Maps 1 and 3]. So 
they have access for water inflow or outflow purposes to this 
old Alameda Creek, a channel which is still tidal. It s not 
the present Alameda Creek channel. It s the old one. But it s 
still open to the Bay. 

The Proposed Shorelands Development: Howard Cogswell s Interest 
and Analysis 

Cogswell: One of the items on the definition of Baumberg Tract, you ll 
encounter if you get into these various documents, is the 
tremendous confusion, particularly on the part of people who 


Cogswell : 

did not read the documents involved, and that includes a lot of 
Audubon people. Didn t bother to read them, they just came out 
against it [Baumberg/Shorelands development], because they had 
read about such and such birds of great value. And they heard 
about the thousands of birds and the terns and everything else 
that are in the Baumberg Tract or the Baumberg area. They just 
saw the word Baumberg. 

Well, there s this little village of Baumberg, it s right 
up here just northeast of the tract that is now state-owned and 
next to Weber s property [Maps 1 and 3]. The Leslie Salt 
Company has for years called the entire area north of New 
Alameda Creek their Baumberg unit because all of its water used 
to funnel into that Baumberg plant. The actual plant was right 
in here on Arden Road, a site now occupied by the new 
industries just west of the old Baumberg village. 

I first started going in there in the 1960s. You have to 
be very careful if you re dealing with wetlands values, 
particularly bird use and fish use and so on. Are the animals 
that you re talking about in the outer salt pond operations or 
in the marsh nearby, or are they in the tract proper? I fought 
that battle and I lost, because-- [sighs] --a lot of people 
simply will not pay attention to that fact. And the company 
couldn t care less. 

So what was your part in the battle? 

When John Thorpe was involved, he had an option on all this 
property, and he had the Perry Gun Club area added to the 
option later on-- 

Of course, he wanted to develop the entire area of his 
original option. He added the Perry Gun Club so that he could 
possibly do some mitigation there. He recognized the fact that 
he would have to mitigate a lot of wetlands destruction on the 
rest of his optional area. So he was always seeking 
mitigation. He came up with mitigation package after package 
after package which would involve various ones of these outer 
salt ponds between the outer parts of Mt. Eden Creek and the 
old Alameda Creek. He finally took Gordon Oliver into his 
company, because Gordon wouldn t sell him this Oliver property 
up herethe former salt ponds by the Interpretive Center north 
of Route 92--except for a very high price. 6 He wanted even 

6 The Interpretive Center at the Hayward Area Shoreline, a restored 
wetland on the north side of the approach to the San Mateo Bridge. The 
Hayward Area Recreation and Park District was given the area north of 


higher than Leslie Salt wanted for their ponds. But Thorpe was 
interested in getting a mitigation. He wouldn t orovide for a 
partial development with mitigation on site within his optional 
800 acres. 

Chall: In other words, he would purchase some of this and give it 

Cogswell: It was always vague whether he was going to purchase it or that 
somehow it was going to magically appear. 

Leslie Salt never came out over the years, as far as I 
know, saying yes, they would agree to having islands made, and 
a big portion of this pond, south of Mt . Eden Creek [9 on Map 
1], was to be cut off and made into a snowy plover habitat. 
But of course that wasn t Thorpe s company s optioned property. 
They would have to have obtained Leslie Salt s agreement to do 
that, and Leslie never said they would. 

Chall: You and the Audubon had differences of opinion? 

Cogswell: I led an Ohlone Audubon trip into this area in 1983, I think it 
was--I can check it for youwith permission from Shorelands 
corporation; we had John Thorpe s special permission. It was 
announced in the Audubon bulletin. 7 Seventy-some people came on 
that field trip because of the golden opportunity to get into 
the property. Among other things, we did find on this pickle 
pond area [P on Map 3], which was all bare ground in those 
years, 330-some snowy plovers; 323, as I recall, in one flock, 
just resting. So it was the biggest flock ever in recent 
years. People from PRBO [Point Reyes Bird Observatory], when 
they heard about it, came right out to check it, because it was 
a bigger bunch than they had ever encountered before. 

At the same time, I was conservation chair for Ohlone 
Audubon. Anna Wilcox, who was president, entreated me to take 
it on. She wouldn t become president unless she could get some 
help. I don t blame her. [chuckles] 

Highway 92 by Leslie Salt Co., which had been leased to a gun club. HARD 
later obtained outside funding for and built the Interpretive Center on its 
southern end. Map 1. 

7 The Ohlone Audubon Society is a chapter of the National Audubon 
Society, with an assigned membership area encompassing southern Alameda 
County. The chapter s bulletin is the Kite Call. 


Chall: I don t b]ame her either. 

Cogswell: So she prevailed upon me to be conservation chair. Well, I 

started writing and I published two maps about properties near 
the Bay north of Route 92, annotated, about the conservation 
values of the properties. I never got around to do the ones 
south of 92 because I did mention that the Shorelands 
Corporation had a new mitigation package being offered which 
had some elements that I thought were worth being looked at. 
That s all I said. And that s when they had the snowy plover 
habitat, tern nesting islands being proposedall these 
features being mentioned. 

The Audubon people, some of them, including Art Feinstein-- 
currently now staff member for Golden Gate [Audubon Society] -- 
he was then president or maybe he was their conservation chair 
--he was irate over it, over my comment. He got the other 
Audubon societies involved, I m sure, and they asked for a 
conference with me. So I invited them here, to my house. And 
with representatives from at least five societies from around 
the Bay, I met at my house and was raked over the coals just as 
though I had sold out. 

In fact, Art Feinstein s own words werethe words were not 
quite this, but they had the implication: "If you can t toe the 
Audubon line, get out." What turned me off so much, at that 
point, was I wanted to get the facts of the case publicized, 
have people consider the facts whether it was better overall 
for the wildlife future in this area to even consider these 
mitigations, or not have them considered. He said, "Don t 
worry about facts. You don t have to worry about facts." He 
told me so in the presence of all these other people in so many 
words. That was my reason for abandoning my efforts to have 
the Audubon members consider anything in the way of overall 
effects on the habitats of the area, since they seemed to 
prefer a confrontational, project by project, stance. 

Chall: In short then, you might have been have been willing to allow-- 
Cogswell: --at least some development-- 

Chall: --Thorpe s development somewhere in here, maybe not all but 
some . 

Cogswell: I didn t argue for the development. I didn t argue to turn it 
off completely. I said there were some elements; and he did 
have some very good ones. He hired some biologists that came 
up with these plans if Leslie Salt would have agreed to them. 
That was always an unanswered aspect. If Leslie Salt would 


It My well be decicte^ before you rrec 
these lines, I d like to make an observation ebout 
the largest development proposal that of the 
Shcrelands Corporation s plans to develop iost of 
the former wit crystal lizer, bittern, and pickle 
ponds in the Bauibero, Tiect [but not any of the 

Mlt evaporator ponds to the west of these]. As I 
indicated last aonth, a nrw adtigatlon proposal has 
b*n put forth which is, in ny opinion, a very good 
one for wildlife in the area in general. Particu 
larly the provision of numerous islands in two of 
the beyvird salt evaporators is a feature of very 
high value for west nesting birds although they 
would have to be Kept largely free of upland vege 
tation for terns, Snowy Plovers, etc. to use thsr,, 
as would be the case also for high-tide roosting by 
r*sed shcieblrds. The plan also includes two 
large areas to be dl^ed off from two salt evepciat- 

ors farther from the shore and dried out (except 
from winter rains) as habitat specifically for 
Snovy Plovers, the species that would be nest di 
rectly injected by the development. These two 
areas tctel about 1/2 the acreage of good Snotry 
Plover hBtitet_in the er proposed _foi_ develop- 
rienL-Jf these features were established as heb 
, tat Improvements in the area unconnected with a 
I development propcsel, there is not a doubt in my 

ind but that bird life in the area would be uch 
( cre diverse and abundant^ than it is now. 

" IheTlS/ish and Wildlife SeTvice heiTwritten 
the Corps of Engineers indicating that in its opin 
ion the development project would jeopardize the 
survival of the endangered CalifXlapper Rail, the 
CalifJ.east Tern, and the Salt Harsh Harvest r.ouse. 
bhlle I in all in favor of extending every effort 
lively to help preserve endangered species, none of 
these three^specjes is found_on the area propospcT 
for development because o^cfc of suljjblc habitat 
thera.jrr^ould"bec(yne~suitbl habiUt with cilfi"~ 
feTent wnegement over tie, of course, and it is 
included in the very large area recommended for 
protection to assure Recovery of the rail end the 
mouse to non-ertdangered status But such Recovery 
Plans (US. Fish end Wildlife docuwnt) do not even 
address the ccst of iflplew^nting their reconnenda- 
tions end in this case nearly all the area 
recommended is private property used for salt pro 
duction or (as Is the Baunberg Tract) abandoned 

such use but still subject to taxes. 

In spite of opposite opinions frore&ome Audobon 

I do not believe it fair to deny a permit 
on the basis of endangered species not directly 

from Kite Call, 
January 1986 

and doubtfully aver indirectly affetUe 
ny deleteiious way. Crtainly for the least lerr 
the number of islands Fiopcs*d in the bay-wire 4 M! 
vapc:itcis would be a gieat boon 

Me dc not, of COUIM, whether the Las lit 
Salt Co., okneit of the salt avapcratcrs, would 
allok all of the nply propcsed rdtigctlon faa- 
turev If not, than wj fcr*r opinion atill nclfe, 
that the edtigftion offered was just too inadooa 
to conpensite 

Plover, also good wintering habitat for various 

other ahoretlrds and Ouc^s 


assure/ice. Bhoulc 
Lesl ie Salt Corpany end avcte a 
condition of any approval of this project or ajc 
portion of it. If the project is not acceptable 
for other reesom, such as the traffic protle/re 
already bad in the area being nede wcis, then 
features of that sort should be the deciding fac 
tors instead. 


1548 East Ave. 
Hayward, CA 94541 

Wr.John Thorpe 9 Feb. 1988 

Shorelands Corporation 
P.O.Box 4258 
Hayward, CA 94540 

Dear Mr. Thorpe: 

Along with the official Ohlone Audubon Society Conservation Committee letter, 
dated yesterday, which we wrote asking for your clarification of misinterpretation of 
things I wrote in the January Ohlone Audubon bulletin about the Shorelands, I thought 
I should add some personal comments in a separate letter. These all pertain to the 
same topics which I discussed briefly in that January column, and do not represent any 
over-all evaluation of the Shorelands project or its various mitigation proposals. 

First, I still stand by everything I wrote in that January column, and I trust 
that everyone wishing to comr.ent on it will read the entire column (or the part that 
pertains to Shorelands). I learned only recently from Mr. Moore, at a HASPA meeting, 
that the August 1987 mitigation package [as well as the subsequent December 1987 one] 
was not intended to be a document on which the public was expected to comment; but rather 
was a negotiation document between Shorelands and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 
Yet I was supplied with two copies of the August document (1 from you, 1 by the City) 
and you yourself wrote about its contents extensively. It was also the document which 
detailed various measures [proposed] that I felt, and still feel, would increase the 
diversity and populations of various water bird species in the general area. I made 
particular mention of the numerous islands proposed in the bayward salt evaporators 
(which would benefit nesting and roosting shorebirds, terns, etc., if kept largely free 
of vegetation) and the proposed mostly dried-out parts of two salt evaporators (which 
would be in partial condensation for the Snowy Plover habitat that would be destroyed 
in the pickle pond and vicinity if the development of that area was allowed! I am not 
as confident of The benefit that might be attained for wildlife by the proposed brine- 
shrimp "farm" or culture pond, so made no mention of it in that column. Along with some 
other biologists, I guess I feel that experiment would have to prove itself to be awarded 
any mitigation credits. 

Second, knowing the normal habitat-needs of the three endangered species about 
which a jeopardy opinion letter was written by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and 
knowing that the habitats now existing in the area proposed for development do not equate 
to any of those habitat needs [perhaps marginally so for the Harvest Mouse along parts 
of the diked-off Mt.Eden Creek, which is also subject to deep inundation by Leslie Salt 
Co. operations], I still feel that the direct impact of the proposed development on the 
populations of the Calif .Clapper Rail, the Calif. Least Tern, and the Saltmarsh Harvest 
Mouse in the areas nearby where they are found would be unlikely sufficient to measure. 
The crux of the matter with regard to those endangered species therefore comes down to 
the various indirect effects the project might have on their populations, such as through 
expanded predation, uncontrolled human interference, etc. Alternatively, there seems 
to be a concern that development of the Baumberg Tract [excluding the salt evaporators 
to the west and the gun club areas to the south] would be a threat to the survival of 
these species because it would remove the property from that which is potentially restor- 
able to suitable habitat condition. This removal of potential would most likely apply 
to the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse, since the level of the land involved is so high that 
the lower intertidal, cordgrass marsh upon which the rail depends would not be expected 
here even if the area were reopened to tide action. Neither is an area of open, fish- 
bearing water and barren islands likely here, short of engineering and building of such 
through a development that would in turn itself jeopardize the benefit the area might 
provide for the Harvest Mouse. Hence, my comment that no habitat for the least Tern 
is to be found or to be expected in the Tract itself even though valuable habitat is 
found just to the west. The westernmost of the 3 "bittern" ponds might be an exception 



to that, since it has seen an increasing amount of use by various birds over the 
years I have known it and would likely quickly revert to fish-bearing status if 
the dike between it and the salt evaporator (no. 11) to the west were breached. 

However, the jist of my comment about the endangered species pertains to the 
fairness of the announcement [which I read only in the public press] that your cor 
poration s application for a COE permit was about to be denied on the basis of un 
resolved concerns over the survival of these three endangered species. When none of 
the three is actually present on the property, and there is absolutely no habitat for 
two of them there, and only very marginal habitat for the third, there really would be 
no impact on the survival of the populations over what exists today. That was before 
I had seen the "jeopardy opinion" letter from the FWS. I subsequently obtained a copy 
of that letter and note their extensive emphasis on indirect effects, which I admit I 
had not considered to be serious. Kith Red Foxes now present throughout the Baumberg 
area, it seems that a predator far more effective than house cats is already a factor 
to be dealt with. [The Snowy Plover count team this past Saturday, of which I was a part, 
found the Fox den along the south side of the dike between the pickle pond and the 
first crystallizer to the south, where we saw 3 animals the previous Saturday. This 
week one animal was seen trotting northward along the far west side of the pickle pond, 
and their tracks are widespread throughout the area. Various bird wing and leg bones, 
one lower back of a bird skeleton, and several bird wings (feathers still attached) were 
picked up near the burrow opening.] From the standpoint of human intrusion into the 
salt evaporator areas west of the Baumberg Tract, I have always felt that it should be 
and could be kept under control by an appropriate public agency that would administer the 
trail that is projected through the area [for a long time, by the East Bay Regional Park 
District, e.g.]. By proper routing of such a trail, there need be no real disturbance 
of tern colonies or main roosts of shorebirds particularly if there were a variety 
of islands available for use by these birds. 

All of the above does not mean that I support the Shorelands Corporation s proposal 
to develop nearly 700 acres of land in the Baumberg Tract. There are many other facets 
of that proposal that are, in my mind, very important to consider especially that of 
traffic and the "cumulative impact" of development that would then be proposed for all 
other nearby lands still having wetlands or wildlife values. If the 718-acre tract is 
indeed properly designated as wetlands under COE jurisdiction, Then the fact that the 
development proposed is in no way really related to the adjacent waters of the United 
States would seer, to be a serious point on which to judge the question of granting of 
a permit rather than hinging everything on endangered species not actually found on 
the site. There is nlso the unproven need to keep the US, I) development next to a racetrack. 

I have not made any thorough study of the December 1987 "mitigation" package, of 
which you supplied a copy. Again, it differ^s from the previous version in ways that 
might well make a difference if I were on a decision-making body.. As a member of two 
organizations that would like to contribute to the decisions that are made, I did feel 
that the public should have the opportunity of input when the mitigation offered is very 
different from that on which our previous comments were based. But it seems that a 
loop-hole of the law allows for such subsequent input only when there has been a notably 
revised application, and hence a new EIS/EIR. 

I cannot say that I "look forward" to a revised proposal for the area. But if 
such is in the offing, I trust that all interested parties will pitch in and consider 
U pertinent factors in combination before arriving at their comments and recommend 
ations to the agencies having permitting authority for development here. 


cc: USF .-. S( Endangered Species Off ice, Sacramento) 
USCOE(San Francisco District Office) 



Cogswell : 
Cogswell ; 

have agreed to them, they would have been very good for the 
future wildlife values of the area. They included a number of 
things which the state is now going to have to try to do on 
this more limited piece of property. The state, by the way, 
owns about a half of this outer salt pond, north of Mt. Eden 
Creek-mouth [10 on Map 1, see dotted lines on 10, Map 3], but 
there s no sharp line; they simply have an undivided half 
interest in this outer pond. 

The northeast part of the Baumberg Tract is higher level 
land, so you couldn t get the low level salt marsh ever started 
here. You d have to pump water to maintain it. 

Then, over the years, what happened to the Shorelands 

They finally went bankrupt. 


Probably because they spent more money than they had taken in. 

Did anything come of the plans he had for the industrial 
buildings and the racetrack? 

Defining a Wetland and Consequent Mitigation Requirements 

Cogswell: Well, nothing ever came of it because he never subdivided the 

property nor tried to develop just a portion of it. He had two 
different plans that he put forward and requested a permit for. 
Each time, there were so many questions, so much controversy. 
The first time, the Corps of Engineers made the wetlands 
determination. And that was, I believe, 1983. There was a 
combination of circumstances that year, so that according to 
the rules of the Clean Water Act that the corps was following 
and enforcing, they had to declare essentially the whole area-- 
I think it was 87, or 83, or 89 percent, somewhere in that 
neighborhood-- was wetlands under their rules. 

During that particular year there was an almost solid 
growth of ditch grass throughout the whole area. Because the 
previous summer, Leslie Salt had flooded the area with water 
and kept the water on it. They claim, anyway, that it was 
because of complaints about dust blowing. The people in the 
nearby industries and downwind had dust blowing on them and 
they complained. So Leslie Salt pumped water, or admitted 


water from these other ponds into the old crystallizers [a-f, 
p, s, t, and g-k on Map 3], on the abandoned pickle and 
crystallizer ponds and let it sit there. 

Chall: That was before John optioned it? 

Cogswell: No, I think it was during the time that he had it optioned. 
Chall: That sort of undercut his plan, didn t it? 
Cogswell: I don t know the details of the option. 
Chall: The Corps of Engineers- 
Cogswell: Well, let me finish. The previous summer they had all that 
water in there, and it hadn t dried up yet when the 82- 83 
winter came along, the rainiest winter in many years. And so 
when the Shorelands Corporation s plan was put forward and the 
engineers were asked to come out and evaluate the wetlands, 
they couldn t get on the property; it was all under water. 
They couldn t walk around and look at the plants. They have to 
look for plants among other things, rooted plants, of which 
ditch grass is one indicator of wetlands. Pickleweed is 

Anyway, they did finally come out and make the jurisdiction 
way along in the summertime, after the water had gone down 
some. In a way, it was that combination of circumstances. 
This is my personal opinion: had they chosen a dry year to make 
the determination, and hadn t pumped any water on it 
previously, it would be my judgment that much of the area would 
not have been designated a wetland. If you go down and look at 
it now, there s a lot of upland plants growing on these former 
crystallizers as well as pickleweed mixed in. 

Chall: This puts the Clean Water Act and the wetlands into a rather 
gray area, doesn t it? 

Cogswell: It does. It does. There is. a gray area. Where do you draw 
the line on the upper limit? 

Chall: Because sometimes there might have been an accident of timing- - 

Cogswell: Another thing that happened that s part of the history: these 
rectangular ponds are the crystallizers [a-f, and g-k on Map 
3]. They have a specially prepared gravel substrate so that 
they don t have bumps up and down when they go to reap the 


Cogswell: When I worked as a consultant for Leslie Salt Company on other 
properties down in the Newark-northwest Fremont area, in the 
following year [1984-1985], they plowed--! think Leslie Salt 
arranged for this, I don t think Shorelands wanted it done- 
various of their properties, including some of those that I was 
studying in the Newark area. They plowed this set of north 
crystallizers--deep plowed them. Some people raised questions 
about that process; and it turns out that as far as the Corps 
of Engineers and EPA [Environmental Protection Agency) were 
concerned, plowing is a normal activity for agricultural lands 
anyway, so nothing was done about it. So they couldn t stop 
them, in other words; they had no legal basis for stopping the 

They did not plow these crystallizers down here, the 
southeast crystallizers of the Baumberg unit [g-k on Map 3]. 
Well, the difference is so amazing now: these north 
crystallizers [a-f], are being covered rather heavily by 
vegetationpartly upland, partly pickleweed that has come in 
since the plowing. However, unplowed south crystallizers are 
still largely solid bare ground. They are a similar substrate 
otherwise and I believe similar height, although there may be a 
slight difference. The pickle pond in the middle never was 
used for harvesting; it was the means by which the final brine 
from the evaporator ponds was distributed to the crystallizer 
ponds, that s all. And it was bare during those years. It has 
since become covered with vegetation. These south 
crystallizers [g-k] are the only really bare ground now. 

From the snowy plover standpoint, for example, they provide 
good habitat for foraging, but they re too smooth for their 
nesting preferences, although they use nearly bare ground. The 
north crystallizers [a-f, Map 3] are no longer bare enough for 
the plovers. That plowing episode--! don t think Cargill, or 
Leslie Salt, it was then, really knew what they were doing when 
they hired the plowing done. It looks as thoughit looked to 
everyoneas though they were trying to destroy wetlands 
vegetation by the process, and temporarily they did so. But 
there is a hardpan underneath all of these ponds; it s down a 
variable distance I think. 

There was a former crystallizer by the National Wildlife 
Refuge headquarters. I tried to drive some net poles in there 
to capture some birds for banding one time; you had to use a 
hammer and an iron rod to break through that hardpan. So, if 
they deep plowed and broke through that hardpan, that makes a 
lot of difference in the percolation of water. 


Chall: If I got it right, the Corps of Engineers came in earlier, at 
Baumberg, and 

Cogswell: Well, 83. 

Chall: And it was all wet, so they said it was a wetland. 

Cogswell: Well, when they finally made their determination, they no doubt 
gave the Shorelands Corporation a map of what portions were 
wetlands. They claimed 80-some percent, nearly 90 percent of 
the whole property all the way out was jurisdictional wetlands, 
and any alteration of that would have to be mitigated. 

Chall: I see. So that was the problem: it needed to be mitigated? 

Cogswell: They couldn t grant a permit unless there was adequate 

Chall: So that was one of the major problems. 

Cogswell: The second time the application came up, after they recognized 
that fact, and the Shorelands Corporation was still proposing 
development of the entire areathey had a plan for a street to 
join Industrial Boulevard down through the Baumberg Tract, 
coming off Route 92 up here at a new interchange. The present 
one [at Eden Landing Road] might have to be closed, but they 
would have a new interchange farther west. The racetrack was 
to go in the pickle pond and vicinity [Map 3], but the 
racetrack itself, Thorpe would repeatedly say, would not pay 
for itself. The reason they needed all the other industrial 
development was to make ends meet in developing the racetrack. 

The corps doesn t keep records of what properties are 
wetlands on an ongoing basis. They don t have the staff to do 
so. They only come out and make a determination when there is 
an application. So the next time the application came up--I 
don t remember what year it was --somewhere around 87, 88, 
"89, or "90. After Thorpe had come up with all these other 
more elaborate mitigations elsewhere, he then submitted another 
application. I don t know whether the corps even came out then 
or not. There were so many questions about it by that time, 
that what I ve heardand it s only hearsay, because Thorpe 
himself didn t tell me thisbut other people said that people 
at the corps simply told him, "Under present circumstances, 
your present plan, we will have to deny it." 

So he withdrew; he didn t actually get a denial because he 
withdrew the application. 


Each time he withdrew the application. 
Chall: My! He must have gone out of his mind. 

Cogswell: And all this time he was spending money hiring people, office, 
maintenance, and so on. 

Chall: Now, as far as you know, it was his money; it wasn t a limited 
partnership that he was setting up-- 

Cogswell: It was a partnership. I don t know how many partners he had. 

It wasn t all his money, but I m sure he probably lost a lot of 
his own money, too. 

Agencies Involved in the Complex Permitting Process 

Chall: What other agencies have been involved in this over the years? 
Primarily it was the Corps of Engineers, but then what? 

Cogswell: They re the agency designated by federal law to enforce the 
Clean Water Act. They are actually supervised on a policy 
basis by the EPA. So, I know there was question in the 
litigation over the Coyote Tract in Newark, whether EPA had any 
jurisdiction there or not. But the Supreme Court essentially 
affirmed that they do by refusing to consider the appellate 
court s decision [chuckles]. 

Chall: So that s a federal agency. Now, the state? 

Cogswell: The state gave up its original claim to the Baumberg Tract 
proper. They gave that up in the 1980s sometime when they 
settled this question of public trust. They agreed to give the 
Leslie Salt Company full and clear title to the Baumberg Tract. 
They had previously claimed some degree of public trust 
interest there as well as on these various other ponds and 
marshes to the west of the Baumberg Tract [points on Map 3). 
They even gave up state claim to public trust on these tidal 
marshes out here [the Whale s Tail marsh, Maps 3 and 4], which 
made some of us in Hayward rather irritated. 

Chall: Why did they do that? Do you know? 

Cogswell: The attorneys for the state Attorney General s office, who met 
with us from the Hayward Area Shoreline Planning Agency 
[HASPA]--we had a separate committee meeting and entertained 
the attorney s representatives from Sacramento--said that the 






land titles were so complex in this areathis checkerboard 
that I referred to earlierthat it was the best they could 
get. Even if they went to court, they doubted they would get 
anything more. 

So giving up the public trust meant that they just gave it up, 
no funds--? 

That the stateno funds involved Leslie Salt gave up their 
claim to the Mt. Eden Creek channel; Leslie Salt did agree to 
about half of this outer salt pond [Pond 10, Maps 1, 3, and 4] 
being owned by the State Lands Commission. But no line was 
ever drawn; there s no dike down the middle of it; there s an 

acreage figure but it is not a set number of acres, 
undivided partial interest in that pond. 

It s an 

Coupled with that, the state gave Leslie Salt the right to 
continue using that pond for salt production the same sort of 
arrangement that the National Wildlife Refuge has on all the 
ponds they have. A lot of the salt ponds in the South Bay 
south of New Alameda Creekall the way down through Alviso, 
around through Mountain View, not Palo Alto but again some 
other properties in Menlo Park, and Redwood City are owned in 
fee title by the federal government as part of the National 
Wildlife Refuge. But it s a modified fee title, so to speak; 
it was written into the title agreement when the federal 
government purchased those properties that the Leslie Salt 
Company could continue to use them for salt production as long 
as they wanted. And of course, the government did not pay, 
then, the full price that they would have had to have paid if 
they put the company out of business. 

Now, there is additional federal involvement in wetlands. 
If there is any plan to alter the wetlands status in any way, 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service s advice has to be sought. 

My word! 

Any developer. Thorpe had to have advice from them, because he 
couldn t get a permit. The Corps of Engineers is not allowed 
to issue a permit having anything to do with any alteration of 
fish or wildlife habitats without getting an opinion from the 
Fish and Wildlife Service. 

And can they be at odds about the proposal? 

Oh yes, they can. But it s been rather customary that the 
corps does not issue a permit if the Fish and Wildlife Service 
says no. They don t really have veto power, but if they put a 


strong opinion out that there is tremendous damage being done 
which is not properly mitigated, I think the corps almost never 
issues a permit. 

Chall: I see, so that in the corps denial, behind it was the advice 
of the Fish and Wildlife Service? 

Cogswell: Oh yes, yes, very much so. 

Chall: So they re involved. 

Cogswell: The state Fish and Game Department also. 

Chall: Tell me about the state Fish and Game Department. 

Cogswell: Well, there s a state environmental law also, CEQA [California 
Environmental Quality Act]. It s similar to the federal 
government laws, and a permit has to be obtained. All they 
have to do is get a clearance, I think, for wetlands from two 
bodies. One of them is the Water Resources Control Board and 
the other one is the state Fish and Game, I believe. 

Chall: Well, it gets very complicated with all of these agencies 

Cogswell: Oh, yes. I think Thorpe figured he had something like fourteen 
different agencies he had to get permits from. Of course 
there s the Coast Guardif there s any navigable water 
involved, they re involved. There s the earthquake hazard 
aspect; I don t know how he was going to meet that because this 
is all right at the borderland, the five-foot contour (depth of 
bay mud). This is considered to be about the most bayward 
point where building on less than five feet of bay mud is more 
or less normal. You just put down ordinary pilings and you ve 
got the building supported something like that. But west of 
that, where the bay mud gets deeper and deeper as you go out 
therethis western part would certainly be subject to possible 
liquefaction, so it would take special building techniques to 
put any building of any weight out there. 

Chall: So that s the state s concern. 

Cogswell: Yes, well it s local, the city of Hayward, too. Strictly from 
the endangered species approach, another office in Sacramento 
is also involved. I don t know who s in charge of that now. 
Because this is a part of the property that was designated in 
the recovery plan that was developed for two endangered 
species, the California clapper rail and the salt marsh harvest 
mouse. This was the whole Baumberg area, not just the Baumberg 


Tract, but this whole area all the way down to New Alameda 
Creek. Baumberg is 838 acres, nearly a thousand. Twenty-five 
hundred acres or thereabouts, in the entire Baumberg area, was 
designated in that plan as high priority for development of 
critical habitat for each of those species. 

Chall: That s Baumberg Tract plus- 
Cogswell: Plus adjacent areas, yes. But the recovery plans that are 

developed for endangered species like that don t have any money 
attached to them, so such a plan cannot be implemented unless 
there s money. 

Chall: You mentioned the name of Carl Wilcox. 

Cogswell: He s the one now in charge of seeing to it that there is an 
enhancement plan developed, adopted, and implemented for the 
property bought by the California Wildlife Conservation Board. 

Chall: And he s with the state Fish and Game. 

Cogswell: State Fish and Game, the district office in Yountville, near 
Napa. They are in charge of the implementation plan. 

Baumberg Tract Restoration Plan the Result of Mitigation 

Chall: Now, I understand from one article that I read that one of the 
reasons the Baumberg Tract was bought by the conservation board 
is because of mitigation in San Jose due to a sewage effluent 
problem, and in the Fremont /Milpitas area due to widening 880, 
along the Nimitz freeway. 

Cogswell: They are building an overpass and destroying small wetlands 
areas in the process. All of these changes damage the 
wetlands. The San Jose-Santa Clara Water Treatment Plant in 
Alviso is, I think, one of the most mammoth ones anywhere in 
the Bay Area. It empties its sewage effluent by one channel 
out into the south end of the Bay. The cities down there in 
the South Bay did not do what the cities from Fremont, Newark, 
north through San Leandro did--get together and build a big 
pipe to run this sewage effluent all the way into deep water 
into the central bay. Instead, down there they re still 
running their separate effluents; each sewage plant is running 
separate effluents into channels. 


Cogswell : 


Well, in the San Jose-Santa Clara area, Silicon Valley 
development and everything having grown so big, that water is 
now--it was 180 million gallons a day ten years ago. I m sure 
it is maybe 250 million gallons a day or more now. Flowing out 
in one channel, it has converted what was typical spartina or 
cordgrass and pickleweed marsh into tall tules--essentially 
freshwater marsh. As you get to the outer end of the marsh, 
there is some alkali bulrush which indicates a little more 
alkalinity, a little more saltiness. I ve been out there on a 
boat fairly recently. 

There was a court case and at some point they were ordered 
to mitigate that damage because the fresh water has converted 
what was clapper rail habitat, an endangered species, to a 
freshwater habitat which is not clapper rail habitat. So they 
had this big mitigation duty, so to speak, and they therefore 
contributed- -what is it?--AO-some percent of the cost of the 
Baumberg Tract. That erased their mitigation obligation. 

By providing funds. The same thing that the Fremont-Milpitas 
people did with the freeway. 

Much smaller complement there. 

Five hundred thousand dollars I understand. 

Yes, but that s compared to $12.5 million, 
over $12 million. 

The total cost is 

Now I also understand that the East Bay Regional Park District 
is going to go in there and develop trails. 

They ve contributed some money. You can t get an answer out of 
them in public meeting, anyway, about why they are contributing 
the money. But apparently they hope to have a trail through 
there. Right now the Bay Trail comes to an abrupt end right 
here by the HARD Interpretive Center [north of Route 92, Map 
1]. Bicyclists won t have to come over here and bicycle and go 
around through this route [Industrial Boulevard] and busy 
streets through Union City. The next place they can get out 
towards the shore is the New Alameda Creek and then they can go 
three and a half miles to the Bay Shore, but they have to come 
right back again to Coyote Hills. 

The idea of a Bay Trail was to surround the Bay, not to 
have to go on city streets. See. So, the East Bay Regional 
park sought to have a trail; but whether that will be done 
depends on whether the state Fish and Game and the federal Fish 

1548 East Ave. 

Hayward, CA 94541-5313. tel. 5 10/58 1-2201 
3 February 1996 

Wildlif. Conservation Board 
Dept.of Fish and Game 
801 KSt., suite 806 
Sacramento, CA 95814 

Re: BAL MBERG TRACT, AJameda Co. - item 15 on 2/8/96 Agenda 
Dear WCB Members: 

Having listened to and participated in various discussions of the future of this property 
including the quite recent proposals by consultants responding to property owners in the vicinity and 
to the City of Hayward, and being unable to attend your February 8 meeting, 1 trust that my views set 
forth herein will be considered as a part of the record and borne in mind when you make your 
decision on the proposed acquisition. 

First, 1 give a synopsis of my background pertinent to this matter. I joined the Biological 
Sciences Department faculty at California Slate University, Hayward, in 1964 and was immediately 
drafted by the Department of Fish and Game to coordinate the San Leandro-Hayward sector of a 
Bay-wide inventory of \\aterbirds. This included the Baumberg Tract (on which a salt crystallization 
plant site still operated) as well as all the salt evaporators westward to the Bay. This study continued 
until mid-1966, but 1 continued to have intermittent access to the area for instructional purposes with 
Ornithology and Ecology classes which I taught at CSL H until my retirement in 1982. 

As the elected Director for the area on the East Bay Regional Park (EBRPD) Board, 1 was a 
proponent and ultimate maker of the motion by which that agency adopted the plan put together by 
the City of Hayward to acquire most of the baylands properties north of route 92 (San Mateo Bridge 
approach) in cooperation with the County of Alameda, the City, and the Hayward Recreation and 
Park District (HARD). At the start of the Hayward Shoreline Planning Agency (HASPA), a joint 
agency then involving the City, the County, HARD, and EBRPD, I was the alternate trustee and later 
the trustee representing the EBRPD. After 1 left the EBRPD Board at the end of 1982 upon 
completion of three terms. 1 have continued sen. ing on the Citizens Advisory Committee 

In 1968-71, I also carried out with the help of up to six assistants a bay-wide (south San Jose to 
Antioch & Travis AFB) study of solid-waste disposal and bird hazard to aircraft under a grant from 
the Environmental Protection Agency. This is pertinent because it was the experience that brought 
to my attention how unique the Baumberg Tract is in the lota] picture of the bay-related habitats 
about the whole Bay. We visited nearly all parts regularly by 4-wheel drive vehicle and by small 
airplane at low altitude, and some parts also by boat. 

While serving on HASPCAC, I reviewed the various plans of The Shorelands corporation 
which had an option on the Baumberg Tract, and commented on the mitigation measures they 
offered to offset the nearly 100% destruction their proposed development would inflict on the 
jurisdictional wetlands the property was then (1983?) found to contain. Many of the conflicts that 
arose over that proposal were based on inaccurate delineation of the exact places of occurrence of 
several listed species - especially the California Clapper Rail and the California Least Tern. There 
was (and still is) essentially NO habitat for those two species within the Baumberg Tract , although 
both were found using typical habitats in the broader "Baumberg Area" of the salt-pond system to the 
west. The Shorelands corporation, however, withdrew its application for development without ever 
coming up with an on-site mitigation plan. 

The natural history guide "Water Birds of California" (Univ. of California Press, 1977) was 
authored by me, and I have continued since 1991 studies of such birds, particulary through censuses 
of shorebirds and colonially-breeding waterbirds (mostly terns in my assigned areas) through the San 
Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, Alviso, CA 95002, of which I am current president. These later 
studies have not included any data from the Baumberg Tract, however, by agreement with the Cargill 
Corporation, owner. Nevertheless, my acquaintance with the site and its surroundings is longer than 
even the company s current personnel, and I offer it in support of the recommendations I make. 


H.L.Cogswell to WCB, 3 Feb. 1996 p. 2 

Although I mention various agencies and organizations in the synopsis above, the 
recommendations and rationale which follow are from me as an individual. They are made entirely 
with an interest in seeing the optimum practicable combination of wildlife habitats around San 
Francisco Bay, which you as a Board have the opportunity to move significantly toward in this 


1 . If the appraised price per acre for the Baumberg Tract is considered a fair price based upon 
its location, geologic conditions, and adjacent property values, I urge the Wildlife Conservation 
Board to authorize the suggested cooperative agreement to purchase it NOW. 

2. Advantage should be taken of the partial funding available as mitigation for the impacts of 
highway development and saltmarsh habitat alteration elsewhere in the South San Francisco Bay 
area to develop a plan for restoration of a full range of salt-marsh types on the Baumberg Tract; but 
if such funds are used for pure acquisition costs, a commitment with date certain for the production 
and initial implementation of such a restoration plan should be given by the WCB. 

3. Some indication should be given now, perhaps to be confirmed as a part of the restoration 
plan, of what agency or agencies would be responsible for the management of the property during 
and after the restoration work is performed. 

4. If any adjustments of the boundary arc made to accommodate access requests for adjacent 
property owners, the integrity of all large blocks of lower-, middle-, and high-tide level marshes 
should be maintained, as well as continuity among these types. 

5. Consideration in the future should be given to obtaining title to the "Whale s Tail Marsh" 
(tidal marsh areas from north of Ml. Eden Creek-mouth south to the original Alameda Creek-mouth, 
about 250 acres, most of which is owned by Cargill). 


The BAUMBERG TRACT S 838 or so acres are so situated, by connection to the tidal 
Mt. Eden Creek and the "Whale s Tail Marsh" beyond it and by virtue of the highest portions of the 
Tract being at or near highest tide levels, that there is opportunity for restoring a more complete 
range of saltmarshes here than anywhere else around the Bay south of San Francisco and Oakland. 
It s true that parts of Bair Island in San Mateo County would be easier to restore to low and middle 
marsh levels because they were salt evaporators for a shorter time and the old saltmarsh channels are 
siill evident in them. However, there is no real high-marsh zone there since that point is occupied by 
highway 101. Furthermore, as the WCB Staff reported to us a year ago, they have been unable to 
obtain any agreement by the owners to sell. 

At Baumberg, tide action of limited sort could be restored to the northern set of old 
crystallizers by opening a few dikes and putting culvert pipes under existing levees necessarily 
retained by Cargill for access to their remaining property [see attached map for ponds and locations 
mentioned]. The brine ditch which parallels Mt.Eden Creek on the north from salt evaporator 
10+11 to near Eden Landing Road would have to be bypassed or relocated for tide action to be 
brought to former "bittern ponds" 2 and 3 (those with low dikes - see comments on bittern ponds 
below). Cargill conveys brine by siphons under quite large bodies of water elsewhere, and I can see 
no reason why they could not do so under Mt.Eden Creek to reach evaporator 12 just to the south 
and thus eliminate the need for the circuitous route to and under Eden Landing Road to their pump 
at the east junction of ponds 12, 13, and 14. This would enable return to tide action of everything 
from the pickle pond northward except for the high-diked older bittern pond #1. 

The "bittern ponds" themselves are part of the Baumberg Tract. They, of course, contain only 
whatever chemicals were in the bay water from which the bulk of the sodium chloride was 
crystallized. As I understand it, the chief high concentrations are calcium and magnesium salts. The 
western bittern ponds 2 and 3 already flood during rainy winters so that their low separating dike is 
often overtopped, and they also receive a modest amount of use by shorebirds and ducks, some of 
which are obviously feeding. It s my assumption therefore, that they could be rehabilitated within 
Water Quality Board guidelines by gradual flushing with bay water and then returned to tidal status if 
that was desired. Bittern pond #1, with its high dike, just west of Eden Landing Road, is another 
matter. Over the years that I had access to this property for bird study, I looked at that pond many 
times, but never saw a bird on its surface or along its shore even when there was rainwater 
accumulated in it. The concentration of chemicals here may be so great that either of two measures 
might have to be adopted before restoration is possible: 1) excavate and remove the material to a 


H.L.Cogswell to WCB, 3 Feb. 1996 p. 3 

suitable upland disposal site; or 2) cover it and cap it with an essentially waterproof seal. Decision 
should be made on this difficult area as an actual restoration plan is developed, which should be by a 
competent hydraulic/marsh restoration engineer. 

The "pickle-pond", the large nearly circular area in the mid-easiern part of the Tract, is at the 
highest level. Twelve years ago it was a major pre-breeding assembly area and a moderately good 
breeding area for the Western Snowy Plover since it was then mostly barren with slight irregularities 
of surface and very sparse low plants. On a November 1995 trip through the area with HASPCAC 
(with Cargill officials along) a very great expansion of the vegetation on this area was noted. Hence, 
it is rapidly becoming less favorable for the Snowy Plover and instead will soon be suitable for the 
endangered Saltmarsh Harvest Mouse, a few of which were found in the 1980s in the nearby 
Mt.Eden Creek bed. If true "high-marsh" versions of inlertidal marshes are to be restored in any 
significant amount in the area, the pickle pond is probably the best place for it to be centered. Only 
an up-to-date topographic study to 0.1 or 0.2 foot intervals of the area would tell what the over-all 
limits of such marsh could be. 

The southern crystalliTers (south of the pickle-pond) have remained essentially barren and are 
thus attractive to Snowy Plovers for foraging at some seasons. If minor irregularities of surface were 
established on them, the habitat would be enhanced for that species to nest here; but major 
disruption would only encourage the growth of pickleweed - as happened after the mid-1980s when 
the north crystalli/ers were deep- plowed. The Snowy Plover s ancestral preferred habitat, of course, 
was the supraiidal area of ocean beaches, but they did also occupy drying salt pans of natural origin 
in the upper parts of coastal marshes. If that sort of habitat can be incorporated into a restoration 
plan that looks begond 10 years at a time, then this habitat could also be arranged for in the 
Baumberg Tract somewhere. 

The southeasternmost part of the Tract, the former Perry Gun Club, is already largely covered 
by perennial pickleweed -- and so probably harbors Saltmarsh Harvest Mice. 

One difficulty of developing adequate tidal prism to allow complete flushing of a large 
ink-rtidal marsh throughout a majority of the Baumberg Tract would be ihe very narrow existing 
channel of Ml. Eden Creek, most of the original rather wide Slough having grown up to dense 
pickleweed marsh in the past 30 years that I have known the property. It could be dredged out. of 
course, but that in itself would destroy SMHM habitat, and some of the CCRail habitat in the outer 
reach. A supplemental channel that would perhaps permit less dredging of Mt.Eden Creek, or 
perhaps substitute for it entirely, has been suggested from State property south of the San Mateo 
Bridge toll station along the northernmost boundary of salt evaporators 10+11 and the Baumberg 
Tract. Although the western part of evaporator 10 is owned by the State, there was an agreement 
when title to it was cleared that Leslie Salt (now Cargill) could continue using it for salt production 
purposes. Additional negotations with Cargill or alternatively with the Oliver Trust that holds 
property just north of evaporator 11 might be able to allow for such an additional entry/ exit route 
for bay water. A further alternative would be a channel from the southwest corner of the south 
crystallizers to and along the east side of salt evaporator 8A, as was envisaged in the Shorelands 
development plan for the disposal of rainwater runoff to Old Alameda Creek (Alvarado Channel). 

The several difficulties I have enumerated for a thorough marsh restoration plan on the 
Baumberg Tract do not really interfere with the ultimate establishment of a full range of wildlife 
habitats from open mudfiat and tidal slough through cordgrass and pickleweed marshes, to those with 
gum-plant (Grindelia) along the minor, sinuous channels that would be optimum habitat for the 
Alameda Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia pusillula) endemic to east-central and south San 
Francisco Bay, to the high-tide marsh intergrading with upland vegetation that has been destroyed 
elsewhere throughout nearly all of the South Bay. 

Respectfully yours, 

Howard L. Cogswell, Ph.D. 
[Prof. Emeritus, Biol.Sci., Cal-St.Univ.,Hayward] 

cc: HASPA 
City of Hayward 
Carl Wilcox.DFG tartars S/WK/tfy 

End.: HASPA property map of Baumberg Area, with sites annotated. 

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and Wildlife people, particularly Fish and Game, will allow it 
or not. 

Chall: I see. So there s a lot yet to be done. But I have a little 
background now about why the restoration of the Baumberg Tract 
has come to be. Initially what happened then is that John 
Thorpe gave up. 

Cogswell: Well, his company went bankrupt. The option expired. 
Chall: The option expired, so it still belonged to Leslie- 
Cogswell: Still belonged to Cargill which acquired the Leslie Salt Company. 
Chall: Then they were willing to sell it? 

Cogswell: Leslie Salt had it for sale since 1973 at least. They d been 

paying taxes. They will tell you that they d been paying taxes 
on it all this time, as they do their other surplus properties. 
So they ve elected to dispose of it. 

Chall: What is the California Wildlife Conservation Board? 

Cogswell: They are a separate entity associated with the state Fish and 
Game Department, but not really--! m sure they re not 
answerable to the head of the Department of Fish and Game. But 
their whole purpose of being is to acquire or improve 
properties for the benefit of wildlife. They re under the 
state Resources Agency as is the Fish and Game. They re sort 
of an auxiliary agency to that. 

And they do have money; from time to time, some large 
amounts of it. They were the designated state agency to spend 
money from Proposition 70 a few years ago. 8 It was passed by 
the voters of the state; it included x million dollars to be 
spent acquiring wetlands in San Francisco Bay south of San 
Mateo Bridge, specified in the law that was passed. That s the 
reason why the Citizens to Complete the Refuge thought that 
they were going to get Bair Island purchased from that. [See 
Appendix C] The Wildlife Conservation Board people, the actual 
board members, according to their staff --we never met their 
board membersclaimed the board will not exercise eminent 

"Proposition 70, June 1988. Wildlife, Coastal, and Park Land 
Conservation Bond Act. Initiative statute sponsored by Calif ornians for 
Parks and Wildlife. $776 million to acquire, develop, rehabilitate, 
protect, and restore parks, wildlife, coastal and natural lands in 


domain though they have the power to. They don t want to run 
the risk of an adverse court decision or something. 

Chall: So it was easier to get this-- 

Cogswell: It was easier to get this because we had a willing seller; when 
the appraisal was done, Cargill said okay. 

Chall: In addition to that, they were able to get these monies from 
mitigation, to provide part of the funds. 

Cogswell: Yes. It wouldn t have been possible otherwise, because there s 
not enough in the bond money. 

Chall: So these folks in California Wildlife Conservation Board must 
have been out working to find out how this could be 

Cogswell: Oh yes. Their staff worked together to put this package 

together, sure. I have a record of the staff person who was at 
this meeting I attended, uninvited. I heard by the underground 
about the meeting. They had invited Florence La Riviere s 
group, the Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge, because 
they knew that that was a group that was going to oppose them. 
They wanted to sound them out or let them know in advance 
before it was actually done; but in fact, what they told us was 
essentially, it s all done. It hadn t actually transpired yet, 
but they were about to close it. 

Chall: Can you tell me something about Bair Island. [This interview 
took place a few months before POST {Peninsula Open Space 
Trust} concluded their successful negotiations to purchase Bair 

Cogswell: The Citizens Committee to Save the Refuge needs to get this 

Japanese firm to give us the outer two pieces of Bair Island. 
These are the only parts I think really that are quite valuable 
from the wildlife standpoint. The innermost, smaller portion 
is next to development anyway. It is an island. Bair Island 
is really three islands, or islands separated by two sloughs, 
whichever way you want to consider it. The inner part, other 
people have championed for development. 

It s all left over from Leslie Salt s attempt to go into 
the real estate business in the 1970s. When they closed the 
Redwood City plant, they started their own real estate company 
there. John Passarello was the manager of that at the time; he 
later became head of the Northern California Nature 
Conservancy. He was the one from whom I sought admission for a 


couple of research projects I had. He told me he was surprised 
that I was asking for research access to their entire system. 
I said, "Yes, that s right." [laughter] 

Chall: Why not? [laughs] 

Cogswell: He said, "Well, "--after discussing it with me on the phone--he 
said, "I guess we ll be sending you a letter; it ll be okay." 
Within the next week, I spoke to the Sequoia Audubon Society 
about the proposed new national wildlife refuge, giving it my 
full support; it was a wonderful thing that was being proposed 
at that time. I never got the letter from Leslie Salt Company. 
My research grant was in the offing; it came. I had to live 
for three years with access over the Leslie Salt property but 
not through it. I flew over it. [laughter] 

Chall: Yes, well, you spoke out of turn! [laughter] 

Cogswell: I can t prove there s a connection, but I never got the letter. 

Chall: Regarding Bair Island, there have been articles about that area 
in Save the Bay bulletins. They gave me some information. 

Cogswell: It s good, but--. You should have a copy of my letter to the 
Wildlife Conservation Board at the time that they were 
considering this. At Bair Island, restoration of the 
uppermost tide levels, where high tide marsh would reach upland 
borders, is not possible because Highway 101 occupies that 
position over there with development along it. It s been 

In the Baumberg Tract there is a possibility up in the 
north and east parts of that sort of a thing, particularly in 
the area near Arden Road, and by Baumberg Village [Map 3]. 
And this area as a whole, the way it was being talked about 
when we first met with the Wildlife Conservation Board staff, 
was that they were going to acquire some property all the way 
down through the tidal Whale s Tail marsh out north and south 
of the old Alameda Creek-mouth [Maps 1 and 3). 

As it turned out, when they got down to brass tacks in 
their dealings, they didn t have enough money to do this. 
Nevertheless, in the Mt. Eden Creek-Baumberg Tract area, it is 
possible to develop from bayside low level tidal marsh all the 
way up to that upland in one of the most unique situations in 
the South Bay. It hardly exists anywhere else. 


I guess there s a future in it. 


Cogswell: Yes. Carl Wilcox has got his job cut out for him to get a 

consulting firm that can make a nice design that s going to be 
possible for them to implement. 

The state owns an approximate half-interest in the 
outermost salt evaporator [Pond 10, Maps 1 and 3], but they 
can t alter it. The salt company s still going to use it. 
What they are thinking of is dredging, because Mt. Eden Creek, 
from this point [Ml on Maps 1 and 3) landward, especially, is 
practically filled up with salt marsh. Even this channel, 
bayward from the same point [Ml], is now very narrow. But they 
would dredge the part inland from point Ml to M2 [Map 3]. 
Carl s idea, he told me once, is simply to let the surge of 
water scour out the outer channel, southwest of Ml. This 
little low dike across there would have to be removed. In 
their very implementation, they have to damage some salt marsh; 
but they ll probably get a permit to do that because the 
ultimate result will be a great increase in the acreage of the 
tidal marsh. 


[Interview 2: July 17, 1998] ## 
Early Interest in Birds 

Chall: All right. We start. What I wanted first from you, Howard, 
was something about your educational background and then your 
career path. Where did you get your education and your 
interest in ornithology. 

Cogswell: Well, my interest in ornithology goes way back to boyhood. I 
kept my first bird list when I was ten years old. 

Chall: Where were you living? 

Cogswell: Pennsylvania. Northeast Pennsylvania. I always give credit to 
Thornton W. Burgess s bird book for children. I don t remember 
the date of publication, but it was in the Montrose Public 
Library. I had read two or three books by him about other 
animals in grade schoolthat would have been in fourth grade 
before I moved to town. And when I was in fifth grade we moved 
to the county seat. 

Chall: And that has a name? 

Cogswell: Montrose, Pennsylvania. The county library there in the county 
seat had this book by the same author. I had read other books 
by him from the traveling library in the two-room school house 
where I was in the third and fourth grades. So that s what 
started me. 

And this was a book that was written deliberately for 
children. It personifies the animals, but it doesn t change 
their ways of life. Peter Rabbit is the operator: he goes 


about and he can talk with any animal the language that they 
speak. He always runs from Farmer Brown and Farmer Brown s 
dog, and so on, so their life is really like the animal s. 
Peter Rabbit met all these birds and describes them and so 
that s what really captured my interest early on. 

That was a year or two before I discovered a better book at 
the library, Eaton s Birds of New York which was published in 
1924, I believe-- 23 or 24--with excellent color plates of 
most of the birds by Louis Aggassiz Fuertes, a famous bird 
artist of Cornell. And that two-volume book had instructions 
for keeping notes and so on in the front, so that s what got me 
started in keeping a list. 

Chall: Really? 

Cogswell: All I did at first was to keep the usual bird list. Most 

birders start out that way. But by the time I graduated from 
high school, I was a dedicated birder already. 

I graduated from Montrose High School in 1931. I was the 
valedictorian of a very small class. [laughter] There were 
only 200 in the whole high school. 

Chall: Did you have any friends who cared as much about birds as you 

Cogswell: No, not as much. I never did have a tutor. I was the tutor 

for a friend of mine, Zelman Klonsky, now Zel Kelvin. He and I 
were both in the Boy Scouts and we needed the bird study merit 
badge. Well, I got mine with a breeze because I knew the birds 
already. At that time it was knowing, I think, forty species 
of birds, and four or five other requirements. He had real 
difficulty, so he needed help. And I helped him and he got his 
bird study merit badge, too. 

Our scout master lived on a farm. He was a gentleman 
farmer; he didn t operate the farm, but he lived on it and 
owned it next to Lake Montrose which is near the golf course 
where we caddied sometimes. And the scout master was mildly 
interested in birds, knew a fair number of them, but I don t 
think he kept any records. But he did give us permission to 
bird all over his properties. That was very helpful, 
[laughter) Next to the lake, of course. 

Chall: So that s your beginning. 
Cogswell: Well, that s the beginning. 


Chall: When you went to college? 

Cogswell: I left Pennsylvania after high school and came to California 
that following fall. I couldn t afford to go to college even 
though I had thought of going to college at Penn State 
University. I couldn t afford it. This was 1931, it was the 
depths of the Depression. 

Chall: Right. 

Cogswell: And I wound up in California living with a man that I called 
uncle. He was really no direct relation, but he had been 
raised by my grandfather as his foster son. He was a nephew of 
my grandfather s second wifenot my grandmother, who was his 
third wife. So anyway, that man, L. B. Luce, was a successful 
building contractor for years in Pasadena and I came to 
California and lived with the Luces. 

Chall: So that s wherein Pasadena? 

Cogswell: In Pasadena, California. I went to junior college there, 

including two different stints. I didn t stay with the Luces 
more than, well, one year at most, then I was out working on my 
own odd jobs. It didn t cost much to go to junior college in 
those days. It didn t cost much to live. 

Chall: Right. 

Cogswell: But it was hard to get any money. Anyway, I went to junior 

college as a chemistry/math major, so to speak, because that s 
what everyone expected me to do. That s what I had indicated 
in high school. I was going to be a chemist. 

Chall: Oh, I see. 

Cogswell: But I only lasted a year and a half in that. Didn t like it, 
dropped out for just about a year, and when I went back I 
majored in biology. Went back to Pasadena another year and a 
half --Pasadena Junior College it s now city college, Pasadena 
City College and majored in biology. Graduated from there, in 
that major in 1936. 

Chall: So it took you a number of years to get through? 

Cogswell: Well, because of the change of major, yes. I started a year, 
quit a year--I couldn t go on to a four-year college. I d 
already visited UC Berkeley once; I knew about Joseph Grinnell, 
thought wonders of him, didn t meet him, however. I came to 
campus, but just couldn t afford to go in 36 to Berkeley, 


besides which I was beginning to get interested in other 
aspects of life-- 37 to 38, particularly 38, I was courting 
Bessie. [laughter] 

Chall: I see. 

Cogswell: So we got married. 

Chall: Wow, that s a long time! You ve been married a long time. 

Cogswell: Well, it ll be sixty years this year. So I didn t go back to 

college until after World War II under the G.I. Bill. The G.I. 
Bill was available and one of my Pasadena Junior College 
instructors resumed bird studyhe had been a birder earlier. 
I did not know it when I took a course from him. He gave the 
general biology lectures and was an excellent lecturer. But he 
took up bird study again from the standpoint of bird listing; 
he wasn t interested in anything except life birds [species he 
hadn t previously seen]. [laughs] But he urged me to--he 
said, "You ought to be in college." He knew about the G.I. 
Bill being available. He said, "You ought to go back to 
college." And I was, by that time, working. 

Chall: Had you been in the service? 

Cogswell: I was in the navy--World War II--served twenty-two months, 
including in the Pacific Theater, Hawaii to Okinawa. I was 
there when the war ended. 

Chall: I see. 

Cogswell: Anyway, Dr. Max deLaubenfels was this man. He was a world 
expert on sponges and that s how he got his own Ph.D. 

By that time I was working part-time for the National 
Audubon Society, in a sense. I had agreed to move onto a 
property that they had acquired while I was gone in the navy. 
I was supposed to be the first director of their first 
sanctuary in southern California which was along San Gabriel 
River near El Monte--f if teen miles due east of Los Angeles. 
They acquired the property of seven acres for the headquarters 
when I was gone in the navy. 

And some ladies from various Audubon chapterswell, 
chiefly Mrs. Richardson from Berkeleyactive in what was then 
the Audubon Association of the Pacific, now Golden Gate 
Audubon, came down and lived in the house until I got out of 
the navy and for a while longer because I wasn t able to 
change. We owned a house in Pasadena by that time, which we 


had built, a tract house. Anyway, we finally wound up selling 
our house when this idea of going back to college materialized 
and I moved into this Audubon property where we got free rent 
and utilities for me being part-time warden of the place. 

Whittier College. 1947-1948 

Cogswell: And I had arranged, then, to enter Whittier College in February 
of that year. We moved in October, but I entered the college 
in February, quit my job. The job I had had when I was 
drafted, which was a U.S. mailman in Pasadena. It was quite a 
decision to make. Those of us who lived through the Great 
Depression know how hard jobs were to come by and a government 
job--such as the U.S. mail is going to go on-- 

Chall: Yes, forever. 

Cogswell: Forever, and so it was a permanent job. 

Chall: Did you have children by that time? 

Cogswell: Yes, our son was born in 1940, so we had him before I was in 

the navy--our only child. Anyway, I did quit my job completely 
at the post office to go back to college. So I had to make the 
break, depending on the G.I. Bill to pay most of my way, which 
it did. I had so many units from the junior college, I only 
needed to go a year and a half to complete the baccalaureate 
degree at Whittier. 

Chall: In biology? 

Cogswell: In biological science--! think it was called biology, there. 
I m not sure. I graduated from there in June of 48 and 
transferred that fall to UC Berkeley in zoology. 

Chall: Zoology? 

UC Berkeley. 1948-1952; 1962 

Cogswell: Zoology. And spent four years at Berkeleythe last three in 
sort of breaks, because I spent the spring semester periods in 
southern California on the field research for my Ph.D. and took 
courses in the fall at Berkeley. The first year I was entirely 




at Berkeley including one summer session; the second year where 
I had some field work at Hopkins Marine Station, at Pacific 
Grove. 1 took a field course there. It was required for the 
Ph.D. to take a course including field work at the seashore. 
It didn t matter what course, as long as it was a zoology 
course of some kind at the seashore. It was a good requirement 
and I liked it. 

For my term report for that courseit was an undergraduate 
course in invertebrate zoology--! did a sampling of the mud 
flat- -the organisms of the macrofauna in the mud of Elkhorn 
Slough just east of what was to become the PG&E [Pacific Gas 
and Electric Company] cooling water intake which is now 
operating. They were getting set up to establish that plant at 
that time, that big power plant at Moss Landing. It is an oil- 
powered generating plant. They had to cool somethingthey had 
to take water in to cool it at great quantity and there s no 
great quantity of water there except salt water, so they built 
a system that used salt water for cooling. 

Oh, I didn t realize that. 

So they take it out of the slough and I think they discharge it 
back into the main slough near the yacht harbor, or at the 
yacht harbor. Anyway, I did that mud flat study which 
introduced me to mudf aunashorebird food and all that. 

My Ph.D. work, though, was in another f ieldnothing to do 
with water birds it was territory size in chaparral birds in 
the San Gabriel Mountains of southern California. I started 
out not knowing what species I was really going to settle on. 
I was taking data on all species, but only after the three 
years of field work did I narrow it down and see which ones I 
had the best data on and analyzed and studied territory size in 
the wren tit, the bewick s wren, and the rufous-sided towhee. 
Now known as the spotted towhee. [laughter] 

One in my yard this day. 
the change of name. 

I m not going to be able to remember 

But the G.I. Bill benefits were exhausted. The last year I had 
some state veteran s benefits that I used and we were getting 
very low on money. We had sold the house in Pasadena when I 
enrolled in Whittier College. We had sold that house for 
nearly four times what we paid for it because of the inflation 
--it was pre- to post-World War II. And yet that money was 
just about gone, so I had to go to work, desperately. 


And even though I had finished the field workalmost 
finished the field workI had finished the actual data 
gathering on the birds in six different plots of chaparral in 
southern California--! didn t have the vegetational measured. 
But I was desperately looking for a job, and finally one was 
offered at Mills College, so 1 went there. I was an assistant 



Mills College: Assistant Professor. 1952-1964 

Chall: Teaching biology? 

Cogswell: Teaching zoology with miscellaneous othergeneral biology, 

also, at first courses in the biology department. They only 
had three biologists, of which I was one. But that was so time 
consuming. I went back to southern California the following 
summer, finished up the measuring of the vegetation that I 
needed. I was measuring territory size against vegetation 
density and I needed to finish that vegetation density 
measurement. It should have been done the same years I was 
measuring the birds, but I didn t finish it up until the 
following year. 

Chall: Fortunately it didn t change. 

Cogswell: It didn t change that much. They didn t have a fire in the 

Chall: Yes, that s right. [laughter) 

Cogswell: So I had all this raw data and just didn t get around to 

analyze it, what with the job, the full-time job. So it took 
me a long while to finish the Ph.D., to get the dissertation 

Chall: So when did you finish? 

Cogswell: I finally got the degree in 62. 

Chall: And how did you enjoy the Mills experience? 

Cogswell: Oh, it s a good college. The limitations there are that they 
provide almost no help whatsoever for a professor to set up 


labs and so o.-i. The only course I had any help in was the big 
freshman course. And that was true of the first year or two 
didn t have any help at all. You do the flunky work which big 
universities all have helpers to do. Big universities have 
readers to read exam papers and so on; not at Mills, 
[laughter] Not at Cal State Hayward [California State 
University at Hayward], either. But academically it s a good 
institution and I had some very bright girls there. 

Chall: Yes. So you moved to Oakland? 

Cogswell: Yes, we moved to Oakland right away when I got that job. And 

when I was doing the field work in southern California, we were 
breaking household three times each year. It was a terrible 
ordeal for our son. We didn t realize at the time, but it was 
preventing him from making long-time friendships, because every 
time he d get friends established where we lived and where he 
went to schoolhe went to two different schools: one school up 
here and the other school in southern Californiaand it wasn t 
always the same school down there. 

Chall: In Berkeley did you always rent someplace different? 

Cogswell: Yes, well, we lived in the veteran s village, the UC veteran s 
village, but it wasn t always the same place because of the 
breaks . 

Chall: Yes. The one in Albany? 

Cogswell: The one in Albany. We stayed there for a year and a half on 
the Gill tract. That was not the current one. It was on the 
Gill tract which is the agricultural tract next to the Western 
Agricultural Research Lab. That was the year that I took my 
summer work at Pacific Grove. We kept the apartment even 
though I was down at Pacific Grove for five, six weeks six 
weeks I think it was. 

Chall: So, you got your degree. 

Cogswell: I finally got the degree in February of 62, with this 

dissertation on territory size and the three species of birds. 
And after that I was expecting to get a promotion at Mills 
College because the reason I wasn t promoted was because I 
didn t have the degree. That was understandable: it s the 
normal process, and that s what I had been told by them when I 
went there. 


National Science Foundation Fellowship; Pennsylvania State 
University, 1963-1964 

Cogswell: But after I got the degree, still no promotion. They didn t 
give a reason that year. The following year, 63-64, I got a 
National Science Foundation Science Faculty Fellowship. It s 
essentially a science education scholarship. It s not a 
research fellowship. The purpose was to improve my ability as 
a teacher. I took a sabbatical leave from Mills at half -pay 
and the scholarship paid essentially the other half of my 
salary plus quite a number of other expenses. 

I applied to three places. This was to study animal 
behavior. I d gotten interested in animal behavior as a 
specialty and had been doing some reading on it. I built a 
bibliography in the summer time--I went to UC Berkeley biology 
library and got quite an extensive card file on animal 
behavior, which was a developing science then. I applied to 
work with William Thorpe at Cambridge University in England, he 
turned me down [laughs]. He wrote me a handwritten letter, not 
a typed letter, a handwritten letter saying he was swamped with 
people, and just couldn t take on any more. My second choice 
was Ekhart Hess who had been doing excellent work with 
imprinting with chicks and some other birds, but mostly baby 

Chall: Where is he? 

Cogswell: At the University of Chicago. He never answered in time. He 

finally answered but it was after I had closed the deal with my 
third choice. So Hess would have taken me, but he didn t 
answer in time. I had already committed to go to Penn State 
University which is where I was going to go to college anyway 
when I was a farm boy back there. 

I chose Penn State simply because they had three people 
listed under animal behavior. I didn t know any of those 
people at the time. Didn t know much about what work they had 
done except CarpenterCharles Carpenter, I think--! ve 
forgotten his first name, now- -had done excellent work on 
howler monkeys. By the time I got there, though, he was no 
longer doing any teaching. He was a dean, so wouldn t take 
anybody. He wasn t involved in teaching any more. 

The other two persons I did work with. David Davis, who is 
not really in animal behavior, was my main guide there. He 
took me on very gladly and arranged for me to have space. In 
fact, I was designated--! created a new designation at Penn 


State: I was a visiting scientist [laughter] with faculty 
privileges, although no responsibilities, of course. I paid 
them, in fact. My grantsee, the indirect costs. 

I shared an office with Merrill Wood, their ornithologist, 
in a big work space. I audited two courses. And one of those 
courses was their course in animal behavior. So I essentially 
took, without being required to take the exams, their full 
course in animal behavior taught by Dr. Martin Schein. 

Well, his interest in behavior was with captive animals, 
chiefly domestic animals. He had access they have a big 
poultry science department at Penn State and so we had baby 
chicks and we could inject them with testosterone and 
everything else so they would crow like an adult except their 
voice was very high. And we looked at bulls and cows in their 
pens and stuff like that. 

Chall: My, my. 

Cogswell: But I was interested in wild animals behavior. I had been 
reading in great detail about the courtship of ducks and 
everything that was going on right out there less than a mile 
from campus- -a mile! But he wasn t interested in taking the 
class out or anything else. We never had a field trip in the 
entire course, except to the poultry husbandry department on 

Chall: Times have changed. 

Cogswell: Dr. Schein advised me on a little bit of research which I 
undertook to do. I was interested particularly in space 
related behavior, partly due to my Ph.D. work on territory but 
also because I had been capturing birds in my dooryard at Mills 
College and I was really struck with the fact that birds are 
very responsive to particular sites where they experience in 
this case it was capturing them in the mist net they re so 
responsive to that site, that even though they live in the 
area, they check that site out every time. You put a mist net 
--and I caught birds without any problem when the mist nets 
became legal in my dooryard at Mills College. In Oakland, we 
lived on campus most of the years there and we had a suet log 
which the birds came to. It was in a mulberry tree in our 
backyard and when I put a mist net up there and the bird was 
coming to the suet log, I caught them of course. Chickadees. 
Chickadees are terrible to take out of the net. They grab the 
net, they won t let go, they bite your cuticle around your 
fingers if you re handling them, [laughter] so it was quite an 
ordeal for the birds, too. 


Chall: Of course. 

Cogswell: But they got released, okay. 

Chall: But they always came back. 

Cogswell: They came back to that suet log, but they would not make the 
direct flight. 

Chall: Oh, I see. 

Cogswell: They would stop and call and call and they d look up, and look, 
look, and look, and they d finally go up through the top of the 
tree and down to get to the suet log rather than fly straight 
through underneath. 

Chall: Interesting. They obviously learned something. 

Cogswell: They learned that spot very thoroughly with one experience. 
And so that s the kind of behavior I was interested in doing 
something quantitative with. 

Site Studies with Starlings 

Cogswell: 1 captured starlings at Penn State out in the fields. They re 
easily captured, and it s perfectly legal to keep starlings in 
captivity, there s no law protecting them. And Penn State had 
a beautiful animal behavior lab that had just been built. They 
gave me one cubicle in it for use. The rest of the whole lab 
was all occupied by another professor, in psychology I think. 
He was studying cats. So you had cats in all these other six 
or sevenseven other cubicles I thinkand I had starlings in 
one . 

Chall: [laughs] The cats and the birds. 

Cogswell: But no, the cubicles were such that they couldn t see one 

another. I don t know whether the starlings could smell the 
cats; I certainly could. 

But they also had test chambers and I had access to one of 
those test rooms with a one-way glass on the door. Put the 
animal in and then you could stay outside and you could see 
what it does in the room. Well, I was testing the starlings to 
see if they would respond to things in the environment the way 
the chickadees did. 

So my principle was to put bushes in--it was a rectangular 
room so I had four bushes. I went out in the field and got 
four very different kinds of bushes. One was a young pine 
tree, one was a broad leaf tree of a different sort, one was a 
dead bush with just branches, and one was--I forgot what the 
others were, but they were different bushes. I put them up in 
the corners of the room. 

First, in their home cage where the birds lived, I had to 
teach them to knock--! had food dishes with little round tops 
with a lid on it. They had to learn, which they did very 
readily, to knock the lid off so they could have the food. 

So then I put these four dishes around the corners with 
food at first in all of them. And then in the experimental 
room I had to 

Cogswell: Anyway, the test situation was to have them learn that the food 
is by a bush of a certain sort. Of course the room stays put. 

By the time they had learned the food was by a pine tree- 
in one corner of the roomthen 1 moved the bushes in a random 
fashion. The food was now still by the pine but it isn t where 
it had been. Well then, some of the birds went to where it had 
been even though the pine tree was now over here [gestures], 
and some of the birds went to the pine tree and did not go to 
the other corners. 

I had devised a scheme of taking them in a bucket which was 
turned upside down, essentially, with a bale of wire around the 
bottom, so I had a means where I can exit from the room without 
the birds being released and then I could pull this string 
which would lift the bucket off of the birds and there they 
were on the floor. Well, then they all flew up right away, of 
course. They flew up to the perch I had provided in the room 
and that made them look down at the situation and proceed. 
After they d calmed down, they would go to the food. 

Chall: Interesting. 

Cogswell: The results were mixed. 

I tried starlings in a simple T maze, also, but they fought 
it. They wouldn t perform in a simple wire T maze where the 
narrow passageway leads to a T junction and you have a choice, 
right or left, and there s food at one end. And you can rotate 
the whole maze the same principle, you see, so that the room 

stays put and you rotate where the food is going to be. But 
starlings wouldn t behave and I wound up doing that phase of 
the study with Japanese quail which are a starling size bird. 

They re domestic birds which Penn State had lots of. And 
the Japanese quail performed very well, running along this 
little tube--a wire T maze--and making a choice. Well, the net 
result of all that was that Japanese quail are like white rats. 

This sort of experiment had been done with white rats years 
ago and some rats learned the location of things in their 
environment by looking at the environment, other rats learn how 
to get there by learning to turn right or turn left in other 
words, go through the maze by following a road map, so to 
speak, rather than looking at the environment. So Japanese 
quail were mixed also. That s all I learned. That was the 
whole thing. [laughter] 

Chall: You were learning something, obviously. 

Cogswell: Well, anyway, to cap it all off, Mills for other reasons- 
explained to me by the president, Easton Rothwell--couldn t 
promote me, despite the fact that I had fulfilled, at long 
last, my promise to finish the Ph.D. 

Chall: And by the way, did you learn something about teaching while on 
this fellowship? 

Cogswell: Oh, I did. I taught animal behavior. I taught animal behavior 
three times at Cal State Hayward. 

Chall: I m talking about the fact that your grant sent you off to 

Cogswell: To learn animal behavior. 

Chall: But weren t you also supposed to be learning how to teach? 

Cogswell: No, no, to learn more of the subject matter. 

Chall: Oh, that was it. All right, I guess I must have misunderstood. 

Cogswell: It was to make me a better teacher of biology by training me in 
a field that I had no training in. 

Chall: Oh, I get it. All right, I misunderstood you. So you really 
did get some background to go back and teach? 

Cogswell: Yes, I did, including these patterns in captivity which were 
not my specialty but I did them. 

Chall: So Easton Rothwell said that he- 
Cogswell: Well, he explained that in a department as small as ours--the 
other two members did have tenure. At Mills the arrangement 
was when you got promoted to associate professor you also had 
tenure. He felt that my interests, even though I had come to 
the department earlier than the other professor who was also 
somewhat interested in ecology and birds although that other 
professor taught primarily physiologyand physiology was their 
big course, one of their big courses--he felt he needed a 
cellular biologist, which they didn t have any in a department 
of three, the third one being a botanist. They had a botanist: 
the man who had been chairman when I was hired and the other 
person was hired. So two of us with overlapping interests were 
hired, and the other one already had his Ph.D. so he got 
promoted in the due course of time and I didn t. 

Chall: That was what year? 

Cogswell: This was while I was gone on sabbatical-- 63, 64--spring of 
64 when it came to a head. Rothwell was back there visiting 
Washington D.C. so I went down and met him where he explained 
how it was to me. And he said, well, I could come back as an 
assistant professor, be there indefinitely-- 

Chall: Forever. [laughs] 

Cogswell: And I said, "That doesn t sound very attractive. What if I 
seek another job?" When you go on sabbatical you re not 
supposed to- -you re supposed to come back for a year, you see, 
at least a year because the college has paid you half-salary 
for no work that year to help you reinvigorate your mind. But 
he said, well, under the circumstances, he would have to 
release me, that s all. Anyway, within six weeks of that 
interview, I had another job. 

California State University at Hayward. California. 1964-1980 

Chall: And where was that? Here at Cal State? 
Cogswell: Cal State Hayward. 
Chall: They were just-- 


Cogswell: They were just underway on the hilltop. I came in their second 
year on the hilltop. They had several years down on at the old 
Hayward High School. 

Chall: That s right. 

Cogswell: But I came in 64, the fall of 64, as associate professor up 
here. I got my promotion, in other words. 

Chall: Right here. 

Cogswell: And of course 1 still had to prove myself at Cal State Hayward 
--and five years later to be promoted to professor. 

Chall: Which you did. 
Cogswell: I did. 

Chall: And what were you teaching? What were you starting out to 

Cogswel] : I started out teaching general biology, general zoology, and 

ecology. 1 had to have the first two courses only a couple of 
years while they were still growing. I didn t do well in the 
general biology course which is for non-majors. Somehow I am 
not a dynamic lecturer. Tom Groody was and he came and took 
that over. He was already there, I believe, when I came. He 
was famous for making biology interesting to the non-major. 

Chall: Yes, I think he was on television. 

Cogswell: He was the first head of Science in Action for the California 
Academy of Sciences, yes. He took it over gladly and I gladly 
gave it up. [laughter] 

Chall: You have to find your own niche in this world. 

Cogswell: But I taught various ecology courses, worked in the general 

zoology course after a number of years of lecturing in it. I 
taught labs in it, even though someone else was lecturing. And 
we organized more or less the system they still have of second- 
level courses, sophomore-level courses: one of which is 
ecology, one of which is genetics, one of which is embryology- 
developmental biology, I think, one of which is evolution, and 
the fifth one was physiology. Biology majors had to take the 
beginning courses, plus those five courses. They re only one- 
quarter courses, each course, so I worked in several of those. 

But I wound up in later years teaching animal behavior 
along the waythree times, before they got an animal 
behaviorist. He happened to be in psychology, so it dropped 
out of the biology department. And I wound up in the later 
years teaching primarily ornithology and other vertebrate 
zoology courses such as mammology. 

I complained to Cal State Hayward at one point. Some of my 
students wanted to take mammology and they never offered it 
except in the summer, and they had to work in the summer and 
couldn t take it. They always hired somebody from off campus 
to teach it and about every other year it was offered. Well, I 
said, "Why don t you offer it in a regular term?" And he said, 
"Fine. You do it." 

Chall: And there you were. 

Cogswell: So I did it even though I never had a course in mammology. But 
I taught it four times, 1 believe, three or four times, three 
times at least. I don t know whether 1 did a good job of it or 
not, but some people survived it and learned something about 
mammals, I m sure. I never taught the herpetology and 
ichthyology courses because it s not my interest, and they had 
Dr. [Samuel] McGinnis who is an expert in those. He came at 
the same time I did. 

Chall: How long were you at Cal State? 

Cogswell: From 64 to 1980, therefore sixteen years. I taught again in 

82. I officially retired in 1980 but went back one quarter in 

Studying Garbage Dumps, Birds, and Airports: Howard Cogswell 
Learns to Fly 

Chall: Now, during that period of time you were you flying a plane? 
When did you start flying, Howard? 

Cogswell: I flew--I had a grant. My only major research grant during my 
years at Cal State was 1968-71. It was originally from the 
U.S. Public Health Service but it got transferred to EPA when 


that was set up. It was on the study of solid waste disposal 
and bird hazard to aircraft. 9 

I had written the proposal for that grant following an 
initial study at Mills College. I did a one-year study without 
any funds my last year at Mills before my sabbatical. I had 
about four or five students working with me in the field work 
at the Oakland Airport. The new Oakland Airport with the jet 
runway had just been built in Oakland. I wrote to the Port if 
Oakland saying, "You have a garbage dump on each side and there 
is a potential hazard." 

At that time it was in the news because of what had 
happened a year or two earlierthat a four-engine jet taking 
off from Logan Airport in Boston had crashed into the Bay 
killing everybody on board after having struck a flock of 
starlings that flew up from the dump on the airport. American 
airports and airlines don t like to talk about this problem, 
but it s a problem in many situations. 

So I had done that one-year study there for the Port of 
Oakland and my department chairman at Cal State Hayward, Art 
Smith, knew about it when he hired me, I guess, or he found out 
from material I supplied about what I had done at Mills. So he 
urged me to send in the proposal because he got the 
announcement of these research grants available under the Solid 
Waste Act. And I applied for the grant and was notified that 
it was approved, but not funded. 

Well, that s a great help. 

I had to ask, "What does this mean?" 

"Well, this means the grant is approved and if the funds 
last it will be funded this year." 

But they couldn t say when. They had to go down--I was way 
down the priority list, I guess, with funds. So in 1968 1 
agreed to teach summer quarter at Cal State Hayward. And I 
think the first of May they let me know that the grant was 
funded [laughter] --after I had already agreed to summer 
quarter. So 1 hired John Luther who had then just finished his 
master s degree at Cal State Hayward, or was just finishing. 

9 In governmental circles, the term "dump" is used only for sites that are 
essentially lacking management for health or pollution-control aspects. 
Managed sites are "solid waste disposal sites" but are included in the term 
"dump" herein. --H.C. 






He was one of your students? 

He was my first graduate student to completeor second one. 
The first one did a plan B study, a laboratory studydidn t do 
any field work. And Luther did field work for his thesis. 
Anyway, he sort of ran my team of people. We hired a bunch of 
observers and got the thing organized. And he operated it 
really for mewith lots of conference with me because I had 
very little time to go into the field with him. Started up in 
the summer of 68. And we studied all the garbage dumps around 
San Francisco Bay except two that wouldn t let us in. 

Those are right down here South County? 

Thirty-seven of them around the Bay. 
there were then. 

Both sides of the Bay? 

Thirty-seven of them 

All sides, all the way up to Suisun Bay, in fact. 

San Pablo Bay, the entire Bay Area. We added two more in the 
second year of the study three more dumps near Travis Air 
Force Base, because Travis Air Force Base after my grant was 
underway and in the first year of the study it would be 68, 
69, I guess it was in the winter of 69 there was almost a 
disaster in Travis from striking birds. And the Public Health 
Service it was still under the Public Health Service then- 
representatives came out and they visited Oakland Airport with 
me and they visited Travis Airport. Those were the only two 
or at Hamilton. No, we didn t go to Hamilton. Hamilton Air 
Force Base was cooperative; we got in there and they didn t 
have a dump right near by but they did have some birds 
transiting to the area. 

And most of these birds were gulls? 

Gulls. Most of them were gulls. But anyway, you asked me how, 
when did I start to fly? 

Yes, exactly. [laughter] 

From the time I submitted my grant application for this study 
and before it was funded, long before it was funded, I won a 
free flying lesson at a drawing at Southland Shopping Center. 



Cogswell: They had a small Airplane in the shopping center one time when 
I went down there and were giving out tickets, you know. 

Chall: Sure, why not? 

Cogswell: So my first free flying lesson was then worth five dollars or 
something. It only lasted twenty minutes, that flying lesson. 

Chall: You took off from where? The Hayward Airport? 

Cogswell: From Hayward Airport. We d fly around a little bit and come 
back down, that s all. 

Chall: Well, but it must have intrigued you? 

Cogswell: So I signed up to become the pilot. I had put in the grant 
application requesting money for rental of an airplane with 
pilot. And I was to be the observer, to observe gulls at the 
dumps and their flight routes. 

Well, by the time I got the grant funded, I already had my 
pilot s license, but I was not a commercial pilot. I still 
intended to follow through as I had specified in the grant. So 
I hired a commercial pilot with his plane once. We went around 
parts of the South Bay which I knew intimately already. I had 
flown--by that time I had my own private pilot s license, could 
fly a plane. I didn t have an airplane yet; I flew the rental 
airplanes . 

And I had applied--! don t remember just at what point-- 
whether I had applied for special routes at that time or not, 
but anyway, we were trying to go down to see how he would work 
and we flew over the Hayward dump which was right close to 
Hayward Airport. We couldn t circle there without special 
permission, so I don t remember whether we circled there or 
not, but we went on down to Turk Island which is outside of the 
control area and in the Fremont Airport vicinity and Newby 
Island Dump, a big dump was adjacent in Milpitas. But this 
commercial pilot, very competent pilot, couldn t recognize 
things from the air, did not understand at all, "I want to 
circle that dump over there." I wanted him to do it without 
conflicting with the air traffic which was also coming to this 
small airport, uncontrolled airport. You have to watch the 
traffic, so you d get in the pattern and you d go around, touch 
and go. It was so foreign to him we spent all the time almost 
arguing about where to go. It was an utter waste of time! 


He was just used to flying from A to B. 

Cogswell: He was good at taking off, and flying, and going to the 
destination, coming down, and landing. 

Chall: Exactly. 

Cogswell: That s what he was trained to do. But to use the airplane for 
observation--he paid no attention to the ground. In fact, it s 
dangerous of course for the pilot to be looking at the birds 
when he is flying in a situation like this, so I didn t want 
him to look at the birds. I would look at the birds and he 
would fly the route. 

Chall: That didn t work. So you began to do both? 

Cogswell: That didn t work so I wound up being the pilot throughout this 
three-year grant from then on. 

Chall: And observing? 

Cogswell: At first I was using a student- -no, I had an observer with me. 
I couldn t do the observing. 

Chall: But you knew where to fly? 

Cogswell: I knew where to fly. And I could see birds, you know, out of 
the corners but I couldn t tally their numbers or follow their 
routes or anything else. 

Chall: So you took your graduate students? 

Cogswell: I had graduate students for a while until partway--! think the 
rest of that year, almost the first year I had been using 
students. Not all of them grad students, some of them were 

Chall: Do you have to get a tremendous amount of liability insurance 
for this? 

Cogswell: That s what I got called on. I got a call from the grant s 

office, the foundation office which administered my grant, and 
they had somehow or otherthey got insurance for me, even 
though I was not a commercial pilot. They did take out 
insurance liability. Paid a very stiff rate for itthough the 
hours that I flew were very limited, of course. They had to 
look down their insurance liability categories and the only 
thing having anything to do with birds was a bird herder. 

Well, a bird herder is sometimes exposed to dangers in the 
air. That s a pilot who uses the airplane to scare birds off 


of croplands, and so on, you see? So you re getting the birds 
all flying up in alarm, they ve been deliberately trying to 
scare the birds. We were trying not to scare birds--fly high 
enough--500 feet up. We didn t usually scare the gulls at all. 

Chall: That s what you were trying to find out. 

Cogswell: So anyway, but that s the insurance they had to pay. However, 
I had to lay off all the people as observers and hire non- 
students when the chancellor s office learned what I was doing. 
I didn t know there was any rule, but the grant administrator 
from the foundation called up one time: "Dr. Cogswell, I 
understandwe ve been notified by the requested from the 
chancellor s office to verify whether you are violating trustee 
regulation number..." whatever it was fifty or something. I 
didn t know what trustee regulation number fifty wasnever 
heard of it! 

Cogswell ; 

And it seems that years back state colleges used to use 
chartered airplanes to transport their athletic teams. And Cal 
Poly s Cal Poly San Luis Obispo s football team coach and 
everybody went down in a crash which I think killed either all 
or most of them and so they were faced with this huge problem. 
It turned out that the chartered airplane they had was not 
really insured, at least inadequately. So they passed this 
regulation that it was absolutely forbidden for any student or 
faculty member--! think it s any student to fly in college or 
university sponsored activities, except in a scheduled airline. 

It didn t keep me from flying, but it kept all my students 
from flying. I hired Sharon Daehler. She was good. She flew 
with me from the start, even when I was still learning how to 
land, believe it or not. And I didn t always land well. I 
remember once we bounced at least thirty feet in the air. 

Terrible! [laughter] 

At Fremont. It s all right, you keep right on flying then. We 
were doing touch and goes, is what we were doing, because you 
stay in the pattern and you don t conflict with other traffic, 
you see. Here s the airport and here s the dump [gesturing]. 
If you touch and go here, you come around and you go right 
around the dump, see? Around, just went around. So you had to 
when the dump was right next to the airport like that. Anyway, 
she became the record keeper and secretary for the project 
after that. 

I just hired non-students as observers. John Winter, who 
was a Forest Service lookout, he was one of the best I ve ever 


met at reading a map. For years he had been a summer forest 
lookouthe knew maps thoroughly. And he could follow a map as 
you flew at eighty to ninety miles an hour; he knew right where 
he was all the time. Not everybody did. 

And Rich Stallcup was one of the helpers. He was a student 
at the time but then he dropped out--I think he was in that 
first year. I don t remember who else I had after it because 
John Winter was my observer when we flew the North Bay, all the 
time. And he wound up taking over the whole Marin/Sonoma 
County area for ground operations, too. 

Oh, I know who another observer was--Mel Hixon, who married 
Sharon Daehler while my project was going on. [laughs] They 
were both working for me. 

But that s how I began flying. This was a two-seat 
airplane which Bessie and 1 had bought which I used in the 
project. It was our personal aircraft; the grant did not buy 
the airplane. After the grant was over, the three years were 
over, we began to use it for trips ourselves. We went once to 
Vancouver in it and back to see our cousin. 

Chall: Does Bessie fly? 

Cogswell: No, well, she flies as a passenger. 

Chall: I see, but she didn t learn how to pilot? 

Cogswell: No. No, she took a pinch hitter s course, once, theoretically 
to enable her to land the airplane in case I passed out or 
something. But that two-seater was so limited for baggage; we 
could hardly go any distance because we could take almost no 
baggage in it. Two people are almost a full load, so we 
finally bought a four-seater, which, when we traveled by 
ourselves, had ample room for baggage. If you had four people 
as we did on a trip to Mexico once, we had very limited 
baggage, again. 

Chall: Are you still flying? 
Cogswell: No, no. 

Chall: Now, was there any change? They did get rid of garbage dumps 
around the airport, didn t they? Is that a result of your 

Cogswell: Not all of them. Moffett Field still has one on each side, I 
believe, and certainly on the Sunnyvale side they do. The 


Oakland Airport ones were finally closed. Oakland had a 
potentially disastrous situation. San Francisco airport had 
dumps to the north- -very small dumps to the south but two major 
ones to the north. And in the first year of my studyone of 
those was closed after the first year, the other one was closed 
after the second year and the number of gulls just dropped at 
San Francisco airport very dramatically because of that. But 
there are still some dumps operating around the Bay. 

Chall: But your study really had an effect, you think? 
Cogswell: I don t know. 
Chall: You don t know? 

Cogswell: I don t know. I published two papers out of it. There was 

never a campaign nationwide. Another phase of the project was 
for me to travel to various other parts of the country, 
primarily coastal areas, which I did all the way along the Gulf 
Coast up the Atlantic Coast to Maine--Pacif ic Coast up to 
Seattle. 1 visited various airports and evaluated them in a 
very quick fashion relative to the dumps that were there. 

And they d vary. There were some very bad situations at 
Norfolk, Virginia which I understand finally got cleaned up. 
Charleston, South Carolina had a situation when I visited there 
where they d dump a quarter mile from the end of the main 
runway. The dump was not on the airport, it was just across 
the road from the end of the runway. They had a strike on the 
average once every day. 

Chall: Oh, my! 

Cogswell: A strike where they struck a bird. Most strikes do not cause 
any real disaster. They cause damage in many cases to the 
airplane but not major damage, most of it. But if a bird is 
ingested in the engine, at that time it was then a $65,000 task 
to tear the engine apart, clean it all up, and replace the 
broken blades and so on. That s if it doesn t bring the plane 

Chall: Yes. 

Cogswell: And the situation at Travis that almost caused a disaster was a 
hospital plane from Vietnam loaded with wounded headed for a 
hospital in southern California. They had to land at Travis 
for some reason, I don t why, and they were to go on down to 
southern California. They took off full of fuel and everything 
for the flight to southern California under conditions in which 


the tall control tower was up in the clouds. The clouds were 
low, though. 


Cogswell: At Travis the hospital plane was cleared for take-off, and just 
as he reached the point where he was lifting off from the 
runway, he encountered a flock of gulls which all milled up in 
the f r >nt of the airplane. But the gulls won t fly into clouds 
either, see? 

Chall: Oh! 

Cogswell: So the jet airplane was going up into the clouds. Well, he 

struck some of the birds and by the time the pilot had reacted 
to what had happened, he was already through the dense layer of 
low overcast. And at the top of these low overcasts that are 
common in the Bay Area it was only less than 2000 feet up, 
commonly less even than 1500 or 1200 feet up. So he was up 
above the clouds but he only had two engines. The other two he 
had to shut down because they d each ingested a bird. 

Chall: Ooh. 

Cogswell: Had he not taken the act of shutting the engine down, the 

engine may have exploded and then there s real disaster. When 
there s a blockage in a jet engine it overheats right away and 
red lights start flashing. It overheats very rapidly and the 
pilot immediately shut it down. He had two engines out of four 
operating a full-loaded airplane. But he was flying. 

Okay, why didn t he come back to Travis? Because the 
clouds are below the minimum for relanding with anything other 
than full power. 

Chall: Gracious! 

Cogswell: With that circumstance: we haven t lost power, it s an impaired 
airplane, but it ll still fly. He flew all the way to southern 
California on two engines and landed safely. 

This was a situation when we interviewed the powers that be 
at Travis. The commanding officer wouldn t meet with the 
Public Health Service people that came. The commanding officer 
sent his executive officer, a man on duty. 

And the Public Health Service people asked him after this 
situation was reviewed, "What do you think, sir, is the degree 
of hazard from bird strikes at this airport?" 


His answer was, "Deadly." 
He was an honest man. 

Cogswell : 



Cogswell : 






But Travis had a dump on this side and then they had two long 
runways offset. They re not parallelthey re parallel in a 
sense, but they re not next to one another so it s a long 
runway. It s a mile and a half, two milesno, it s nearly two 
miles each of those runways. That s four miles long, the 
actual runway system is. Then they had a dump to the southwest 
beyond the end of their runway, and they had another dump 
beyond the end of the runway to the northeast in the opposite 
direction. The local communities operated those dumps, but the 
air force had its own dump right in the middle almost between 
the two runways . 

Ye gods! So what happened? 

My recommendation was they close that dump right away. 


Which they didn t do. 


They operated according to all the rules it was a clean dump 
as military dumps go. But it still had some gulls attracted to 
it, especially because of the two bigger dumps at either end. 

Yes, surely they d be flying 

And they d go from one to the other right down the runway, 
[doorbell] Sorry about that. [tape interruption] I don t 
know what happened because I never followed up on that. 


Author, Water Birds of California 1 

Chall: Now, I want to ask you, about when it was that you wrote your 

Cogswell: Water Birds of California? 
Chall: When did you do it? 

Cogswell: It was published in 1977. I started it while I was at Mills 

College. It was a different book then. It was to be Water and 
Large Land Birds of the Bay Area. The first natural history 
guides that UC Press had were focused on the Bay Area and then 
they had some just focused on southern California. I 
submittedin fact, one--I forgot whether it was completeno, 
it was just species accounts, I think, that I had submitted 
when it was Water and Large Land Birds of the Bay Area. 

But the press by that time was beginning to take a more 
statewide view, and so they f inally--they didn t reject it in a 
sense; they said, "Can you do one of expanded coverage across 
the central California including the Sierra?" So you had that. 
And Ken Stager of the Los Angeles Museum was to do a southern 
California one, comparable. Two books. Water and Large Land 
Birds would be one and Small Land Birds would be another book. 
Anyway, I did work on it on and off for years, but when I came 
to Cal State Hayward I was finishing up the text of the first 

Art Smith was the series editor. He was my department 
chairman at Cal State Hayward and he and I had several 
discussions about it. I finally went back to work on it when 
it became statewide and was narrowed down to just water birds. 
There were to be two books on land birds, then, statewide. So 
it got postponed and postponed and postponed many times, but 
the last year or year and a half or so was when I wrote it. 

Chall: When you were still on faculty? 

Cogswell: Oh, yes. 76-77. 

Chall: Did you have your students helping you then? 

Cogswell: No, they didn t help on the book. 

10 Howard L Cogswell, Water Birds of California (Berkeley: University of 
California Press, 1977). 



John Thorpe s Mitigation Proposals for the Shorelands Project 

Chall: When John Thorpe came into the Baumberg Tract areanow you 

gave me, during our first interview, a lot of information about 
your interest in his plan, at least with respect to snowy 
plover--the snowy plover islands, I guess. Is that what they 
were called? 

Cogswell: His proposed mitigation. His first mitigation offers were very 
poor, but as time went on and he gradually realizedeven 
Richard Murray and others told him, "Yes, we ve got a lot of 
wetlands, and you ve got to do something to mitigate 
destruction of it." And he became aware of that, convinced of 
it. He did come upMurray came up with these concepts for 
islands--! think they were debating whether they would take 
over whole sections of some of the Leslie Salt ponds to the 
west, not in the Baumberg Tract but out in the area to the 
west, and modify them for the mitigation activities. The major 
trouble was that Leslie Salt never let it be known that he 
could even do that. He didn t have any option on those other 
properties . 

Chall: But you felt that if he could be granted this property, that it 
might work, that this might be a possible solution. 

Cogswell: I thought it was worth looking at, that s all. That s all I 
ever expressed. I thought that several people of unbiased 
opinions about the ground objective but competent to evaluate 
the habitat should have evaluated the proposed mitigation-- 
whether it could be done and maintained- - that s all. 

Chall: When all of this was going on, besides your own contacts with 
Thorpe- -and there was in your material, letters that he sent 
you- -were you in contact with the people who were doing and 


evaluating the biological studies like Steve Foreman, Paul 
Kelly, Peter Sorensen? 

Cogswell: Paul Kelly was a student of mine at this time. And then after 
he finished his master s degree, he went to work for the Fish 
and Game Department and was the representative to visit 
properties in Alameda County, anyway- -perhaps Alameda and 
Contra Costa County--to evaluate each proposal for development 
in this area and report to his superiors in the Fish and Game 
Department. So that s one reason he got in there; he had been 
in there when he was a grad student of mine. 

Chall: But you weren t in contact with these so-called third party 

Cogswell: No. Foreman was not involved. He wasn t involved until very 

Chall: Well, he did one of the first biological studies for Thorpe-- 
for background for the EIR/EIS [Environmental Impact Report/ 
Environmental Impact Statement]. 12 

Cogswell: For Thorpe? 

Chall: Well, for the company that he worked for, WESCO. 

Cogswell: For the consulting firm. 

Chall: Yes, right. And his work in the biological study was then used 
by the people who did the later study. Karen Weissman and Tom 
Reid--Thomas Reid Associates. 

Cogswell: You ve contacted more consultants than I ever have. [laughs] 

Chall: All right. Now were you ever in touch with Mr. Storm, who was 
with the city [Hayward] planning staff? 

Cogswell: Martin Storm, sure. 
Chall: You knew him from HASPA? 

Cogswell: HASPA, right, because he was the city s representative to the 
HASPA agency. Their staff recommended him. 

12 "Biological Assesment for the Proposed Shorelands Project," Prepared 
by Western Ecological Services Company [WESCO], June 1987. 


Plans for the Baumberg Tract Restoration Project 

Chall: Now, in terms of the restoration, since you know intimately the 
Baumberg area and the Baumberg Tract, you are one of the public 
persons who gets an occasional notification, I guess, of a 
meeting. Do you have any input into what is being planned? Do 
they ask you? Do you submit -- 

Cogswell: By Foreman s group now? 

Chall: Yes, and Wilcox? Yes, Foreman is, again, in charge. 13 

Cogswell: Yes, his firm is now coming up with a plan for restoration 

which the Fish and Game will accept or not accept as the case 
may be . 

Chall: Fish and Wildlife Service, too, I presume. 
Cogswell: No, it s for the state Fish and Game Department. 
Chall: Fish and Game, that s right. 

Cogswell: Primarily. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will probably 
look at it, but the money is coming from the state for his 

Chall: That s right. 

Cogswell: I ve been to two meetings. They had one early on to sort of 
ask people what their concerns were. 

Chall: Yes. 

Cogswell: And then they had another one after they had made some progress 
with, "These are the sorts of things we re looking at," and 
possibly this and possibly that. 

Chall: Yes. 

Cogswell: But they weren t yet saying this is alternative A, B, and C. 
In general, they re proposing to open more than half of it I 
think to tide action- -make tidal marsh out of it, which means 

13 Steve Foreman, now with LSA Associates, is project manager of the 
Baumberg Tract Restoration Project. Carl Wilcox, Environmental Services 
Supervisor with the Department of Fish and Game, also has the title project 





in order to do that they will have to excavate Mt . Eden Creek 
quite a bit of it. 

Carl Wilcox told me that they have been thinking--! don t 
know whether he means the consultants have been thinking, or 
they, the Fish and Game have been thinking- -that they won t 
have to get a permit from the BCDC [Bay Conservation and 
Development Commission], for example, because they are not 
going to dredge the lower tidal portionthe part that is now 
fully tidalthey re hoping just to dredge only the upper muted 
tidal part. 

His idea was to dredge the upper part which is not fully 
tidal because it s been banked up by Cargill Salt years ago 
Leslie Saltand then let it scour the outer channel by itself 
in other words. Well, that would be a long process if they do 
it. I think Foreman s group, if they haven t investigated 
that, they ll have to decide how much excavation is necessary. 
They ve got to get water there in quantity in order to have 
tide flow adequate to develop good tidal marsh. 

But the whole thing is they re trying to provide habitat 
for the salt marsh harvest mouse and the clapper rail, both of 
which are best served by having tidal marsh, the clapper rail 
absolutely requiring it. They re also trying to have habitat 
for the snowy plover. 

Right, [laughter] which has a different habitat. 

Which has a very different habitat. So they ve got to decide 
how much of each type of habitat they re going to have and how 
it s going to be maintained. 

That s really a problem because there weren t that many plover 
areas there. Well, you saw what there was. But to set it up 
for very specific plover habitat- 
Well, it has to be managed. As it was, the reason that snowy 
plovers were there in such quantities is because for a time it 
was excellent habitat. The area that was excellent habitat is 
no longer excellent habitat because the plants are growing in 
it now and snowy plovers don t get along with any significant 
number of plants. 

So do you think that they can turn this into something that is 
habitat for three species, two of which require a different 
habitat as the land is now? 

Cogswell: No, they d have to manage it. 


Chall: And that s expensive. 

Cogswell: Yes, yes, they ll have to manage it. To maintain snowy plover 
habitat, they ve got to have bare ground and bare ground with 
certain special features. They can t keep it bare ground as 
long as it rains on it and the salts are leached out of it. If 
the rain water is drained away 

There s some excellent work going on at the Oliver Brothers 
North, north of Route 92, in those salt ponds. [Map 1] That s 
a different consultant firm. They ve come up with a plan there 
which is hopefully going to work. And there, they re going to 
try to maintain snowy plover habitat over most of the property 
because that s what it is now. That s where many of the snowy 
plovers have gone. And in order to maintain the quality there, 
they re going to plan to flood the area in late September, just 
after the nesting season s overflood it with salt waterand 
maintain moisture in the area and then drain it off again to 
allow it to dry up. And of course you have to allow for rain 
water, also. 

Chall: Who s managing that? Is that being run by HASPA? 

Cogswell: It s HARD [Hayward Area Recreation and Park District] who has 
authorized the study. It s a big, thick study, now. 

Chall: So that s the Hayward Area Shoreline? 

Cogswell: For the Shoreline Interpretive Center-- just west of that. 

Chall: Is that HARD property now? 

Cogswell: It s HARD s now. 

Chall: Okay, then I know where that is. 

Cogswell: Francesca Demgen is the leader of that team- -Woodward-Clyde 
Consultants, downtown Oakland. I went to two of their work 
sessions, but didn t go to all of them. I was representing 
Ned Lyke and I were the two members of the citizens advisory 
committee. Ned Lyke from Cal State Hayward. L-Y-K-E--Edward 
B. Lyke. He goes by Ned, even though his name is Edward, 
[walks away and returns] I have so much unfiled it s terrible, 
but I have here a document, the EIR--the plan for this it s 
large; they just completed it a month or so ago. 

Helping to Set Bay Area Regional Wetlands Goals 




Cogswell : 



Well, I think since we re now moving off Baumberg, maybe that s 
about all we need to do. I just wondered, however, where you 
were in terms of the environment as a private citizen, as it 

I have worked for the past three years intermittently on the 
Regional Wetlands Goals. I don t know whether you know about 
that project or not. It s a multi-agency study. They have 
just now, this week, been holding their public workshops, 
public hearings so to speak. They re not called hearings but 
workshops, on the wetlands goals for the entire Bay. 

I see. 

[walks away and returns] 

I know I have a public review of 

That s a major undertaking. 

Somewhere here these are the proposals." 1 This is the primary 
one. But then for each broad area they have alternate views. 
These are just different ways. My comments herehere s a map 
of the original historic conditions: 1770 to 1820, 
approximately. And present conditions to compare with these, 
you see. 

I see. Tell me about Regional Wetlands Goals. Is there an 
administrativea state or a national structure? 

It s being administered by the San Francisco Bay Area Wetlands 
Goals Project. 

Is that a private- 
No, it s a multi-agency thing. The head people are the the 
resource managers group include San Francisco Bay Conservation 
and Development Commission BCDC, in other words, state 
Department of Fish and Game, the San Francisco Bay Regional 
Water Quality Control Board, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
National Marine Fishery Service, state Coastal Conservancy, 
state Department of Water Resources, well, these are all 
representatives . 


Regional Wetlands Goals Draft Report for Public Review. June 26, 



All the agencies of the Bay Area, 

Cogswell : 



Practically, yes. 

I see. And you are a representative, also? 

I m just one of the volunteers who has worked in the 
development of this. I m a member of their "other wetland 
birds" focus team. They have five focus teams that they worked 
with as they were developing these goals. They subdivided the 
work, in other words. They had a shorebirds and waterfowl 
team; they had a mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and major 
invertebrates some of the invertebrates terrestrial 
invertebrates, they say--team; they had another birds team; 
they have a fish team; and they have a plant team. 

Oh, my! 

Five teams. And when they each developed the goals for their 
own group of species we had to try to merge them. We had 
integration sessions where we had all these teams together 
trying to argue back and forth and get it out. So this is the 
document that came out. This is not a thing that will be- 
there 11 be no enforcement of it possible, because there are so 
many agencies involved. It will be the expressed goal and 
hopefully local agencies will make decisions in land use to try 
to approach these goals. These are long-range goals, not just 
for ten years, but fifty to a hundred years is the time frame. 

So that s your present activity? 

Well, my present activity is mostly other things, 
records. [sighs] 

Well, you certainly are keeping those. 


Analyzing Environmental Regulations for Environmental 

Protection tf# 

Chall: Howard, I ve read the biological opinions in the EIR/EIS and 
found out what developers like John Thorpe had to go through 
and what the agencies had to go through in order to make 
decisions on the Baumberg Tract. I wondered how peopleall of 
the agency people, as well as you on another side of this 
problem- -feel about the regulations that are involved in these 
studies passing all the so-called hurdles for the EPA and Fish 


and Wildlife, Fish and Game, BCDC. It takes a lot of time, it 
takes a lot of money. The regulations might seem too 
difficult. How important are these regulations for the 
preservation of the ecosystems? 

Cogswell: Well [coughs]--! had a cough drop and hopefully it will work. 
Chall: It worked for me. 

Cogswell: From the standpoint of environments in general, there is a move 
now becoming more and more widespread of plans to preserve 
"whole ecosystems." The people who are so proposing sometimes 
don t understand what an ecosystem iswhole communities would 
be a better way of putting it: commonly, large communities and 
in a large quantityand therefore preserve all of the animals 
and plants that are a part of that community, at least in an 
adequate amount. 

Now, Orange County is famous for having done a lot of that 
through the Irvine Ranch and so on where they have a huge ranch 
area being subdivided gradually for development purposes. They 
establish large areas of adequate habitat for the native 
vegetation which they are otherwise destroying in large areas. 
That may be a better route in the long run. Some people think 
it is--to preserve more than they ever would if they just take 
each piecemeal development and argue about that particular 

Well, all of that s fine if it is a widespread, large, 
area-type habitat. Wetlands are not that kind of habitat. I 
don t think it will work well with wetlands simply because 
wetlands by their very nature are border communities. They re 
a border between water and land and you don t have big acreages 
of them available to do that with, for the most part. It s 
true that on the San Francisco Bay, if you had that approach-- 
and partly this wetlands goals project has that approach. But 
they re making the assumption there will be no more productive 
salt ponds, that the whole salt company will cease operation. 
Cargill Salt has already spoken to this document. I was at the 
meeting where they did. And there s no alternative in here to 
continue to save wetlands of this marsh sort with the salt 
ponds still in operation. 

Chall: Well, now, isn t that rather short-sighted? 

Cogswell: I think they ought to have had an alternative, or an interim 
goal, let s say. They could have called it an interim goal, 
but the people who worked on this for the most part felt that 
in the long run there is not going to be a salt company 


operating in the San Francisco Bay Area. They ve already 
closed in the North Bay, they ve closed Moss Landing, they ve 
closed part of San Diego Bay, and so they look at these 
situations and they make the assumption that in the long range 
future it s going to happen here also. 

Chall: Well, fifty years from now, maybe that s true, but in the 

Cogswell: But as far as Cargill is concerned, Paul Shepherd at the 

meeting in San Carlos this past week Monday night said, "Salt 
operations in San Francisco Bay have been here for 150 years. 
Why do you expect it to change in the next fifty?" [See 
Appendix B] 

Chall: But besides the salt aren t they concerned about development, 
building, housing, or whatever might be? 

Cogswell: Yes, but I m just saying that they don t have a big area in 

which you can take the habitat conservation approach of, "We ll 
set aside this whole area, if you let us develop this." That s 
really how that happens in Orange County. "If we can have this 
big area to develop, we will give you this area over here." 
But it takes big land ownerships and the only such big land 
ownership around San Francisco Bay is Cargill Salt--big 

Chall: I get it. 

Cogswell: So it won t work so well. And wetlands, in general, are by 
nature either linear or spotty in their distribution, so 
they re increasingly impacted despite the fact that we ve had 
several administrations of our government federal and state 
governments now, both parties, Republicans and Democrats that 
have adopted "no net wetland loss." But it has continued to be 
lost. Not as rapidly, not nearly as rapidly as it used to be, 
but there s still some loss going on. 

Chall: And is that loss because even with all the studies, EIR/EISs, 

Cogswell: Partly. Partly it s because mitigation is required but is 

either never completed or does not work the way it was supposed 
to work. Partly because the development is allowed to proceed 
and the mitigation comes later and in the meantime the wetland 
value has been lost for that particular location. 

Chall: So it means that despite all the regulations and the work that 
goes into studies that sometimes they re not enforced? 


Different administrators look at enforcement in a different 

Cogswell: The Clean Water Act, which is the primary one that preserves 

Chall: Right. 

Cogswell: Section 404 I think it is of the Clean Water Act has had little 
pieces cut out of it--or not cut out of it, but modifications 
made. One of which I didn t learn about until recently with 
regard to an area immediately adjacent toalmost immediately 
adjacent to--the Baumberg Tract. It is adjacent on the eastern 
most portion. 

Chall: That s the Oliver 

Cogswell: Oliver West property. The Oliver West [Oliver Hayfield] 

property west of the railroad, just east of the eastern most 
part of the Baumberg Tract. [See Map 1 and Appendix D] It 
used to be that the habitat there was very comparable to that 
eastern most parthad pickleweed, had ponds, gun club ponds 
which were in there, and wetland values. It has been claimed 
now by the consultant for the city of Haywardalthough, I 
believe, paid for by the proposed developers who were never 
namedthat there s less than a half-acre of wetlands in that 
entire property. 

The basis for their claimingthey don t say in their 
report, but I believe is a clause of the Clean Water Act called 
"prior converted wetlands". Under that clause, if wetlands 
were converted to agricultural production prior to 1985, they 
are exempt. That was a weakening of the Clean Water Act that 
was passed. If converted prior to 1985, then, they are exempt. 
I believe that it was the intent of that aspect of the law to 
let farmers off the hook who had converted to farm production 
and therefore they wouldn t be required to mitigate their 
damage to the wetlands if they did it before 1985. But now we 
have a situation in the Oliver West where: oh, yes, it was 
farmed intensely, so intensely, in fact, that most of the 
wetland indicator vegetation was not there because it was 
farmed deliberately out of existence. This winter it was 
flooded with a solid sheet of water over the whole property, 
but they pumped water out of it rapidly. Ron Barklow can give 
you pictures of it, he says. 

But you go there two weeks later after the big heavy storms 
and there s not a shred of water on it because they pump it all 


off. Okay, so it s farmed intensely. As long as it s farming, 
it s legal. 

Chall: I see. 

Cogswell: But now they re proposing to build 578 houses on it. We, at 
HASPA, the citizens advisory group, recommended against it. 
HASPA, in a weak fashion, recommended against it because other 
components of HASPA wanted the development. On the rest of the 
property, particularly on the east side of the railroad, the 
proposal is for light industry plus a sports park. Dick 
Sheridan, head of the HASPA agencyright now he s trustee of 
HARD, board member of HARD--they need a sports park, he says. 
Well, okay, the developer promises a sports, park to them. 
[Weber Property, Map 1; Appendix D] 

Chall: I see. 

Cogswell: But only if he gets 578 houses on the west side. They have to 
fill that west side land any where from two to eight feet deep 
with earth from the hills in order to bring it above the level 
where it will survive a hundred-year flood. 

Now this is what the city of Hayward is going to do. This 
is an instance of--I think--! can t prove it, but they farmed 
that property so intensely since Alden Oliver died. Gordon 
Oliver took over the property--! don t knowGordon took over 
the Salt Company. I think he inherited all of this. 

Adolph Oliver, also a nephew of Oliver, is a member of the 
HASPA citizens advisory board. He teaches geology at Chabot 

Chall: Oh. 

Cogswell: But he s not an owner of the property. Gordon inherited the 

Chall: Well, the property was in the hands of the Congregational 
church, I think. 

Cogswell: Well, that s because Gordon died and that was in his will. 

Chall: He left it in the trust. So what you re saying is that the 
regulations that have been set up by the Clean Water Act and 
other agencies are not always as strict as originally drafted. 

Cogswell: There are numerous little ways in which people can get around 


Chall: So you feel that citizens and others should be watchful. 

Cogswell: Very watchful, very watchful, yes. 

Chall: So do you think that those regulations are not so onerous that 
they shouldn t be reduced in scope? 

Cogswell: No, I ll cite another instance. It isn t in the Baumberg area 
but it s in an area that I knew very well because I studied the 
bird population of it for Leslie Salt Company before 85. 
That s the area that became a test case up to the Supreme Court 
of the United States the Coyote Tract in Newark which is right 
across Thornton Avenue from the National Wildlife Refuge 

In "84-85, Leslie Salt Company started to build drainage 
ditches on that property. They built a small basin to receive 
the water where it could drain into an adjacent Caltrans 
[California Department of Transportation) ditch next to the 
freeway. They got stopped right away because--! don t know who 
it was that reported iteither somebody from the refuge or 
Margaret Lewis from Newark who lives nearby and was always 
watching. So they had a cease-and-desist order issued, first 
by the Corps of Engineers [USCE] and then confirmed by EPA 
that, yes, it s proper that this should not be done without a 
permit from the USCE. Leslie Salt claimed they didn t need a 
permit and that the United States had no jurisdiction over 
this. Okay? So they took it to court. 

And part of my study and three other consultants were 
doing other studies. Michael Josselyn was studying the plants, 
a soil scientist from Louisiana or somewhere, supposedly tops 
in his field, was studying these soils, and I was studying the 
birds. Maybe that s all that was going on. But we each 
studied separately; we never saw what the other consultants 
were doing. We each gave our separate reports to the company. 

I was not to evaluate it for wetlands at all just to 
observe what birds were using it and what habitats they were 
using and how many of them- -which is what we did. 

It went to the U.S. District Court because the company sued 
the government for having issued a cease-and-desist order. 
They complied with the cease-and-desist order, but they wanted 
to get started on the development for industry. Anyway, this 
is a 150-some acres property, the western portion of which was 
by all indications obviously a wetlands: pickleweed in parts of 
it, tidal water even reached part of it because of a pipe that 
had been laid there. It originally had been diked off. It had 


been salt crystallizers in the early years, the first Leslie 
Salt Plant that ever existed. It was right there. But in the 
district court which I appeared in as a witness along with the 
other consultants--! was there by myself, just before Judge 
[Charles] Legge--Judge Legge wound up granting the company more 
than they really asked for. 

But as a result of urging from the environmentalists that 
were knowledgeable about it, the Corps of Engineers finally got 
the U.S. Attorney to appeal the decision just within the nick 
of time. They had thirty days or forty days, or whatever it 
was, to appeal it. The government did appeal the decision. 
The appeals court reversed Judge Legge s decision and said, 
"Yes, there s evidence that there are wetland values there that 

the company is disregarding, 
an interest in it." 

And the U.S. therefore does have 


The company still maintained through their attorneys that 
the U.S. has no business here. That s what Legge agreed with, 
that it is not wetlands, that it is not connected to tide 
action. Or, it wouldn t be connected except, as Legge put it 
in his decision, he says, "Water backing up through the pipe 
which Caltrans put in without any special permission. Without 
asking permission from Leslie Salt, Caltrans put a pipe under 
their road when they put the road there. There wouldn t be 
tide if there hadn t been for that pipe and therefore the 
government is responsible for it being tidal." 

Well, water in my opinion doesn t flow uphill; it always 
flows downhill. [laughter] So the pipe is there, fine. The 
level is lower than the high tide and it s evident that in high 
tide water comes in there. It s only the west part-- 10 to 15 
percent of the property that gets wet at any high tide. 
There s another piece of wetlands that was excavated at the old 
salt operations which gets water and stays wet for a long 
while. Although the company appealed the appeals court 
decision, and the appeal was filed with the Supreme Court, the 
Supreme Court refused to hear it. 

This is the State Supreme Court? 

No, this is the U.S. Supreme Court. They refused to hear it, 
which leaves the appeals court decision standing. Finally, the 
company applied for a permit. They wouldn t apply for a permit 
all this time, see? 

They had a wetlands evaluation. The acreage was decided- 
how much of it was wetlands. And it included this depressed 
area that had been excavated--artif icial wetlands because it 




Cogswell : 

had been excavated many years ago. They had to mitigate for 
that. They had to preserve the wetlands that existed on the 
west side, and they had to add to that. 

I wrote an opinion as consultant to Michael Josselyn s firm 
(Wetlands Research Associates) about the consolidation. I 
agreed. In my opinion it s better for the wildlife in the area 
and everything if the wetlands are all consolidated in a larger 
area rather than having one little piece stuck over here in the 
middle of urban development. Seven to eight acres over there, 
I think, were to be added to the fifteen over here [gestures]. 
So they now had a wetlands being developed along the west side. 

Some people say--well, the rest of it, they did get their 
permit. They got their development permit on the other 100 
plus acres. Big, new industrial buildings are going up there 
now. So here was an area, where had the company paid attention 
and finally accepted the fact that there was a Clean Water Act 
that did pertain to part of the property. They could have 
gotten their permit without spending the hundreds of thousands 
of dollars if not millions that they spent on attorneys fees. 
They wound up having to do the same thing. They won t admit 
that there was a waste, I feel, because they have other 
properties they want to do the same thing with. 15 

So there s a value in these restrictions, even though they seem 
onerous to people like maybe Leslie Salt? 

They re more onerous to those who don t wish to comply. 

But they do haveyou feel that they have value to the 
environment and for the preservation of wildlife? 

Yes, they do. 

And they should be honored? 

If it s done properly. And Thorpe s problem with the 
mitigation aspects one aspectwas he never could bring 
himself to do any mitigation on site. And he didn t have 
permission from Leslie Salt at least, they never let it be 
known he did to use their property adjacent for his 

15 This case is described by Gordy Slack, "Wetlands or Just Wet Lands," 
Sierra Club Wetlands Reader. Sam Wilson and Tom Moritz, editors, in Sierra 
Club Books. San Francisco, 1996, pp. 215-223. 


Chall: And nhen there v/ere other problems having to do with predators 
and all sorts of things. 

Cogswell: Hello! [greeting his wife] 

Chall: Well, okay, I think we have company and just in time! Thank 
you very much. 

Cogswell: Okay. 

Transcribed by Lisa Vasquez and Amelia Archer 
Final Typed by Shannon Page 

Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

California Water Resources Oral History Series 


John M. Thorpe 

An Interview conducted by 

Malca Chall 
in 1997 and 1998 

Copyright <D 2000 by The Regents of the University of California 

John M. Thorpe 





The Maternal Side: The Schwabs 81 
The Paternal Side: The Thorpes 81 

Herman Mark and Albert Einstein 90 

Winning Important Lawsuits 93 

Workman s Compensation 93 
The National Assessors Bribery/Property Tax Scandal: 

The California Class-Action Suit and Its Reward 93 

Long-Term Interest in Property Development 96 

From Whence the Special Thorpe Spirit? 97 

Working with the Leslie (Cargill) Salt Company 102 
The Response of the City of Hayward 104 
The Baumberg Tract: Marginal Open Space Value 105 



DEFEAT, 1982-1992 118 

The Basic Plan 118 

Problems with the Environmental Community 122 

Plans for the Racetrack 124 

The City of Hayward: A Roadblock 127 

Attempts to Overturn the Jeopardy Opinion of 1987 129 

Meetings with Representatives of Environmental Agencies 131 

Attempts to Solve the Predator Problem 133 
Lack of Support from the City of Hayward: Thorpe Drops the 

Shorelands Project, 1992 133 
The Finances: The Limited Partnership, Bankruptcy, and 

Subsequent Continuing Litigation 134 


John Thorpe s Personal Loss: The Historic House, the Classic 

Cars 139 

Background on Interested Commercial Developers for Shorelands 141 

More on the Racetrack 142 

The Corps of Engineers 143 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 145 

The State Department of Fish and Game 146 

The Bay Conservation and Development Commission 146 

The East Bay Regional Park District 147 

The Media 148 

"The Wild Edge" TV Documentary on the Baumberg Tract 148 



Between 1982 and 1992, John Thorpe, a Hayward attorney 

specializing in real estate, was inextricably linked with the Shorelands 
Project. Mr. Thorpe was already well known as a developer of Columbia 
homes in the Castro Valley hills, and for his role in uncovering the 
assessors scandals in Alameda and San Francisco counties during the 
1960s. But it was his attempt to build Shorelands on the Baumberg Tract 
in Hayward that kept him in the headlines of the local newspapers for a 
decade . 

The Shorelands Project can be summarized as follows: According to 
his brochure, Mr. Thorpe proposed to "develop approximately 706 acres on 
the former Baumberg Salt Plant site, and to offer approximately 500+ 
acres as wildlife habitat mitigation land." He planned to build, among 
other things, a racetrack and ancillary facilities, an industrial 
research and development complex, a hotel, restaurant, and family- 
oriented recreation park. Five hundred or so acres of adjoining 
marshlands and special habitat would be dedicated, for mitigation 
purposes, to birds and other wildlife which his project might endanger. 
Although this plan would encompass some 1200 acres, he had taken an 
option on less than half that acreage from the Leslie Salt Division of 
the Cargill Company. 

Although the city of Hayward initially approved and perhaps even 
encouraged this plan, the project faced trouble when it was examined 
under the various state and federal environmental guidelines, and 
closely scrutinized by local environmentalists. Never doubting ultimate 
success, Mr. Thorpe pushed ahead with his ambitious plans for a decade. 
He took out permits, got the necessary supporting documentation for the 
Environmental Impact Reports /Statements (EIR/EIS), established an office 
and staff, organized a partnership, raised funds, hired his own land, 
bird and mitigation experts, revised his plans to meet objections, and 
kept up a steady flow of correspondence on behalf of his project with 
his partners, city staff, and many others. 

Yet, in spite of spending millions of dollars, and exhaustive 
efforts in many directions, Mr. Thorpe could not overcome the objections 
of the Fish and Wildlife Servicenot to mention the environmental 
communityto the construction of a racetrack on the Baumberg site, 
without being able to provide the necessary mitigation on another site. 
Fish and Wildlife Service and environmental activists felt that 
development would jeopardize the real or potential existence of the salt 
marsh harvest mouse and several threatened and/or endangered species of 
birds. After redesigning and resubmitting his development plans, and 
facing severe financial hardship, Mr. Thorpe finally withdrew in 1992 


his application for a permit to develop Shorelands. As late as 1998 a 
lawsuit against some of his original backers was pending. 

Four years later (1996) Cargill sold the Baumberg Tract to the 
California Conservation Board. Now under the management of the state 
Department of Fish and Game, the Baumberg Tract is the setting for a 
wildlife restoration project (Eden Landing Ecological Reserve), a 
project created to satisfy mitigation requirements of developments in 
neighboring communities. 

John Thorpe agreed to record his story about the rise and fall of 
his vision of the Shorelands Project. His story is essential to 
understanding the history of the Baumberg Tract as well as the impact of 
the Clean Water and Endangered Species acts on developments which 
threaten habitat, plant and wildlife species. 

During our first two-hour interview, held in his office on 
Saturday morning, May 10, 1997, Mr. Thorpe began by launching into a 
discussion of the history of the Shorelands Project from 1983 through 
1992. My knowledge of the Shorelands Project as that time came from the 
extensive collection of material lent to me by Howard Cogswell, which 
went only through December 1987, the date when Mr. Thorpe withdrew his 
first permit application. I learned during this interview with John 
Thorpe that he had continued to pursue his goal until December 1992. 

Mr. Thorpe discussed his experiences dealing with Cargill Company, 
with the personnel in the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of 
Fish and Game, and other regulatory agencies, and with the experts he 
had hired on mitigation, birds, predation, and biological assessment to 
help him pass the regulatory hurdles. We also discussed his ongoing 
lawsuit, the bankruptcy, and the resulting loss of his magnificent, 
historic house/office and his renowned collection of vintage cars. I 
left with two hours of tape and a notebook full of additional data. 

We had a second two-hour interview on Saturday morning, February 
2, 1998. During the first hour we concentrated on John Thorpe s 
personal background as a Hayward native, and his family history. Both 
his parents were doctors, and his forebears were gifted; one of his 
ancestors was a noted political radical. We also discussed his 
education, and his business and professional interests in the Hayward 
area. The reader of this interview may find that these personal details 
explain his vision of Hayward and his dedication to the Shorelands 
Project. During the second interview we discussed the Shorelands 
Project by focusing on his attempts to circumvent the Fish and 
Wildlife s Service s 1992 draft jeopardy opinion, his belief that he had 
actually received a favorable opinion from the Fish and Wildlife 
Service, and his feeling that the city of Hayward failed to give him the 
necessary final approval. He looks back philosophically on the whole 
experience - 


Mr. Thorpe is a tall, large-framed, intelligent and restless man. 
His presence fills a room. He would often get up during the interview 
and move about the room to demonstrate a point. Eager to tell his 
story, he would shift from event to event, seeming at times to stray 
from the subject at hand, but eventually, never really losing the 
thread, get right back where he intended to be when he began. It is 
easy to understand why newspaper reporters, following his activities, 
could see him as interesting copy. Although his manner of telling a 
story is easily followed in person, it needed a bit of editing to make 
it understandable to the reader. Therefore, where I felt it necessary 
for the sake of clarity and continuity, I revised the transcript. The 
substance remains unchanged. I also chose to place the second interview 
first. In reviewing his transcript, Mr. Thorpe filled in names and made 
minor corrections. 

John Thorpe generously provided copies of his excellent brochure 
on the Shorelands development so that one copy could be placed in an 
envelope in the back cover of each volume. Material used to illustrate 
his chapter came from various sources. As stated earlier, this volume 
on the history of the Baumberg Tract could not have been complete 
without the interview with John Thorpe. What makes it particularly 
valuable is his "let the axe fall where it may" candorwhether in 
regard to himself or the many other persons, helpful or aggravating, 
with whom he came into contact. 

The Regional Oral History Office was established in 1954 to 
augment through tape-recorded memoirs the Library s materials on the 
history of California and the West. Copies of all interviews are 
available for research use in The Bancroft Library and in the UCLA 
Department of Special Collections. The office is under the direction of 
Willa K. Baum, Division Head, and the administrative direction of 
Charles B. Faulhaber, James D. Hart Director of The Bancroft Library, 
University of California, Berkeley. 

Malca Chall 
Interviewer /Editor 

January 2000 

Regional Oral History Office 

University of California, Berkeley 


Regional Oral History Office University of California 

Room 486 The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 94720 

(Please write clearly. Use black ink.) 
Your full name_\QHr4 //IIL-TZ>4 V 
Date of 

Father s full name /AtU7Z)f4 VVJ . i 1 1 

Occupation ;A.^Di<CA(l- DgaTJTZ^fe. Birthplace AU/VAElbA, 
Mother s full name 

Occupation /AtEr>(Al_ X^^^-^^>P^ Birthplace d>H-t^lvCvC7 O \ 1( _ 

Your spouse P/MJL-TTE^ VJ 

Occupation U&6/iU ^g^UgTAiXW Birthplace^/^U 
Your children 

Where did you grow up? 
Present community 

Education B> A ^T 


Occupation(s) \ 

Areas of expertise 

Other interests or activities 

Organizations in which you are active 





[Interview 2: February 28, 1998] //// 

Chall: I always like to know how people got where they are, so I d like 
to know a little bit about your family background and your 
education and something about your own career that brought you 
into development projects. I know two of them: Shorelands and 
Columbia [Castro Valley]. You re an attorney as well. Did you 
grow up in Hayward? 

The Maternal Side; The Schwabs 

Thorpe: Actually, I was born in Hayward in 1932. I was born on the front 
porch of a house on what was then Soto Street. It s now 
Montgomery. Somehow they renamed Soto Street. My father and 
mother were both doctors. My mother graduated from UC medical 
school second in her class in 1924. My father graduated also from 
UC med school. They were both unusual in Hayward in that they 
were both on the staff of both Stanford University hospital and UC 
med school hospital. My mother had graduated second in her class 
from the University of California, missing the University Medal by 
one point because she flunked PE [physical education] [laughter]. 

My mother s mother came to California just before the 
earthquake, to San Francisco. My mother s father [Michael Schwab] 
was one of seven unfortunate Americans who were the first 
defendants convicted of sedition in peacetime in American history. 
My mother s father had given a speech in Chicago at the first 

## This symbol indicates that a tape or tape segment has begun or 
ended. A guide to the tapes follows the transcripts. 


Thorpe : 

Labor Day picnic in American history, at what became Haymarket 
Squaresomeone threw a bomb that killed and maimed some 
policemen. There was a police group who had been used for the 
purpose of being strikebreakers at earlier strikes, so they came 
in on this Labor Day picnic. They didn t appreciate the concept 
of labor organization. My grandfather had given a speech, and 
they arrested him for having stated something in his speech- -or 
since he was editor of a German language newspaper, the Arbeiter 
Zeitung, which means the "Daily Worker," having said t ome thing in 
his paper that may have incited some person or persons unknown to 
throw the bomb . 

Of the seven, the seven were convicted and sentenced to 
death. Their defense counsel was a rather well-known attorney by 
the name of Clarence Darrow--the Scopes Trial, the "Monkey 
Lawyer". My grandfather and the others were trundled off to 
Joliet Penitentiary for execution. Three were hanged, and a 
fourth allegedly committed suicide by chewing off a dynamite cap 
while in his cell. Of course the question of how one acquires 
dynamite while in one s cell is an interesting one. But in any 
event, my grandfather s sentence was finally commuted by the then- 
governor of Illinois to life imprisonment. I am named after that 
governor. His name was John Peter Altgeld. I am named John after 
him. My mother s name was Johanna after-- 

Is your name John Peter? 

No. But my mother s name was Johanna Altgeld Schwab Thorpe. My 
mother was also named after Altgeld. Eventually Altgeld pardoned 
my grandfather. He couldn t pardon him initially, he said, 
because they were about to have the Democratic convention in 
Chicago. He said, "If I pardon you there s going to be such an 
awesome outcry that the other side will get elected. It would 
have a deleterious impact on the election." That s why he 
commuted the sentence instead of pardoning him initially. 

Then during the convention an unknown stole the podium and 
uttered a remarkable speechone of the most famous speeches in 
American history. William Jennings Bryan. The podium was empty, 
and so he just jumped on it and started speaking. He uttered a 
very famous speech. "Thou shalt not encircle the brow of mankind 
with a crown of thorns. Thou shalt not crucify mankind upon a 
cross of gold." He was nominated by acclamation. 

Altgeld went back to Chicago and pardoned my grandfather, 
saying, "No one of the American public gives a damn about the 
silver standard, whether money is supported by gold versus silver. 
Nobody cares. It s an absolute non-issue. It s the worst issue 
for the Democratic party. It has nothing to do with trust, with 


labor, with any of the things we stand for. We don t have a 
chance. So we can go ahead and pardon you because it doesn t 
matter." So he pardoned my grandfather, and there was a hue and a 
cry, and the papers had some awful stuff. There was a cartoon in 
one of the Chicago papers of my grandfather standing on top of the 
prostrate body of liberty. It was covered with an American flag. 
He was holding a round bomb with a lighted fuse in one hand and a 
bloody sword in the other. The press had quite a field day. 
Altgeld gave a speech at a theater in Chicago explaining why he 
pardoned him. He was being pelted with rotten vegetables and eggs 
and things, and he suffered a heart attack and died. So much for 
being a good guy. 

Chall: So your grandfather- 
Thorpe: But my grandfather was pardoned. However, when he was released 

from Joliet, it was raining, he caught pneumonia, and he died. 

The pardon didn t do him much good. 

Chall: How long had he been in prison? Do you know? 

Thorpe: Yes. Almost five years. 

Chall: I see. So your mother then came with her mother? 

Thorpe: My mother s mother then, and my mother and two sisters came to San 
Francisco. Then my mother s mother got a job in San Francisco 
working as a scrub woman for the city and county of San Francisco. 
And my mother used to help her, and she said that she and her 
sisters would take hand brushes and they d scrub the steps of city 
hall with buckets and brushes. My mother went to schoolgot 
interested in nursing and became an RN [registered nurse] . 

Chall: How did they manage to do this? 

Thorpe: I have no idea. They just all worked like hell. My mother, I 

know when she went to Cal, she worked as what they then referred 
to as a governessbut it was really a babysitterfor a professor 
at Cal by the name of Laura Adams Armer. I have a painting of my 
mother that Laura Armer did. Laura Armer was an enormously 
talented woman who wrote a series of children s books on Indians 
and American Indian history. I have Waterless Mountain and Hoshki 
the Naval o. She was a very, very talented artist. A very great 
illustrator. So while my mother worked for Laura Adams Armer she 
lived there at their home and went to the university during the 
day. She became a nurse. My mother s two sisters and my mother, 
coming from their background with my grandfather who was a union 
organizer, put together a little union called the California 
Nurses Association. So the nurses who currently go out on strike 

at Kaiser ?.re members of the association my mother and her sisters 
put together. 

The Paternal Side; The Thorpes 



Thorpe : 
Thorpe : 

Your mother was a nurse first? 

Yes. And then she got so fascinated with medicine she became an 
M.D. My father s entire family also went to Cal Berkeley. My 
father got his M.D. at Cal and his brother got his M.D. at Cal. 
Two other brothers were teachers, my father s sister was a teacher 
here in Hayward--Marian Thorpe was her name. My father s father s 
father walked out here originally from Wisconsin. He married in a 
place called Spring Grove, Wisconsin, to my great-grandmother. 
The early wagon trains the movies show the pioneers riding on the 
seat of the wagon. They didn t do that. They walked, because the 
wagon was heavily enough loaded that they couldn t take the weight 
of the people. So all these early pioneers walked out here. You 
think of walking 3,000 miles, that s not a minor little thing. 
They got out here as far as San Jose. My great-grandfather wanted 
to buy a farm there in San Jose, and there were no surveyors at 
the time in this part of the country. 

What year was this? 

1 guess just prior to the Civil War, around 1858. 
the Gold Rush, but not much after. 

It was after 

He went back to Salt Lake City and picked up a surveyor, and 
the surveyor has his name on a town east of Salinas--! can never 
remember the name of the bloody town. In any event, he was a 
millwright. He used to make wagons and things, and he s kind of a 
fascinating historical character, because his traveling companion 
on the boat coming over from Scotland kept a very complete diary. 

Now you re talking your great -- 

My father s father s father. 

But you said something about coming around on a boat? 

Yes, he originally came to the United States from Liverpool, 
England, on a boat. The first interesting thing about that, I 
think, is that they landed at New Orleans. Many more pioneers 
came from England and Ireland and Scotland via New Orleans than 
ever did by via New York. And the reason why is because you would 




get in to the shelter of Florida and into the Gulf, and the water 
was a lot less rough. You try to dock a sailboat in New York. So 
actually there were many, many more people who came in via New 
Orleans. So in New York, of course, you see all this stuff about 
Ellis Island and things, and it s all bull, because many, many 
more people came by New Orleans. But he kept a very complete 
diary, and the diary itself is fascinating reading. 

Chall: You have that? 

Yes. That s my father s father s father. Then my father s 
mother s father came to Nevada and built the first brewery in the 
state of Nevada and the first house of ill fame. He built this 
place and discovered that if you build a house eleven miles 
outside of town the circuit riders, the sheriff, only rides ten 
miles out of town to enforce the law. So you could have a place 
with ladies and booze and what have you twenty-four hours a day 
eleven miles outside of town and nobody bothered you. So he 
founded a chain that became very famous, what was known as the Ten 
Mile Houses. The Ten Mile Houses were all eleven miles outside of 
town. There was one in Coyote, which is eleven miles outside of 
San Jose. There was one in San Bruno, eleven miles outside of San 
Francisco. They were all over the West. 

Many years later his wife, who was a proper Victorian, told 
him it was a terrible business to be in, and so he sold out and 
went back to New York and bought a seat on the New York Stock 
Exchange. His history is kind of reminiscent of mine. A year 
later he was absolutely broke. He came back from New York with 
his wife and two daughters and said--and this is written--"Madam, 
I bought a house for you here in San Jose. I m leaving you here 
with our two daughters. I shall send you a check once each month 
for their support. I shall never speak to you again. Hopefully I 
shall never see you again. You insisted that I sell out and that 
I go back and live an honest life buying a seat on the New York 
Stock Exchange. I have never, ever run into a man in any of my 
houses who was one-tenth as dishonest as the most righteous member 
of the New York Stock Exchange." [laughter] 

Let s bring you down here to Hayward. 
in medical school? 

Your parents apparently met 

Thorpe: Yes, but I ve got to tell you one other thing. At any rate, the 
son of that union, my grandfather, was quite an inventor, and he 
invented the cylinder lock. Every lock you see in every door and 
every lock you see in every automobile was invented by my father s 
father. He also invented a thing called a rotary tub washing 
machine, like the Bendix. Instead of having a center thing that 
goes back and forth, the whole tub rotates. 


He also went to work and got a job at one point working for 
a professor over at Santa Clara University. The professor s name 
was Montgomery. Professor Montgomery was a glider enthusiast, and 
the Jesuit priests decided that if man was going to fly an 
airplane in the sky, up where the angels are, they would kind of 
like to be there first before anybody else and see what was up 
there. So they hired Mr. Montgomery to become the first professor 
of aviation in American history, at Santa Clara University. He 
was a glider enthusiast, so his job was to construct a powered 
airplane. He hired my grandfather to do the physical construction 
and to do the specific design. 

The Wright Brothers and earlier airplanes were controlled 
by two things: the pilot would have his seat on a track that goes 
across perpendicular to the fuselage, and if you want to go this 
way [gestures) with the airplane, the pilot would swing out on the 
seat and shift his weight, and he would bend the wings and bend 
the other surfaces. They were bamboo frame with cloth covers, and 
you would bend them by pulling cables. My grandfather said to 
Montgomery, "If the purpose of this particular operation is to 
bend this surface, why don t we cut it and hinge it?" He said, 
"I ve built boats, and for example, this vertical piece on the 
tailwe can call it a rudder just like a boat and hinge it. 
It s so much easier. This horizontal piece on the tail we ll call 
an elevator because it does the same thing that an elevator in a 
building does. It makes it go up and down. And we ll hinge it. 
We ll take these two section of the wing and cut them and hinge 
them and we ll call it ailerons after your good friend Professor 
Aileron from Paris, who invented the wing technology." 

So my grandfather put in all these hinges, and they ended up 
of course with all these cables where the wretched pilot is. He s 
got all these cables. How would he handle them? Well, my 
grandfather during Christmas would build for the Christmas trade a 
kid s coaster called an Irish Mail, and it had pedals. The child 
would push the pedals to make the coaster go. My grandfather 
takes a couple of those pedals, puts them in the cockpit and ties 
them to the rudders so that by doing this with the pedals 
[demonstrates], he could control the rudder. He then takes a 
mopstick, a gimbal--a gimbal is a thing you use to hold a glass in 
a ship. It s mounted to a bulkhead, you put a glass in it, and it 
swings every which way holding the glass level. So he took a 
gimbal, ran the mopstick through it, and tied the strings from the 
cables from the ailerons and the elevator to this stick. In 
short, he had unwittingly devised the control system for an 
airplane, which lasted to and including today. 

Chall: Patented? 


Thorpe: Oh, no. He couldn t have patented it anyway, because he was 

working for the University of Santa Clara. And they didn t patent 
it because they were interested in the angels. Now that airplane 
that they made- -the story that continues is even better. There is 
a movie about Montgomery and I would love to get a copy of it. 
And there s a monument to Montgomery in Santa Barbara called the 
Pylon of the West. Why Santa Barbara I have no idea. I think he 
came from Santa Barbara up to Santa Clara--he would fly gliders 
down in Santa Barbara where they had cliffs, and the thermals 
would help the lift. 

At any rate, they get this airplane done, and they have it 
finished before the Wright Brothers have theirs finished. This is 
a great story about history. They get the airplane finished, and 
Montgomery, like Edison, was an experimenter: trial and error, 
trial and errortry it this way, try it that way. He would make 
models. The buildings at Santa Clara were three stories high. He 
would go up on the roof of the building and throw the model 
airplane off the roof and watch it, and then modify it slightly 
and do it again. He would go up on the roof and he would get 
dizzy. He had developed this height business where he d get 
dizzy. So he couldn t fly the bloody airplane. So he said to my 
grandfather, "You fly the airplane." My grandfather said, "I 
built it. If you think I m going to fly it, you re nuts. No 
way." I suggested to my grandfather he fly, and my grandfather 
told me, "I have never been in an airplane in my life. I don t 
intend to start now." 

So the point is here is Montgomery and my grandfather won t 
fly. The Wright Brothers fly. My grandfather then goes with 
Montgomery to the Santa Clara County Fair, and there s a balloon 
ascensionist, where the balloon goes up and they take people for 
rides. He goes to the balloon guy and says, "How would you like 
to fly an airplane where you could land it where you want to?" 
And the balloon guy says, "That is marvelous. That s a grand 
idea." So they get the balloon guy to fly it. In short, the 
airplane flies over twenty times as high, over twenty times as 
far, as the Wright Brothers ever did. A much better airplane. 
That airplane, by the way, hangs in the Museum of Air and Space 
[National Air and Space Museum] next to the Wright Brothers . 

The other part of the story is that I took my son back--my 
brother-in-law [Hans Mark] was at the time the deputy director of 
NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] , and I took 
my wife and son back to Washington, D.C., and took my son to the 
Museum of Air and Space, showed him the airplane, and told him the 
story. At the end of my story there was a round of applause. I 
looked around and there was a bunch of people. They were taking a 
tour--they thought I was a tour guide. So they applauded my 


story. I looked around for Nelron. He s way in the far corner 
looking inside the nose cone of a satellite. He wasn t interested 
in the old airplane at all [laughter]. The moral of all that is 
that history is what somebody writes down. History is what 
somebody says is history; it isn t what necessarily happens. 

I was telling you about the diary. The diary is marvelous 
because it has some great stories. They land at New Orleans, and 
the first thing they seethis is my paternal grandfather s 
fatheris a slave market. Some of the slaves are in cages, and 
they re all manacled, and my grandfather is appalled. He said it 
was a terrible, terrible thing. He said, it is as John Mill has 
writtenthey really do do this. They really do imprison people 
and put them in cages. He says there was one sleek black guy in a 
cage who says to him, "Hi, Massuh [Master]. Want to buy me? I m 
only $1,800." He said, "Looking at me, knowing I had just gotten 
off the boat, knowing I didn t have two dollars let alone 1,800--" 
this slave was putting it to him. The guy with him said, "Now 
wait a minute. Think back to where you just came from. Think 
back to Scotland. Think to the line of over a hundred men 
standing in line at the mill hoping someone will drop dead at his 
job so they can get that job so that they can feed their family. 
Look at this slave, who is well fed and sleek and well cared for, 
because he s worth $1,800. Tell me, who s the slave and who s the 
free man?" Isn t that interesting? In 1855 or 56 he s saying, 
"Who s the slave?" 




Thorpe : 



Thorpe : 

We must get down to you. Your parents were both practicing all 
the time you were growing up? You had a couple of sisters? 

I had a couple of sisters. My mother practiced kind of part-time. 
She was the unpaid doctor for the Hayward Unified School District. 
My dad practiced the whole time. My mother practiced in the sense 
thatwe had quite a library at home she was my dad s research 
assistant. She would trundle over to UC Berkeley and try to 
figure things out when they had unusual cases. 

You went to school here in Hayward. 
that time? 

What were your schools at 

My father s sister, Marian Thorpe, was a teacher in the Hayward 
School District. I went to Markham, and my mother and Aunt Marian 
didn t think much of Bret Harte, so they snuck me into Castro 
Valley Grammar School. I used to walk from Prospect Street to 
Castro Valley every day and back. Then I went to Hayward High, 
and I was at Hayward High for one semester. The teachers were of 
course all buddies of my mother s, and they told my mother that 
Hayward High School was not a real challenge to me, that I was 
making book reports by picking up Reader s Digests and scanning 
them on the way from the back of the room to the front. When it 
was time for a book report I d pick up the Digest on the way and 
give my book report. They thought a school that was a little 
tougher probably was in order, so I was then sent to Menlo School 
in Menlo Park. 

And you lived there? 

I lived there for four years, yes. 

How did you like that? 


Thorpe: It was a very good school. Menlo was a first-class school and 

they had first-class faculty. From Menlo .[ went to Stanford. My 
sophomore year I went on a program where I cross-registered at 
Harvard, Boston University, and MIT [Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology] for a year. That was kind of fun. There was a 
program where you could go to school at Harvard, Boston 
University, and MIT, and take courses at each. So I was there 
[Boston] for a year. 

Chall: What were you studying? 

Thorpe: You know, I don t even remember [laughter]. Very little, frankly. 
I didn t pay a lot of attention [laughs]. I got a job while I was 
back there. I worked first as a librarian and then as a reporter 
for the Boston Record-American, which was a marvelous tourist 

Herman Mark and Albert Einstein 

Thorpe: My brother-in-law s father, Dr. Herman Mark, was a professor at a 
school called Brooklyn Polytechnic. He was a fascinating guy. 
Dr. Herman Mark came over here from Vienna with his buddy who was 
another professor. They were both professors at the University of 
Vienna, and they left just ahead of Hitler. They took their 
money. He got platinum somewhere and extruded the platinum into 
wire, dipped it in black paint and made wire coat hangers out of 
the platinum. 

They got here and one of them went to the Brooklyn side to a 
little school called Brooklyn Polytechnic, and the other one went 
to the New Jersey side. The first thing Dr. Mark invented when he 
got here was plexiglass, because the B-17s were getting shot down 
at that time, and they desperately needed to develop gun turrets. 
So he invented plexiglass. From that he invented literally all 
modern plastics. He invented polystyrene, polyvinyl, a blood 
plasma substitute. He was a fascinating guy. 

He made a deal with Du Pont where Du Pont gave 80 percent of 
the profit to Brooklyn Poly which is now known as the Polytechnic 
Institute of New York. It has a high-rise downtown Manhattan 
campus instead of a Brooklyn campus. It s quite a big school now 
because of Mark s invention of plastics. He had nine Nobel 
Laureates as students, and his son Hans, my brother-in-law, became 
a nuclear physicist. 


Or. Mark, I got to visit with him in Brooklyn, and then we 
would go on Sunday sometimes and visit with his friend--the other 
professor from the University of Vienna whose name was Albert 
Einstein. Einstein and Mark, their idea of a Sunday was to flip a 
coin. The winner would ceremoniously unroll a roll of butcher 
paper on the floor. They would have Bach or Beethoven or Brahms 
on the phonograph in the background. The winner would take the 
crayon and he would do an equation to see if he could stump the 
loser. The loser then, if he could solve it, got to do an 
equation to see if he could stop the winner. They would construct 
their own mathematics. They would have mathematics you ve never 
dreamt of. They had three-dimensional, four-dimensional, five- 
dimensional mathematics. They would elevate, elevate, elevate-- 
math you ve never dreamed of. Watching these people was 
unbelievable . 

Thorpe : 
Thorpe : 


Thorpe : 



Did you graduate from Stanford? 

My undergraduate was Stanford, yes. 

And then you decided to go to law school? 

I was admitted to both Boalt and Stanford law schools, and I 
decided that Boalt flunked out a smaller percentage. So I decided 
my survival chances at Boalt Hall were better. Stanford flunked 
out about 40 percent in the first year, and Boalt only flunked out 
a third. So I figured I had a better shot at getting through 
Boalt [laughs] . 

You didn t think that you were that bright even though all along 
the line you were considered a very bright person? 

No, I was nervous. You never know, 
something where you never know. 

I think life generally is 

That may be true, but when you re very young- -Well, so you went to 
Boalt and finished there? What year would that be? 

Thorpe: In 57. 



Chall: Did you decide then to practice here in Hayward? 

Thorpe: Yes. I figured Hayward was a small town, and I figured I was 
again safer in Hayward. It was a conservative approach. 

Chall: Did you open up your own practice or did you start with somebody 

Thorpe: I went to work for two brothers who had come out here from 

Chicago: Milton and Jerome Sills. Their real name was Silberg, 
but when they came out to California they called it Sills. They 
had been in Chicago. They re both dead, so I can tell it now-- 
Milton had had a circumstance where he was drafted in Chicago by 
the mafia. He didn t care to represent the mafia, and you didn t 
have a choice. So by changing their name and coming to California 
they avoided what was in essence a form of imprisonment. As he 
said, they paid you very well but it was kind of nerve-wracking 
[laughs]. They had an office up at 572 Main, the old Bank of 
California building upstairs. 

Chall: You practiced with them for a number of years? 
Thorpe: Two or three years, yes. 
Chall: And then? 

Thorpe: Then I discovered that my father, in all the years that he 

practiced medicine, never paid much attention to collecting bills. 
He had two or three office girls. The mail came in, they would 
work on the mail until it was time to go home, they would take 
anything that was left and put it in a cardboard carton. When the 
cardboard carton was full of unopened mail they put it in the 
closet. When the closet was full they would start on the second 

Chall: What happened to the bills? 


Thorpe: He paid the bills. The point is if you sent a bill, the odds of 
getting paid were pretty good because you sent it two or three 
times. But patients who sent money by way of check or insurance 
companies and stuff, the mail was full of checks that were stale 
and stuff like that, and of course the books were kind of a 
shambles because there weren t any to speak of. My father really 
wasn t interested in money; he was interested in medicine. 

Winning Important Lawsuits 

Workman s Compensation 

Chall: But how did he manage to keep the house and children and all that? 

Thorpe: He worked eighteen hours a day. So he made a fair amount of money 
on, say, collecting half his income. But I discovered that, and 
so I became a collection agency for my dad [laughs], which was a 
good source of work. And I did a fair amount of personal injuries 
and stuff. Then I got into doing odd things. My dad one time had 
a patient, Mr. Elvenholl. He said, "Mr. Elvenholl dropped dead 
while mowing his lawn in his backyard. His wife doesn t have any 
money; you ve got to help them." I said, "What do you propose I 
do? Sue God?" He said, "What about workman s compensation? He 
was a machinist and did a lot of heavy work." I said, "Well, it s 
kind of a push, but I ll try it." I filed a claim and went to a 
hearing and damned if I didn t win, much to my surprise. It was 
the first stress-caused heart attack case. The insurance company 
didn t contest it because they didn t want a record of it, and so 
then a second one came along and a third one. By the time I got 
the third one, the insurance companies all got together and they 
raised bloody hell. I had to go to the Supreme Court twice. But 
I still won. Those were the first stress cases. 

The National Assessors Bribery /Property Tax Scandal: The 
California Class-Action Suit and Its Reward 2 

Thorpe: I had another case where I ran into this guy, a fascinating case, 
who tells me this tale, which I didn t believe at all, about how 

2 For background on John Thorpe, the tax scandal, and his plan for the 
Baumberg Tract, see the Hayward Daily Review, October 18, 1987. 



all the assessors all across the United States are taking bribes 
to reduce property taxes. It s all across the United States; 
they re all taking bribes. The second time he comes in he brings 
canceled checks . He shows me that for a fact they were taking 
bribes. The third time he comes in he shows me the assessors all 
make a deal where they cut your property taxesand of course the 
big companies are the primary beneficiaries. If they guarantee 
the reduction for three years , they will not be disturbed for 
three years, which clearly they couldn t do without a collusion. 
Their fee is 40 percent of the amount of reduction but just 
applied in the first year. So you get 60 percent of the savings 
the first year and they get 40 percent. Of the 40 percent, 15 
percent went to the assessors until the assessors had their 
national convention one year at Denver, Colorado, at which point 
it went up to splitting it equally down the middle between the 
assessor and the property taxes. 

Chall: This was all done almost out in the open? 

All across the United States. So I took my whistleblower and the 
first thing I did was call a buddy of mine at the San Francisco 
Chronicle, Mike Harris. We got an attorney general guy, Marsh 
Mayer, from the California State Attorney General s office, 
because this involved tens of millions of dollars. It was a 
little scary. You never quite know what s going to get used 
against you. When you re dealing with a lot of politicians you re 
talking a lot of political power. So it was really funny. 

In Alameda County, Frank Coakley, the D.A., was really mad 
at me because I had gone to the attorney general s office and he 
wanted the glory. Secondly, he was mad at me because he was to 
get an award as district attorney of the year. Coakley s number- 
two man was Ed Meese, who became attorney general to President 
Ronald Reagan. But Frank Coakley was ticked because he was to get 
this national award as district attorney of the year in Florida, 
and he couldn t go because of this awful mess. But Marsh Mayer 
soothed him by having him call a meeting of all the district 
attorneys in California and Mike Harris saw that the Chronicle 
took this big picture of Coakley in the middle surrounded by D.A.s 
and American flags and things, so Coakley got some good press, so 
then he backed off. 

Then the senator [William Knowland] who was the owner of the 
Oakland Tribune at the time got ticked off because here s the 
Chronicle coming out every day with this big story. The Chronicle 
increased their permanent circulation by a third on this series of 
stories. So he was ticked off, saying, "What is a good Alameda 
County boy like you doing giving all this to the Chronicle?" So 
my friend at the Chronicle, Mike Harris, then would write a story 



for the Tribune every day, without Mike Harris s name on it of 
course. That got the Tribune off my back. 

I had so many wiretaps in my office--Coakley had a wiretap, 
the attorney general just to be on the safe side had a wiretap. 
The parking lot across the street was full of cars with 
wiretapping equipment and directional microphones. My phone got 
to the point where I couldn t hear myself. I said, "Frank, why 
don t you give me a couple of secretaries and they can sit right 
here in my office, and they can transcribe everything I do. They 
can listen on the phone calls. Get some of the taps off so I can 
hear myself on the phone." He said okay. Coakley was a wily guy. 
I made a demand to reassess the taxes in Alameda County, and 
Coakley promptly caused the board of supervisors to reassess, so I 
couldn t do anything. 

The city attorney of San Francisco was [Thomas] O Connor. 
Mr. O Connor was a marvelous man who refused to do anything 
because the political boss in San Francisco was the assessor 
[Russell Wolden] . So O Connor refused to do anything. So I got 
to sue the City and County of San Francisco, and that was the 
first class-action suit in California history. There was no 
class-action statute at the time. No enabling statutes. So I 
filed a suit saying that I am a private attorney general, that 
I ve made a demand, the district attorney won t do anything, the 
city attorney won t do anything, and therefore I m serving as a 
private attorney general. The plaintiff was Ida Knoff, who was my 
mother s sister, which really ticked off O Connor. He said, 
"You re contending you represent a class action of plaintiff 
taxpayers, then the plaintiff s your aunt." I said, "Well, she s 
the only taxpayer I know." [laughs] Much to my surprise I got an 
attorney s fee award of a million dollars. It was a record 
attorney s fee, against the City and County of San Francisco, 
which they had to pay. That really frosted O Connor. It was a 
record attorney s fee. 

That case changed the whole property tax assessment process. 

We then went to Sacramento, and we did all the legislation. I put 
the legislation together to have these appellate review boards so 
that if you don t like your taxes you can go down and have a 
hearing before the review board. I wrote all that because there 
was no mechanism for it. But that class action, I tell you, that 
was another one that was like the workman s comp case, the heart 
attack case. I never thought I d get away with it. I thought I d 
try it but it s not going to stick. But law is something where 
you really cannot forecast ahead of time what s going to happen- 
especially now because our courts now have deteriorated to where 


they re bureaucratic, administrative, and political creatures 
rather than really judicial creatures. A lot of them. 

Long-Term Interest in Property Deve lopment 

Chall: Of course you unearthed an incredible scandal, and then you had 

this money for the first time 1 guess in your life. Is that when 
you moved into development? 

Thorpe: No, I started doing real estate work almost when I got out of law 
school. I got interested in it, and I built an FHA [Federal 
Housing Administration] Section 207 100-unit apartment house in 
West Sacramento when I was maybe thirty. I got a license as a 
contractor. My grandfather, my father s father, had been a 
contractor. He was the one I told you about who invented the 
cylinder lock. He was also the first one to put a room on the 
outside of a house plan: I can build five houses and the room is 
in the back of this house, it s on the front on that house, it s 
on this side of that house, and it s on that side of this house. 
He built the first tract house. He built the first tracts in 
California. Go down Lincoln Avenue in Alameda; you can never tell 
they re tract houses because he would modify the architecture. 
One is Norman, and the next one is French, and the next one is 
Italianate and so forth, but in fact they re all the same house. 
But you can t tell by looking at them. 

My grandfather was the first one to pre-lay sash, just like 
the window locks. When he started building around the turn of the 
century, you would haul the panes of glass out to the house and 
you would put them in the window frames after the window frame was 
in the frame. My grandfather, in the wintertime when it was 
raining, in the basement, would construct windows and put the 
glass in the window frame, put the sash together and make it as a 

Chall: He was a creative man. 

Thorpe: He was the first one to do ready-hung doors. Now if you buy a 
door [gets up, goes to door to demonstrate], you would buy this 
door, for example, the frame comes with the door and you wedge it 
all with the framing as a unit. You don t try cutting the door 
down to fit the door frame. The whole thing is manufactured as a 
unit and then put in the frame. It s called a ready-hung door, 
and he was the first one to do that. 





He did patent the cylinder lock. He patented some of his 
stuff but never enforced the patents. But he did not patent the 
ready-hung doors and he did not patent the glazed sash. He liked 
to build, and he brought me up with tools and saws and things. I 
thought it was kind of fun. 

So you went off and-- 

--and built stuff. I built apartments. And of course Columbia 
was 540 homes in Castro Valley, but they were built by Blackwell 
Homes. That project would be way big for me--if you figured 
$200,000 a house times 500 houses, that s a lot of money. 

So the Columbia project was one of your large ones. 

I built lots of smaller things, 
center in West Sacramento. 

I built this small shopping 

You ve talked about Sacramento a couple of times, 
there to build? 

Why did you go 

Cheap land, and it was a fascinating area. It didn t work out. 
West Sacramento still hasn t blossomed very much, but the growth-- 
The thing about California, and partly the environmental thing, is 
California since World War II has not grown logically. It has 
grown politically rather than logically. People will say, "Not in 
my backyard," and so the builders will jump to someplace where 
it s easy to build. So as a result you have this horrible urban 
sprawl and slurb and just an awful mess. But I thought Sacramento 
would develop to the west, because it was the logical place for 
Sacramento to expand. It didn t [laughs]. 

From Whence the Special Thorpe Spirit? 



Thorpe : 

Over the course of time, you re consideredsometimes they call it 
flamboyant, ebullient-- 

And crazy. 

How do you account for your great optimistic spirit and all that 
goes with it? 

I don t know that it is optimism. I think it s sort of not 
caring, in a sense. In the first place I was brought up where 
both of my parents were what I would say were old-fashioned 
communists, from the antique meaning of the word. The original 


communists are really sort of like the original Christians. "The 
rich man can t inherit the earth--" and "the poor will inherit the 
earth," and "the poor are good and the poor do nothing wrong." So 
I grew up, and I m still helping poor people. Over half my 
practice is working for people for nothing. I get criticized by 
various people for doing that, because I don t have any money now, 
and so I really should be accumulating money. I think helping 
other people is something that you do. 

I think you can call it flamboyance helping Mrs. Elvenholl 
whose husband had dropped dead of a heart attack. Okay, I was 
lucky. So I got a lot of publicity out of it, right? Going after 
the assessors--! was angry. I didn t think public officials 
should take bribes. And that was a crazy thing. I can tell you. 
I sent file folders full of information back to Chicago that were 
mysteriously lost in the mail. They never did do anything 
whatsoever in Chicago. They never did anything in Augusta, Maine. 
They never found anything wrong. Their assessorswe sent them 
files of canceled checks showing bribes, and they did nothing. I 
think you can call it flamboyance because you take a risk, or you 
do something that somebody else wouldn t do. But you may just do 
it because you re a nut. Or because your lights tell you you 

Chall: Well, you ve certainly had a good roll here. 



Chall: I wanted to ask you just a couple of questions about the 
Shorelands that I m not quite certain about. 

Thorpe: Shorelands was kind of a crazy idea. Talk about flamboyance. 
Shorelands was an idea where a portion of the project was 
enormously profitable and would have funded a whole lot of 
nonprofit operations that had social significance. Of course, 
nobody who didn t know me would ever assume that s what I was 
going to do. But that s what I had in mind. I had all sorts of 
parks and recreational and open space ideas that I was going to 
fund with the rest of it. 

Chall: The problem was what land you were going to do it on, I guess. 

Thorpe: Let me say this. The problem is that human beings all operate on 
the basis of perception. The problem was that the land I was 
operating on was perceived to be of enormous wildlife value. The 
thing is, any open space anywhere may have enormous wildlife 
value. Over the next hundred years, or maybe 200 years, we will 
find out if that land has wildlife value. We will not find out 
this week. We won t find out this month, we won t find out this 
year, because it s been soaked in salt and it won t provide 
anything for any wildlife for many years. It might recover. 
Rains and what have you may cause it to recover eventually. We 
simply don t know. It s a fascinating thing. I ve represented a 
lot of Chinese people over the course of the years, and a lot of 
the classic Chinese folks don t think in the instantaneous terms 
we think in; they think in terms of generations. So maybe they re 
right. Who knows? 

Chall: I needed to get some background on the origin of the Shorelands, 
and I m taking this from a book that you had printed called The 
Shorelands that was for your investorsto raise money. The 
Introduction is dated October 1985; you probably sent it out in 
86. In the Introduction, you say that, "In mid- 1982, a 
successful Hayward developer/attorney, John Thorpe, was approached 


with CTI opportunity to develop a parcel of land on the Hayward 
shoreline. The City of Hayward suggested that a 700-acre-plus 
portion of the Baumberg Tract 1 be developed to a mix of 
commercial/recreation, and hotel/commercial/business park and 
light industrial park uses." My question to you is, who 
approached you? You say, "John Thorpe was approached." Who 
approached you with this concept? 

Thorpe: I have to jjuess a little bit, because I don t really recall. What 
I think happened was this: in the old days before the decline and 
fall of Hayward, which is over the last ten or fifteen years, 
Hayward had a Division of Advanced Planning and had an advanced 
planner. They called it a Program Planning Department. The 
program planner was a fellow by the name of Martin Storm. He was 
a very, very bright guy. Hayward no longer has a Department of 
Program Planning and no longer has a Martin Storm. His job was to 
try to look at Hayward and say what its problems are and how to 
solve them, how to make this place work, or how to clean up the 
traffic. One of its problems was how to construct an overall 
traffic solution. 

One of the things and this was his concept, not mineand I 
think he was dead rightwas that the problem with Hayward as a 
matter of traffic is that Hayward is a crossroads. It has been a 
crossroads historically since people would come out from Oakland 
and go out to Livermore to the spas and the Haywards Hotel and so 
forth. It is a crossroads, so you have all this traffic that 
follows through Hayward and clogs Hayward but doesn t really 
contribute to Hayward. They re not buying anything, they re not 
living here, they re just going from one end through the other 

Every city in the United States or anywhere that has this 
sort of a traffic problem has solved it with a loop, with a 
circumferential traffic system. Houston has the Houston Loop, and 
Chicago has the Chicago Loop. By creating a loop around the city, 
it s like in Boston on a small scale: you have what are called 
rotary traffics instead of interchanges, where you go around a 
circle and out. So he said, "Hayward, we can create a loop 
traffic street." 

The way to fund that loop is a mixture of state and local 
funding as far as the Foothill Freeway, for the upper section of 
it, and the Shorelands Project, which in essence builds about a 
quarter of that loop. It really was a very good idea. They re 
still talking about the flyovers that the people don t want. 
Well, it would have avoided the flyovers. It was a very good 
solution, it was a very good planning solution. 


Chall: That s a traffic solution, but what about building on the Baumberg 

Thorpe: If you figure you come down Industrial Boulevard and you come down 
through the Baumberg Tract, you ve got quite a distance through 
the Baumberg Tract where that loop is being constructed by 
Shorelands, on down to Route 92. That whole sect ion- -about a 
sixth of the entire loop, is on the Baumberg property. Plus the 
interchange of 92 is funded out of the racetrack. The racetrack 
does happen to fund that interchange. It s like there s a Bay 
Meadows interchange. That was part of the reason for it. 

Chall: That was part of the reason for developing that land? 

Thorpe: Part of the reason was the traffic solution. Another was the 
creation of a boundary line for Hayward. The Baumberg Tract 
essentially goes to the southern boundary of Hayward. Hayward 
doesn t extend beyond the Baumberg Tract, by and large. If you 
think in terms of a quarter circle, by developing this quarter 
circle, you build your loop street in such a way as to have it 
serve as a boundary and you do not develop anything outboard of 
that street. You cut off the Leslie property, outboard of that 
street. Part of what we designed was the trail system. You know 
the trail around the Bay? That was part of the vision of this 
project. We came up with the concept of the trail around the Bay, 
and this would build that portion of it. It provided a means of 
doing a portion of the trail around the Bay. And they don t have 
a solution for it now because without building an interchange it 
won t exist. I don t know that the trail around the Bay is really 
that necessary or essential or desirable anyway. 

Chall: I know that your book tells how you went to Bechtel and did quite 
a bit of pre-planning. You wrote in your brochure that the 
Shorelands Project is "a major Mixed-Use Planned Development in 
the City of Hayward, combining two distinct properties totaling 
over 1,200 acres." As I understand it you took an option from 
Cargill. 3 

Thorpe: Two options: one from Oliver, one from Cargill [Leslie Salt 
Division] . 

Chall: I didn t realize that you had an option from Oliver. 
Thorpe: Yes. 

3 Copies of detailed promotional flyers on the Shorelands Project: "A 
New Racetrack for Northern California." Inserted in pocket in back cover. 


Chall: Simultaneously? 

Thorpe: Yes. 

Chall: So that s what led to this so-called 1,200 acres, more or less? 

Thorpe: Yes. 

Chall: What happened with Oliver? The> withdrew the option? Is that the 
time when they didn t like anybody walking on their land which you 
told me about in our first interview? 

Thorpe: Gordon Oliver. It s an interesting thing. I ve seen two or three 
people who get bad strokes, and there s something about it that 
cuts off the blood supply to the brain and these particular types 
of people get very mean and very cranky and bizarre in their 
behaviorthat s the only word I can use. I got some letters from 
Gordon Oliver that were real prizes. On the one hand, he wanted 
me to succeed. Half of him wanted us to succeed because that of 
course would give him some money. On the other hand, he sort of 
wanted me to fail because of his anger and his hostility generally 
as a result of his stroke and so forth. So he would just go back 
and forth, but he was hopelessly unreliable the last few years. 
Who was the historian in Hayward? 

Chall: Sandoval. 

Thorpe: John Sandoval worked with Gordon, and they had an office together. 
Sandoval was trying to accumulate all the historical data that the 
Oliver family had, which was enormous. On occasion, Gordon would 
just come unhinged at John and make all sorts of wild accusations 
and terminate the relationship and say that the whole thing s over 
and he didn t care about history, and "I m going to burn 
everything." At any rate, that s what happened to Oliver. 

Chall: I understand eventually you didn t have that property on which to 
do the mitigation. That was part of it. 

Thorpe: We could have had other mitigation land. Leslie certainly would 
have provided it. 

Working with the Leslie (Cargill) Salt Company 

Chall: You had some mitigation possible with Leslie, but as I understand 
it they never stated so with certainty. 



Thorpe : 



: have to say that my relationship with Leslie was absolutely 
first class. Of course they re no longer Leslie; it s now 
Cargill. In those days it was Leslie Salt. 

You were working with Mr. [Robert] Douglass mostly. 

Bob Douglass and Paul Shepherd. Let me tell you a little 
something about Leslie. Cargill as a company had a long genesis 
aseven though it was the largest private company in the world-- 
as a handshake company. They would go out in the field, the 
farmer would have corn, and they d say, "I ll give you $3.50 a 
bushel for your corn," and shake hands and that was the deal. 
Cargill has absolute integrity. They have a freakish thing about 
integrity; they tell the people who go to work for them, "If you 
make a mistake, if you screw up and promise something you 
shouldn t have, even though it costs us a lot of money, we will 
stand behind it and we take the lossnot the customer. Our word 
is our bond. We stand by what we say." They re very Midwestern 
in that they re sort of suspicious at first. It took me several 
years to begin to get a good relationship. The first few years, 
every time there was a minor modification to the agreement it was 
two inches of paper. After that it was virtually all verbal. 
They trusted me, I trusted them. They were an absolute pleasure 
to work with. If they said they d do something, they would. If 
they said they wouldn t, they wouldn t. I know I never had any 
problem with Cargill. Never. Not after the first few years. 

The mitigation thing we could have worked out. We got to 
the point where we had the mitigation worked out. There was no 
federal agency opposing the project. We got to the point where 
all the federal agencies said okay. 

You mean even the Fish and Wildlife Service? I thought that Peter 
Sorensen and Fish and Wildlife were totally opposed to the plan. 

Sorensen had nothing to do with it. Sorensen was a low-ranking 

Didn t he write the jeopardy opinion or the draft jeopardy 

He signed it. Who signs it and who writes it are two different 
things. The fact of the matter is at the tail end they even 
announced in the newspapers that we could proceed. There was a 
press announcement by Peggy Kohl of Fish and Wildlife in 
Sacramento that we could go forward. Maybe I m telling tales out 
of school here, but the fact of the matter is that they announced 


we could go forward. Then the city was dragging their feet and 
dragging their ::eet; we could not get public hearings. By then we 
had a different administration. 

The Response of the City of Hayward 

Chall: Was that basically over the 92 interchange? 

Thorpe: No. Politically the city had changed. The city manager in 

Hayward always reads the mayor and council and he s doing what he 
thinks they re going to want to see, because that protects his 
job. It s a job protection mechanism. The city managerand this 
is not just Hayward--controls the council, and the bureaucrats 
control the elected officials by a very simple regimen. If you 
give them enough paper and do it just before a meeting, they ll 

never read it and they have to do what you want done, 
very simple mechanism of control. 

That s a 

In any event, the politicians decided they were afraid of 
the size of the project, they were afraid of the political and 
environmental squawk. It didn t matter whether it s a good squawk 
or a bad squawk; politically it was a bad squawk. So they simply 
didn t want us to get to hearings. We had a hearing on the 
circulation where allegedly the PA system didn t work, and there 
was enormous feedback every time I tried to talk. When the city 
people talked they could be heard fine; when I tried to talk there 
was feedback. Leslie was appalled, our investors were appalled. 

The investors at that point thought: Okay, this isn t going 
to happen. The city doesn t want this. It doesn t matter. So 
you have all the federal approvalswhat s the difference? If the 
city s not going to do it it s not going to happen. So then they 
cut off funding. That s the thing that killed me. The thing that 
killed me had nothing to do with any agency; it had to do with 
investors giving up in despair. Were they right? 

Well, as it turned out it was less than a year after the 
project fell apart that the real estate market collapsed. In 
other words, you couldn t have rented an industrial space for all 
the tea in China for a period of four or five years. In 91 we 
had an enormous real estate collapse. We still are in the midst 
of what is gradually becoming a worldwide depression, just like in 
the thirties. Asia is now collapsing, China is just now 
collapsing. The Chinese economy is just now going to hell. We 
have now this splintered economy where half our population- -we 
have people who are homeless, we have people who are hungry, and 


we have all this press saying how good the economy is. It s b.s. 
Half the economy is fine, half is awful. We have a split economy. 

The Baumberg Tract; Marginal Open Space Value 

Thorpe: The fact is that the environmental thing is a matter of 

perception. Man is a critter that sometimes we re right and 
sometimes we re wrong. The perception was that it was 
environmentally sensitive. There was never any endangered species 
found out on that property. Not one. There was not one mouse 
ever found out there. There were innumerable trappings, 
innumerable studies. My God, we did hundreds of thousands of 
dollars worth of studies and they couldn t find any of it. The 
only value of that property environmentally, and it may have some 
value environment ally- -it may have a very substantial value 
environmentallybut the value, if any there be, is serving as a 
buffer. Wildlife doesn t like people. Wildlife doesn t want 
anything to do with people. As a buffer, it is so foreboding and 
forbidding that it keeps people from getting near the Bay. So 
there s a whole section of the Bay that in essence it protects 
because it is a forbidding poisoned piece of real estate. It is 
soaked in salt. Nothing grows, nothing moves. So it may have 
value as a buffer. 

Chall: I guess the environmentalists thought that it would provide a 
place for wildlife that was being destroyed in other places. 

Thorpe: The reason it won t work is if you have no growth of plant life, 
you have no shelter for wildlife. You have no food for wildlife. 
So you can say it s 1,200 to squat on. It s a place to rest. 
Well, so is any place else in the world. Any place is a place to 

rest. The high-rise is a place to rest, 
very marginal open space value. 

The fact is it s got 

I had a long talk with [Congressman] Don Edwards. Don 
Edwards happens to have been an old, old friend of mine. Don 
Edwards is the founder of all the refuges. Don Edwards at one 
point said something very telling to me. He said, "John, I want 
you to know something. I really am reluctant to tell you this, 
but I am a politician. I know you don t realize that. I know 
you re a super-nice human being whom I ve known for years. Try to 
understand that I m a politician." He was telling me something. 
I said, "Well, that sounds like you re saying I m a used car 
dealer ." He said, "It s not much better." He called me from 
Washington, D.C., and told me that. 


Then Fish and Wildlife, I got very_ friendly with some of the 
people at Fish and Wildlife. There was a fellow by the name of 
[Wally] Steucke up in Portland. There were two or three people in 
Portland who were decent. The chief counsel in Portland was a 
real gent. I got clubby with him. After the thing collapsed he 
said, "Politically it is highly desirable for us to buy the 
Baumberg Tract. What is your position?" I said, "Hell, I m so 
broke I don t know that my position makes a lot of difference 
[laughs]." He said, "We know you re still talking to Leslie, and 
you and Leslie are still very friendly." I said, "Yes. But my 
position is that as a practical matter if right now today 
economically--" this was 84 or 85, somewhere in there. "Right 
now today the economy wouldn t support any development out there 
anyway . " 

Chall: The people at Fish and Wildlife that you were telling me about 

Steucke and others said to you that they might- 
Thorpe: The fact that Fish and Wildlife was thinking very strongly of 
buying the Baumberg Tract. 

Chall: And that would have been in--? 

Thorpe: 1 don t know, but I think it s 84 or 85. 

Chall: That was when you were just starting? 

Thorpe: Oh, excuse mewhat am I saying? I meant 94 or 95. 

Chall: You had already given up. 

Thorpe: Oh, yes. 

Chall: You were through. 

Thorpe: Yes. One of their people called me originally. 

Chall: I see, because it was bought by the state of California. 

Thorpe: No. The way the acquisition workedit was a complicated deal is 
that Fish and Wildlife did all of the evaluation of the property, 
and Fish and Wildlife did the appraisals, and Fish and Wildlife 
put the deal together. It s the kind of thing where Fish and 
Wildlife says, "Okay, we re going to pay for this, and you buy 
that." It was part of a complex overall thing. 

Fish and Wildlife would end up as the owner whether the 
state put up the money or whoever put up the money. In the long 
run it would be part of the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife 


Refuge. I ve worked on lots of these park deals with East Bay 
Regional parks and others, where one entity will buy it and lease 
it to another for an operation. The East Bay Regional parks, for 
example, the property around the racetrack down in Emeryville that 
they boughtthe bay frontage there the state bought that and 
turned around and leased it to East Bay Regional Park [District] 
for an operation. You can have more than one agency involved even 
though the acquisition, on the face of it, the money is coming 
from here it s multiple agency involvement. The key player in 
deciding whether it was to become in public ownership was Fish and 
Wildlife. The concept was that it would end up as a part of the 
San Francisco Bay Refuge, the Don Edwards Refuge. They were kind 
of saying, What was my attitude and what was I going to do, if 
anything [laughs]. I said, "As strange as it seems, I don t think 
anybody else will develop it. So I don t think I m being unfair 
to Leslie or hurting them any. In fact, I suspect they just as 
soon would sell to Fish and Wildlife as sell to whomever, because 
it doesn t do them any good either a surplus parcel. So they d 
like to unload it." So then I talked to Leslie, and they 
confirmed that yes, they are talking to Fish and Wildlife and they 
are interested in doing something with it. 

Chall: So now it s being restored. 
Thorpe: Have they done anything out there? 

Chall: Oh, yes. They have a team working now to restore it with 

mitigation money and money from the state. They re working on 835 

Thorpe: What are they doing, physically? 

Chall: Physically they re dividing it into sections that would be 

habitable for the clapper rail, the snowy plover, and the salt 
marsh harvest mouse. Steve Foreman with RMI is in charge. 

Thorpe: Oh, Foreman is with RMI now? 

Chall: RMI is Resources Management International. They have a year in 
which to set up the plan, and they re really working on it. 

Thorpe: They re just planning it right now. I ll tell you bluntly, it 

will be a complete failure for the harvest mouse unless you have 
vegetation. You cannot have the harvest mouse out there without 
vegetation, and you cannot have vegetation without flushing the 
salt, and you cannot flush the salt out of the dirt without water. 
Therein lies the problem. The problem is the water available to 
that, you d have to take fresh bay water it s not fresh in the 
customary sense, but it s not brine, either; it s bay water. 


Thorpe : 


You d have to flush the thing with bay water, you d have to tidaly 
flush it, you d have to flush it two or three 01 four times a day. 

That s all in their plans, I suspect. 

The problem was--now maybe something has changedthat the brine 
channel of Leslie Salt, right around the perimeter of that place, 
down to the salt plant in Newark, and the outboard water are salt 
evaporation ponds of Leslie. So you have to go clear to the outer 
edge of those salt ponds, miles and miles out, if you re going to 

bring fresh bay water in. 

It s a tough problem. It s not an easy 

It s a tough problem. They re going to have difficulties with it. 

I think eventually what will happen is this. Gradually the 
chemical plants have been driven out of the Bay Area, and 90 
percent of the sale of salt is to chemical plants. Less than 10 
percent is for human consumption and animal consumption. More 
than 90 percent is for chemical companies. When you drive all the 
chemical plants out of the area, the transportation cost makes it 
inefficient to produce salt for somebody way far away. So I think 
eventually the salt company will go out of business. When that 
happens, then you can restore this area because you don t have the 
salt evaporation ponds. I don t say you can t do it, I just say 
you can t do it economically without doing something about Leslie. 



[Interview 1: May 10, 1997] 

Chall: [Referring to discussion off tape while installing recording 

equipment] You wanted to say something about your relationship 
with the conservationists, the environmentalists, before we get 
started on the nitty gritty here. 

Thorpe: I guess the first thing I want to say is that this project was 
very educational to me . I learned an awesome amount of things 
from it, some of which are philosophical in nature. 

History, of course, is what is written down or remembered, 
rather than what necessarily happened. [laughter] 

Chall: Truth is elusive. 

Thorpe: Yes, and that we took up this project in an era which may have 
subsided some. You have to kind of look at I guess the overall 
history of what s taken place in recent years. We were just 
finishing an era of relative economic plenty. And so the 
environmental community was reacting to a situation. And of 
course, people act and react based on their perceptions rather 
than what necessarily is the fact. 

Life is just full of an incredible number of ironies, and in 
this part of California generally, the antis, the anti-development 
forces, I think probably had the most negative impact on the 
environment of any group, as well as a positive impact. The 
negative impact was that by focusing on where they were, and next 
door to where they were, they created a situation where the 
developers leap-frogged literally all over the state. We now have 
this massive traffic problem coming up from Tracy, and the air 
quality problems inherent in two- to four-hour commutes and that 
sort of thing, which in part were caused by the well-intentioned 
environmentalists who said, "Well, we don t want something right 


next door to us." Nobody took an overall look at northern 
California as a whole. They just looked at their area. They 
looked at Livermore, or they looked at Pleasanton, or they looked 
at Castro Valley, or what have you. 

The thing we learned, or I learned, is that with a lot of 
the environmental community, not just the environmental community, 
a lot of what happens has--is, and has become even more so, a 
creature of politics and a creature of political perceptions. 
We ve just had Tony Blair win in England, who is an absolute 
centrist. He has divorced the Labour party from anything remotely 
connected with labor. He has not only copied [President William 
J.] Clinton, he hasthey purchased the computer programs of the 
Clinton group on politics to run the election, and were very 

We ve gone from a [Franklin D.) Roosevelt era in part 
because of population growth and in part because of tremendous 
media impact television, in large part. We ve gone from not just 
locally but to a nation of people who are reactive to what they 
politically perceive rather than necessarily the fact. 

We tried to sit down and negotiate something that we felt 
was environmentally positive overall. Our goal was to try to 
produce, in a development project in California, we wanted to take 
an area and produce a more positive wildlife impact with that area 
than was the case before the development. 

We retained the services of a fellow by the name of Richard 
Murray down in Carmel. Richard Murray and we got Murray because 
one of the key concerns in the area was the snowy plover. Murray 
had builtwas the only one who had built artificial plover 
habitat. He did that down at the Pajaro Dunes. His Pajaro 
habitat was successful. He was the only one who had done that; he 
was the only one who we could find. We didn t restrain him in any 
way with economics, we didn t say, "You have a dollar limit of 
what you spend in your plan." 

We came up with a plan that Howard Cogswell, the professor 
at Cal State, found pretty good. Cogswell interfaced with us in 
modifying it. The environmental community reacted with total 
distrust. Now, it s true, we have a society where most 
development is done by people who are motivated entirely by greed. 

I had a prior experience in Castro Valley. I did a 
development called Columbia where we built it s this picture over 
here we built 540 houses on a ridge. We worked with East Bay 
Regional Park District. We took the canyons on both sides and put 
it into parks. We developed a trail system. We developed a park, 



the Cull Canyon Park, over what had previously been a mud 
collector for the storm sewer system. 

And I should have learned from that, because in that 
project, some of the people absolutely mistrusted our arrangements 
with regional parks. And so both ourselves and regional parks had 
to sort of sublimate the fact that we were largely in agreement. 
The public, the environmental community, never did, some of them, 
realize that in fact what we did, we did by agreement, and we did 
it because we were trying to create a positive result. 

I think if I buy a house, and I am next to--I have a view of 
a park and I m right next to a park, which is. open space and trees 
and stuff, I think that house is worth more. I think if I can 
furnish a nice area, that s a greater economic value. Even if it 
weren t, I don t think, we did a--. About eight years before we 
developed the property, we commissioned Hammon, Jensen, and Wallen 
down on Edgewater Drive to do a tree survey, to do a forestry 
survey. We had something like 5,000 trees, of which 400 had 
trunks greater than four feet in diameter. 

Well, I think one would have to be an absolute boob to cut 
those down. [laughs] Where I come from, I think that s a 
marvelous asset. Now, maybe it s not an asset you could sell for 
money, but I think it s a great asset. But we could never 
convince the opponents that we viewed this as having value. 

The Baumberg Tract is itself an enormously more complex 
piece of real estate. I mean, I like Castro Valley, I really fell 
in love with it. It s just a fascinating piece of real estate. 
This is--I don t know if--I could donate this to the project if 
you could take it- -[shows enlarged photograph approximately 12 by 
15 inches, on hard board]. 

I ll have to ask if the Bancroft Library could take it. 

This is a fascinating thing. This is an early example of a 
photograph taken with a process that was developed by NASA. Now, 
I m kind of a NASA fan in that my brother-in-law was deputy . 
director of NASA for some years. They developed this infrared 
photographic process. 

What this does, it really I think is kind of fascinating. 
This is [points] --the Baumberg Tract is right here, and this is 
the San Mateo Bridge. Now, what it does: growing plantsyou 
could get different kinds of pictures at different seasons of the 
yearbut growing plants, in the growth process, they are 
consuming and/or creating calories, and calories are heat. So if 
vegetation is growing, you get red. Okay? That s what it boils 


down to. This thing is a very graphic picture. Now, here are the 
wetlands. In other words, if it s not doing anything, it s just 
water. If it s a dry salt flat, it s not doing anything. You can 
see, if you take a magnifying glass, you can see around the edges 
of this. 

This piece of property, this particular piece of property, 
historicallyyou see this line here. That line is the 
supersewer. Okay? If you look at that closely, you can see that 
the power towers march right along the supersewer line. 

The supersewer line--I don t know if it s true; I think it 
is generally true. The supersewer line is a line which 
denominates a relatively stable subsurface soil area so that they 
can install the pipeline and not have it crack or go up and down. 
The lands inboard of that, generally speaking, were grain farmed, 
historically. The early farmers came to this area, and the very 
first ones, of course, discovered a certain number of Indians 
living in the area. If you ve gone across the Dumbarton Bridge 
and you see the fluff that lands all over the ground when the wind 
is blowing, well, that fluff is salt, of course, and the fluff 
settles in declivities. If you ve got a low spot in the dirt, it 
will settle in the hole, and you build up salt. 

The Indians would take it and scrape that, and they would 
then go up into the hills toward the east, and they would trade 
the salt for things they wanted. The Indians along the edge of 
the Bay were sort of the least productive of any in the sense of 
what we think Indians do. They didn t make baskets, they didn t 
do pottery, they didn t do much of anything. 

Of course, the natives in Hawaii or Tahiti didn t do much of 
anything either, because they were in a nice warm climate. They 
didn t have a lot of weather problems. They didn t need to do a 
lot, and necessity is sort of the mother of invention for all of 

In any event, the missionaries came along, and Father 
Serra s group, which did terrible things to Indians, did come up 
with one positive thing. The early ones told the Indians, "Look, 
if you put a stick in that declivity, let the salt fluff blow on 
the stick and crystallize on the stick, the wind and the sun will 
dry it faster, you get salt quicker. If it gets on the stick, you 
can then lay it out your blanket, you can beat your stick on the 
blanket, and you have clean salt instead of salt with dirt in it." 
It s a way to get clean salt. 


And that, believe it or not this true story--that is where 
the expression "Not enough salt to shake a stick at" comes from. 
Which initially I didn t believe, but it is true. 

The later people came along, and the fanners discovered that 
they could build what I call giant shallow bathtubs around the Bay 
and crystallize salt, and they could literally grow salt in the 
lowlands next to the Bay. Then the first tier next to that they 
used for grain crops of one kind or another. Inboard, closer to 
the hills, they had tree crops. The reason for that is glacial 
activity and rains. The heaviest soils sink right next to the 
ridges, and then the lighter soils come out as you get to the edge 
of the Bay, and the very finest are right at the edge of the Bay. 

The fine soils will not support a tree crop. They re also 
less fertile. The heavier soils will support a tree crop. The 
wetland description initially was a description that was made not 
by environmentalists or not by tree people or fish and wildlife 
people; it was made by Soil Conservation Service people. The 
basic categorization of a wetland was made by the soils people. 
The soils people up in Sonoma produce books of the various soil 
types. Then the wetlands evolved, and then the fish and wildlife 
types came along and said, "Hey, those are kind of nice. We ve 
got birds, we ve got what have you." And so they picked up the 
wetland designation from the soils types. 

And another similar thing we talk about here in the Bay Area 
is the earthquake failures of the soils in the San Francisco 
Marina. That is due partly to the fact that after the [1906] 
earthquake, they sort of bulldozed anything they could find, and 
partly because they are very fine soils. The best building soils 
are a mix of soil types, where you ve got the heavy granular 
material mixed with fines, because that s the most stable. The 
least stable would be all fines. 

There are pictures in the EIR [Environmental Impact Report] 
essentially at the point where the bittern pond is at the end of 
Eden Landing Road, as a matter of fact. They called that Eden 
Landing because they have a little barge landing there. And that 
barge landing essentially was right here, and that s the point 
really at which the wetlands have pretty well disappeared. The 
wetlands are all outboard of that. 

If you look down here [continues using photo], these 
wetlands all sort of --if you drew a line like that, these are the 
sewer ponds. See, that s a wetland area. There was a fellow by 
the name of Osterloh who came to Hayward, and as a matter of fact, 
the house at 21800 Hesperian, the big blue house next door, was 
built by Osterloh, Sr. Osterloh was a salt trader in San 


Francisco, and in the book on Hayward, it mentions Osterloh. It s 
the book written by the fellow that used to do stuff for the 
[Hawyard] Review-- [John] Sandoval. Sandoval s book on Hayward 
mentions Osterloh.* 

At any rate, Osterloh had a couple of these big flat- 
bottomed barges, and he had a--I don t know what you call them--a 
warehouse andyou can t call it a store for something like that, 
but he had a place where he sold his salt, sort of a warehouse 
market where he sold salt. 

Chall: Sold the salt? 

Thorpe: Yes. And he was a big salt merchant. That was basically all he 
did, was salt. Then in later years, a series of companies came 
along which merged and became eventually Leslie. The Schilling 
spice family. Schilling was an early German immigrant in this 
area. In later years, you had the Leslie Salt Company. The salt 
farmers artificially determinedand I suspect that it was a 
function of how much money you made mining salt versus how much 
money you made growing grain- -how much area you would take up for 
salt versus how much area you would take to grow grain. 

But what s interesting is just to the south of the Baumberg 
down hereyes . [points to enlarged map on wall] If you go down 
here, right here, you can see a house protruding from the salt 
pond just to the south of the Baumberg. And it s still there. 
Then there s a cattle pen that you can see in that area. This 
area was artificially flooded, and it wasn t flooded until, oh, 
the 1950s at some point. Of course, it was farmed prior to that. 
It was flooded either by Leslie or Schilling. And this was the 
original sweep of the slough going like this. And this way, from 
the slough was swamp, and there was probably then an area, and I 
just artificially take this area in here, which I would say is 
sort of a boundary area it s pretty damn wet when you re growing 
grain and this up in here is an upland which is a farm. 

In any event, none of it, although historically- -a 
significant portion of it was historical wetlands it didn t 
legally qualify as wetlands by the time we came along. Here, 
since 1860, these ponds from Eden Landing to the Bay had been used 
as largely bittern storage. Bittern is the material left over 

*John S. Sandoval, Mt. Eden: Cradle of the Salt Industry in 
California. (Hayward: Mt. Eden Historical Publishers, 1988). [On pages 
173-174 Sandoval discusses Henri and William Osterloh and their families, 
and the historic farmhouse on Hesperian Boulevard owned by John Thorpe- - 
Shorelands Company offices.] 


after you make salt. It s one of the, kind of the legal ironies, 
that bittern is not classified as toxic by the law or the 
government, and yet bittern is the material they use to spray at 
the edge of the roads in Tahoe to kill the weeds which also kills 
the trees. Bittern, if you walk out on this stuff without plastic 
galoshes on, if it s wet, about a day and a half later, your 
uppers will separate from the soles, because it has literally 
eaten the string out. But it s not toxic. It will kill anything 
that gets vaguely near, and toxic means kill. But legally, it s 
not toxic. Which I found rather bizarre. 

We had environmentalists who would absolutely swear that 
there was life out here in these bittern areas. They would 
absolutely swear there were wonderful things to acquire, and I 
would say, "For what?" God, that s the most god-awful--! compare 
it to a waste dump, I mean, a garbage dump. It s an area that man 
has absolutely destroyed. It s going to take a lot of money to 
clean this up. 

I think Fish and Wildlife [Fish and Wildlife Service] and 
the government bought this largely, again, and for political 
means, and to make a lot of folks happy. I don t think they have 
a clue what they re going to do with it, as far as restoring it. 
We did a bunch of studies on--if you wanted to restore this 
Baumberg Tractwhat it would take. You see, the stuff out in- 
right out in the edge of the Bay, this area here had a--I don t 
know where the salt came from, but a lot of salt was dumped out 
there years ago. This little triangle area still hasn t 
recovered. This stuff has recovered, and very well, and there is 
a beautiful marsh. But it has daily ebb and flow of the tide to 
clean it. 

To get the tide into this area, you d have to of course cut 
out all the salt-making operation outboard. That s the first 
thing you d have to do, to get tide in there. And second thing, 
you d have to grade it in some fashion. Or, you d have to build 
some sort of canal. Murray did the studies on how big a canal it 
would take, and then our engineer, Jack Stewart, who just died, 
did studies on how big a canal it would take. It would take a 
pretty whumping canal to get that volume of water in to ebb and 
flow to cleanse it. 

The areas that are most inboard--the way this is classified 
[points], these were the bittern ponds. These were crystallizers . 
Crystallizers are long, flat ponds where they bring the water in, 
let it drop. This was a central pond that was used to put stuff 
in the northerly and southerly crystallizing, to pump water both 
ways. This is sort of a regular ground. This stuff is very flat. 



Thorpe : 

What s happened in these crystallizers, and I suspect in the 
bittern ponds too--in the crystallizers, the constant settling of 
salt in these areas over damn near 100 years has created an 
impervious layer of soil. The higher ridges, if you plow it, 
which was done by Leslie which disked it at one point, in a couple 
of years the upper soils will leach out a little and you get a 
little bit of growth on it, so it looks as if it s coming back. 
Because the rain leaches it out. 

But basically, what you ve done is you take salt and you 
soak this area in salt. Salt contains a lot of sodium. Sodium 
acts as a soil sealant. That is why the darn water won t drain 
from here, why it collects water. It s just like concrete. It 
makes the soil impervious. So you ve created with these two 
crystallizers this impervious layer of dirt. 

So to restore it to any kind of use, we did a lot of studies 
on that in part because if you re going to landscape it, if you re 
going to landscape it and grow a tree or something, you ve got to 
recover the soil. And we came to the conclusion it s just--it s 
very near impossible, unless you do away with the salt-making and 
put tidal flow on it and wait 100 years. That s the best way to 
do it. 

It is good, it has some fish and wildlife uses. The plover 
nests on soil. Plovers don t nest in trees, they nest in the 
soil. The plover historically nested on the beaches. That s why 
Dick Murray s project down in Watsonville in Pajaro Dunes was 
successful. It nests on beaches, and the beaches around northern 
California have all been pretty well occupied by humans over the 
last, I don t know, fifty years. So the plover can t nest on the 
beaches . 

The environmentalists are absolutely insane when they fight 
with the dog types in San Francisco, because wildlife goes where 
wildlife wants to go. It doesn t go where you want it to go. If 
you say, Okay, I m going to take the dogs off this chunk of the 
Golden Gate Beach, the plover s not going to go there just because 
you think it s nice. Plovers go, like most wildlife, they go in 
large areas, large areas, big, big areas, where they are left 
alone, where they don t have human competition. So if you want to 
take a couple of miles of the Ocean Beach, that s nothing. 

I think there was a large plover area down there where you were 
planning to develop. 

Well, there were not. The interesting thing is, if you look in 
the EIR when we did the studies, we didn t find any plovers, any 
salt marsh harvest mice, any wildlife on the project site at all, 


: 117 

ever, and that was over a multiple period of years. The nearest 
plovers were about a mile away. Now, this is not to say that they 
like a huge band of noncompetitive space. I mean, they probably 
do. I can t gainsay that. It s just as far as the project site, 
there weren t any. 



The Basic Plan 

Chall: I wonder now if we could just go back and start to talk about your 
project. You ve given good background here, but let me get 
started with some facts. You have your map out, and I ve got this 
map. The Baumberg Tract per se, as I understand it, is something 
like 800 or 835 acres. You say in your initial brochure on the 
Shorelands that it s a major mixed-use plan development in the 
city of Hayward combining two distinct properties totaling over 
1,200 acres. 

Thorpe: Well, that includes the open space areas. 
Chall: The open space areas? 

Thorpe: Okay, the 1,200 areas, we wanted to buythat s back in 1983 or 
so. We wanted to purchase from Leslie, and we contracted to 
purchase this outboard area which was known as the Whale s Tail. 
We thought that ought to be dedicated open space. Don Edwards is 
an old friend of mine. I talked to Don Edwards about how that 
outboard area plus the Whale s Tail could be incorporated into the 
bird refuge. [The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife 

Chall: I see. But that belonged to Leslie? 

Thorpe: Yes. All this belonged to Leslie. Leslie owned, or owns, about 
6,000 acres in that area. 

Chall: So you were planning to take an option on 1,200 acres, is that it? 

Thorpe: We did take an option. 

Chall: You took an option on 1,200 acres. 


Thorpe: Yes. 

Chall: And you were planning to build, then, your project on about 600 of 
those acres, and leave 500 open for open space? 

Thorpe: Yes, 500-some-odd acres, was developable land. Yes, 530 or 

Chall: All right, I m just trying to pull in figures that 1 get here and 
there. So that your project was, in a sense, within your option, 
allowing 500 acres for open space, which was there already. 

Thorpe: Well, the 500 of open space, plus about 200 acres of what I would 
refer to as inboard developed open space of one kind or other. 

Thorpe: We wanted to purchase this. This is marshy habitat here in this- 
Chall: I see. I ve got this big map too here, that maybe we can- 
Thorpe: Okay. [much unfolding of maps] 

Chall: You were optioning up here, this area that s enclosed in red. 5 

Thorpe: Right. Not this originally. Not that piece. 

Chall: You weren t taking the Perry Gun Club. 

Thorpe: No. 

Chall: It was just this that s down here [along Mt . Eden Creek] to the 

Thorpe: Right. And then this strip here-- 

Chall: Along Mt. Eden Creek [in blue ink]. 

Thorpe: Yes, and it went out here and took the Whale s Tail. 

Chall: I see, this is the Whale s Tail out in here. 

Thorpe: Yes. If you look at it in the--in thereyou see how it looks 
kind of like a whale s tail? 

5 Looking at a large map outlined in color, designed by Howard 


[During the next few minutes, Mr. Thorpe and Mrs. Chall discuss 
the map. He roughly describes the areas set aside for mitigation 
in the early stages of his project. Mr. Thorpe was recalling as 
much as possible. The information can be seen on Map 1.) 

Thorpe: In those days, there was no requirement that you construct 

artificial mitigation. You could buy mitigation lands. Now 
again, you can buy mitigation lands and dedicate it. So that area 
is kind of foggy. You see, this area here 

Chall: Yes. The Whale s Tail. 

Thorpe: These were areas that we recognized as having significant 

vegetation, and therefore, significantyes, it goes on down here 
--okay. These were areas that we saw as having significant 
vegetation. And we widened this channel, with the theory that 
you ve got to make it wider if it s going to have any value [hatch 
marks , Map 1 ] . 

Chall: For trails. Or whatever. 

Thorpe: Well, this was for open space. 

Chall: Open space, yes, I see. 

Thorpe: The trails would go inboard of that. 

Chall: I see, so that was your open space. And your area that you had 
taken an option on then went from 

Thorpe: We worked up with Cogswell a plan, and I don t have- -I don t know 
that I have a- -maybe it s in the EIR--the original plan, the 
original mitigation plan--. [pause] I don t seem to have a map 
of the original one. 

Now, let s see, the original mitigation plan was to go down 
to this area 5 in here. [B8 on Map 1] 

Okay, so the original plan would have been down here. 
Chall: That s the original plan we re talking about for-- 

Thorpe: The original mitigation plan. Yes, and we had worked this out 
with Cogswell. 

Chall: That was for whatthe plover area? 

Thorpe: No. Plovers the reason even though there have been historically 
no plovers here in years, we have all kinds of plover studies. We 


did plover studies coming out the ear, and we could never find any 
plovers on the site. Plovers nest on substrate, they nest right 
on the dirt. But you see, wildlife, as I was saying earlier, 
wildlife go where the wildlife wants to go. I mentioned the 
Golden Gate Recreation Area and the dogs, and that being silly. 
You can t tell plovers where to nest. You can create an area, and 
whether or not they go there is problematical. Okay? Right here, 
see? See, right here is this area right here, yes. 

Chall: All right, and we re talking about this area, then, here. [B9 on 
Map 1] 

Thorpe: I believe it wasand I don t have a mapbut I believe it was 

this whole area here. They would take, for example, a pond here, 
and fill it and turn it into an island. 

Chall: Is that the original mitigation, with the islands? 

Thorpe: Yes, various islands and things. And Cogswell said, "You know, 
you d probably have more wildlife in that whole general area in 
here after mitigation than you have now." He thought it was very 

Chall: Okay. I think I see your plan. This is the 600 and some acres 

that you were going to build your racetrack onthis upper area in 

Thorpe: Yes, 520 or 530. 

Chall: It was in this upper area in here. [Map 1, outlined in red] 

Thorpe: Yes, the racetrack went right here. Racetrack right there. Okay. 

Chall: All right. Racetrack went there, and then your various buildings 
and things went there. [See Shorelands Project promotional 
material, back envelope] 

Thorpe: Industrial, yes, right. 

Chall: There was let me see if I can on these there was a gun club, 

and then there were Oliver Salt- 
Thorpe: Okay, this is mitigation plan 2. 
Chall: So originally you hadn t planned to 
Thorpe: We were down here originally. 


Chall: And you had not planned to do anything in this area, you hadn t 
planned to take in the [Perry] Gun Club or the Oliver Salt land? 

Thorpe: No. We increased our option to include the Gun Club, which was 
going to be mitigation. 

Chall: I see. That was your second mitigation plan. 

Thorpe: And we proposed to turn over the back 129 acres of Oliver to 
mitigation. [Oliver Hayfield, Map 1] 

Chall: But you proposed it. Was Oliver amenable? How did you deal with 

Thorpe: [laughs] Gordon Oliver was never amenable for more than two days 
on much of anything. Gordon was a very cranky person. We got an 
option. When the option expired, Gordon would not renew it. 

Chall: I see. You did have an option. 

Thorpe: Yes. What happened is some Fish and Wildlife people came out. We 
tried to explain to Gordon that the Fish and Wildlife people had 
to go out on the property and look at it in order to decide 
whether or not they wanted it. And Gordon felt very strongly that 
they should not walk on his land. And so when we got the option 
for two years, the Fish and Wildlife people went out and said 
okay. At the end of the two years, Gordon said, "They had 
absolutely no right to walk on my land." 

Chall: And this was the Oliver acres down here, this 129 acres? 
Thorpe: Yes. Gordon was not an easy man to deal with. 

Chall: So you never triedyou didn t want the Oliver acres up in here? 
[North corner of commercial area, HARD, Map 1] 

Problems with the Environmental Community 

Thorpe: We offered to acquire it for HASPA [Hayward Area Shoreline 

Planning Agency], Well, we tried various combinations of various 
things. It was a case of the politicians were trying to cause the 
environmental community to accept something, and the environmental 
community by definition wouldn t accept anything ever. 

Chall: Well, all right. Now that we ve sort of outlined your problem-- 


Thorpe: [laughs] Well, that s the fact. But whether one wants to 

acknowledge it or not, it was the fact that you had a certain 
number of people. We had--oh, what was her name in Castro Valley? 

Chall: Janice Delfino? 

Thorpe: Janice. Now, Janice. When I did Columbia, Castro Valley, there 
was an old dead tree next to where we were going to put an access 
road. The deal we did in Castro Vr.lley with the East Bay Regional 
Park Districtthat s very instructive. In Castro Valley, the 
East Bay Regional parks had planted eucalyptus down this canyon 
here which they didn t want. They had planted them, and they had 
a PR problem, because the Oakland Tribune had bought the 
eucalyptus in a publicity thing. 

Chall: The Oakland Tribune had bought it? 

Thorpe: The Oakland Tribune contributed a dollar to buy eucalyptus for 
each subscription they got back some years before. The Oakland 
Tribune caused the planting of dozens and dozens of eucalyptus. 
On the one hand, regional parks didn t really want to come out and 
say, "The Oakland Tribune has saddled us with a terrible fire 
hazard." On the other hand, they wanted to get rid of them. 

So we were going to put our entrance road down that canyon 
and take out the eucalyptus. In turn, we would not take out the 
natural trees which we had in our canyons. You see, we could have 
come up from Cull Canyon Road up our canyon, but that would have 
taken out decent trees. 

Chall: Cull Canyon Road? 

Thorpe: Cull Canyon, yes. And the point is, neither Mr. [Richard] Trudeau 
nor myself wanted to carve up a bunch of really nice oaks and bays 
and laurels, and it was much better to take out the eucalyptus. 

Well, so then we had completely entered into the agreement 
with the district, which was all signed, by the way. At that 
point, Janice came out in a public hearing, had a slide it was a 
very nice slideof a woodpecker in this dead tree. I pointed out 
the tree is dead. And Janice said, "Well, it s full of worms, and 
the woodpecker it s a food source for the woodpecker." I said, 
"Well, tell you what we ll do. We will saw it off with a 
chainsaw, we will move it out of the area so it s maybe twenty 
feet away, and we ll plant it in concrete, and the woodpecker can 
continue eating it. Or, the woodpecker can cruise down two miles 
of Cull Canyon and select another tree. It s up to the 
woodpecker. " 


Janice did not think it was funny. Janice knew that I never 
would have done anything with regional parks if she hadn t forced 
me. She knew that their battle had done it. Of course, Trudeau 
and I both knew that it was all agreed to ahead of time. My 
mother was an open space and tree and wildlife and nature nut, 
which I am. And my mother had told me when we bought that Cull 
Canyon property that if I ever cut any of those trees, she d come 
back and haunt me from her grave. And she would. She would. So 
then Janice got on this one. 

Chall: Yes, on the Baumberg. 

Thorpe: Oh, yes, we had Janicedid we have Janice on the Baumberg. 
Janice and a lady in San Lorenzo- - 

Chall: Barbara Shockley. 

Thorpe: Barbara Shockley. Of course, those people did a lot of good. 

Janice has done a lot of good in her time. I can t--. Because 
Janice stays on the city councilmen, she stays on the supervisors, 
and she-- 

Chall: Yes, she does. 

Thorpe: And she fastens her jaw into their calf and never lets go. And 

you need some of that. Most of the development community wouldn t 
do a thing for mitigation if they didn t have to. You see, I 
don t know. I look back at the Baumberg Tract and say, "Well, on 
the one hand, yes, it s a matter of economics," and I m desolated, 
I lost money. But I take the position that I did on the onset of 
our tape session, that it s not going to make any difference 200 
or 300 years from now. It will be whatever it s going to be. 

Plans for the Racetrack 

Chall: Well, I want to get some of these facts. You have an outline? 
Well, I have it. 6 But let me go back to the plan. As I 
understand it, you had thought of putting in Marine World Africa- 
USA and a horse racetrack- 
Thorpe: Originally, yes. 

Mrs. Chall delivered an outline of the interview to Mr. Thorpe 
several days prior to the interview session. It was on his desk in another 
room in the office. Later he retrieved it. --M.C. 


Chall: --originally. And was it on that same property? 
Thorpe: Yes. 

Chall: You had then, you had an option with Leslie Salt or the Cargill 
people at that time? 

Thorpe: Yes. We had an option all during this time. 

Chall: And for that whole acreage, that 1,200 acres. 

Thorpe: Yes. 

Chall: With whom were you dealing at Leslie? 

Thorpe: At Leslie? With two people, Paul Shepherd, and Bob Douglass. 
Very nice people. 

Chall: Is that the Mr. Douglass who s there now? 

Thorpe: Yes. And I think Howard Cogswell would second the motion that 
they re really decent human beings. I had a wonderful 
relationship with them. I have never run into capitalistic types 
who are as straight and honest as the folks at Cargill. I mean, 
you can absolutely accept their word. They re very rare birds, 
and they ve worked a lot with Howard over the years. 

Chall: Yes, they have. So these are the people with whom you took a ten- 
year option. 

Thorpe: Maybe it was five, another five, I don t know. 

Chall: So you started that plan in about 1981? 

Thorpe: Right. 

Chall: All along, then, the racetrack was a part of the deal? 

Thorpe: Yes. You see, the racetrack was an economic gain, and the 

statewide and political gain legislatively. The Marine World was 
a heavy cost element. And I liked Marine World, I really did. 
Marine World then through time--. You see, they were in the 
process of losing their present premises. 

Chall: Yes, so they were going to have to move. 

Thorpe: Yes. But they could not--you can t put a cork in the camel s 
mouth and wait a few years. There s an awesome cost to 
maintaining them [the animals], and we knewafter a while, we 


knew we couldn t produce anything in any short period of time. We 
had done a bunch of big studies like this on Marine World. We 
gave those studieswe gave them--to Vallejo, and Vallejo 
acknowledged on numerable occasions that they could not have done 
Marine World if we hadn t made it possible. 

Chall: I see, so it went there. And that left you with the option on the 
land, and so at that point, you decided to put in a hotel and the 
other commercial developments? 

Thorpe: We were always going to do hotels. 
Chall: So nothing changed. 

Thorpe: Hayward is a place where there is no "there" here. We were trying 
to put some "there" in Hayward. We were trying to do something 
that would support a hotel development and therefore permit us to 
create a visitor program for Hayward. We were trying to do 
something to help generate some economic push in Hayward. 
Something which it still needs. 

Chall: Ah-- [laughs] In all the work that went into setting this up, 
then, you checked with the horse people and thought that there 
were some possibilities. 

Thorpe: Well, there still would be. You see, if you just geographically 
look at Golden Gate Fields [Albany], Golden Gate Fields is owned 
by Catellus. Catellus has piecemeal sold that property to the 
state for its parks and open space. There was a bill passed. 
There is a plan for the area being developed by the East Bay 
Regional Park District. That is slated to become a park. That is 
not going to be racetrack, longterm. 

Chall: That s part of the area. [The planned East Shore Park.] 

Thorpe: Oh, yes, yes. And part of its problems in development as a park 
is you see, underlying the racetrack was a World War II military 
airstrip, and it is full of toxics, and it is full of eight feet 
of concrete. [laughing] I mean, land they are taking here is a 
quarter under concrete. So that s a tough thing to turn into a 

Chall: But you had problems just gettingeventually just getting them to 
accept the fact that you might not succeed in this development? 

Thorpe: No, we didn t need the folks at Golden Gate Fields. Bay Meadows 
[San Mateo] is even now as we speakthey re both now as we speak 
being phased out. Bay Meadows has come up with this theoretical 
plan to build barns in the infield. They have sold off the 


training track area and the barn area to Franklin Resources to 
build an industrial park and so forth. 

Racetracks are basically an agricultural use. Racetracks 
have a lot of horses, and 2,000 horses smell. And you do not put 
hotels and office buildings next to piles of manure if you have 
any sense at all. So Bay Meadows is going to be developed. Bay 
Meadows has been sold for $300 million to a company that s in a 
development business. So we knew there wasn t going to be a 
racetrack in the Bay Area if ours didn t get built. That was the 
basic engine behind that. 

The City of Hayward: A Roadblock 

Chall: But the time was not right, because it s just happening now rather 
than when you had your option some sixteen years ago. 

Thorpe: They are folding now, but they would havewe had a contract with 
Bay Meadows. We had a contract with Bay Meadows. They would have 
entered into a contract any time. Our problem was very simple: 
it s called the city of Hayward. We got permits through each and 
every federal agency; we got permits from each and every federal 
agency. We got through the entire federal planning process. 

Chall: For the racetrack? 

Thorpe: For the racetrack, for the whole thing, for the Baumberg 

development. We got each and every permit we needed. Leslie can 
tell you that. We got all the federal permits. We were through 
with Fish and Wildlife, we were through with EPA. And not the 
final, final, final, but we were 90 percent through with EPA. We 
got a written letter from Fish and Wildlife that we could proceed, 
that their jeopardy opinion was dropped. And Corps of Engineers. 
Our problem was simply the city of Hayward. 

Chall: I don t understand that, because from everything that I read, you 
didn t have any final approvals on any of this. 

Thorpe: You don t--under the federal permit process, you have to have the 
city approval before they issue a final permit. 

Chall: I thought the city was all for it. 
Thorpe: No. 




What happened? 
the city. 

I didn t see any correspondence with relation to 





The city manager s office kept losing our permit application. We 
could have sued the city of Hayward. Maybe in retrospect I should 
have, I don t know. But the city dropped the permit application, 
the city closed our files at one point. The city was hostile, 

I can t--! find that hard to relate to. 

Talk to Leslie. Talk to Leslie, they ll confirm it. During the 
Alex Giuliani era, the city was very supportive. 7 The city was 
supportive, and the city was not supportive during the Bertie 
[Roberta] Cooper era. 8 No, Alex Giuliani was positive. When we 
got to Michael Sweeney, it became very, what I would have to call 
neutral, all right? 9 Neutral if not mildly negative. When we hit 
the--you can talk to the engineers, you can talk to Leslie, I can 
tell you, the city kept asking for more studies and more this and 
more that. The city stalled us out during the--. And it was, the 
tail end of it was with Cooper, no question about it. 

You see, city politics are largely, and the relationship of 
developers is largely set by the city manager, and the city 
manager s office. 

And who was the manager at that time? 

We had a good relationship with [Don] Blumbaugh. The instant we 
got Jesus Armas, we had problems. 

But it seems to me that these people came after the 1987 when you 
had given up primarily. 

We didn t give up in 87! We didn t give up until 1991. 

I see. I don t have any information, any material in my files 
beyond 88. 


7 Alex Giuliani, mayor, 1982 to 1990. 

"Roberta Cooper, former city council member, 1992-1994; mayor, 1994- 
1998; 1998-2002. 

Michael Sweeney, mayor, 1990 to 1992. [Elected to California 
Assembly 1992-1998] 


Chall: I m trying to get the story, John, of how this all came about. 

Thorpe: My files are in sufficient disarrayyou asked about the tail end 
of this story-- 

Attempts to Overturn the Jeopardy Opinion of 1987 

Chall: Yes, I would like to start at the beginning. I did ask about the 
tail end, because you were telling me about the city, which 
confused me, because I didn t have anything about the city in my 

Thorpe: Okay. Just briefly, basically what we did: after the jeopardy 

opinion, we focused lust on the jeopardy opinion until we got b_y_ 
the jeopardy opinion. 

Chall: Oh, you did get by it? 

Thorpe: Yes. 

Chall: How did you do that? There must have been mitigation. 

Thorpe: We hired a company- -Thomas Reid Associates over in Palo Alto. 

There was a newspaper article where one of the Fish and Wildlife 
people said, "Yes, they can now proceed." 

Chall: So the Fish and Wildlife allowed you to proceed? 

Thorpe: They did announce that we can proceed. We were by the jeopardy 

Chall: I would like to see that. 

Thorpe: I don t know that I could dig out the press clipping. 

Chall: But you must have something from your files that would- - 

Thorpe: I--hmm. I have no idea if I could find that or not. I haven t 
kept all this stuff in apple-pie order. I don t have any money. 
I do not have any money to fund the secretaries to take care of 

Chall: Yes, but I would expect that they would be in a paper box 
somewhere, in a carton. 

Thorpe: You know how many cartons of Shorelands files we have? 


U.S. Prohibits 
Shore Project 

By Edward In at a 

Federal officials yesterday 
refused to allow development 
of a racetrack, hotel and busi 
ness park at the edge of San 
Francisco Bay in Hay ward. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engi 
neers, which has authority over fed 
eral wetlands acreage, denied 
Shorelands developer John Thorpe 
permission to build his dream pro 
ject. The corps said the S500 million, 
637-acre development may be dead 
unless he drastically revises it. 

Colonel Galen Yanagihara. the 
corps district engineer in San Fran 
cisco, told Shorelands officials yes 
terday morning that he agreed with 
;U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologists 
that the project would harm wild- 
life and the bay environment. 

tndongered Species 

In October, the Fish and Wild- 
life Service found that the Shore- 
lands would threaten three endan 
gered species: the least tern, the 
clapper rail and the salt marsh har 
vest mouse. The agency issued a 
strict "jeopardy opinion" and urged 
.the Corps of Engineers to reject a 
permit to develop. 

"The corps w ill not issue a per 
mit in face of the jeopardy opinion," 
said Army spokesman Frank Rezac. 
<3t will take some major revamp 

David Nesmith. conservation 
director of the Sierra Club s San 
Francisco Bay chapter, said, "We re 
very satisfied. This project is simply 
wrong for the area. Anybody who 
vants to build a project that de 
stroys wetlands is going to have a 
very hard time." 

"The longer it takes, the more 
apparent it becomes to even-one 
that the Shorelands won t fly, "said 
Barbara Shockley of the Hayward 
Area Shorelines Planning Agency. 
"4l s a fantasy, a pipe dream." 

developer s Response 

Thorpe, a real estate attorney. 
played down the setback. He char 
acterized yesterday s action as 
merely another step in a Jong, tire 
some regulatory process with gov- 

"Clearly, this will impact the 
sue and costs of mitigation," said 
Thorpe. "And very clearly, the 
corps strengthened the hand of the 
Fish and Wildlife Service. The land 
has very little value ____ We ll have 
lo offer a solution that will be better 
for the wildlife than what s there 

He said he will meet with Fish 
and Wildlife biologists in Sacramen 
to next week to see if a new propos 
al is possible. 

"We seem to keep rising from 
the ashes," said Thorpe. "We ll just 
have to keep meeting until we work 
something out." 

Failing a solution, Thorpe can 
appeal the ruling to the Corps of 
Engineers regional office or chal 
lenge it in court. 





for the East Bay 

Till: I KOI OSKI) !137-a( re Shoi eland- race Hack 
and industrial development will enhance both Hay- 
ward and the East Bay. 

We th;nk the benefits from developei John 
Thorpe . , piuject mar the Bay shore outweigh the 

And. we believe it s time that government agen 
cies ijiiit jerking around the Hayward developer. He 
deserve- a straight answer concerning hi? six-year 
qii T.t to build a major development along Hay ward s 
sli . ieiirie. south of the Hayward-San Mateo Bridge 

Thorpe s proposed J-169 million project includes a 
hoi>r racing track, theme park, hotels, comrneicial- 
iiidii-iiial buildings and plenty of open space 

1 : nl "r innately . Shorelands is near the si arce wet- 
lands of San Francisco Bay and provides a home for 
three endangered species a mouse and two birds. 

That h s brought opposition from environmental 
:ii;up.- and government agencies empowered to pro- 
.cct environmentally sensitive areas 

We. ton value the environment The protection of 
dwindling natural resources and recreational areas 
iiroughnut the Bay Area must be high on everyone s 
priority IIM 

HOWEVER, THOHPE S Shorelands property is 
not Yosemite Valley. The wetland? and plants that 
grow in the area formerly used for salt harvesting 
won t be included on any Bay Area scenic tours 

The Sh .ii elands is an appropriate wale; front area 
in (icveiop \Viiy let an essc-n tidily . ".aer-U-Ne- ^rea 
rem.jin barren when a suitable development could 
creat . 1 in. my jobs, generate valuable tax revenue for 
the city of ilay ward, and actually improve the aes- 

Thurpe f project would fit that bill, as long as 
reasonable mitication measures are employed lo 
protect the ern H onment He has often proposed sucn 

The Hayward developer mus; also satisfy the 
public tl-.nt he will be able to meet the increased 
iraffi - di-m.inds that the huge dev-loprnent .vouid 
gc!iei-ate in an ai^a that already of;en exp-.-ne^cfs 
gridlock He must demonstrate that before any 
phase of his project is completed, the additional 
roads and highwav interchange.; ne> ded tc handle 
the increased traffic will be in place 

Engineers won t 

consTd eV crantmg fhofpe a construction permit lo 
h-jild Shorelands unless the U.S. P ish and \. ildi 
Service icmovcs its objections. The federal aency 
(( nrs the project would harm three endangered spe 
cies" the salt mar^h harvest mouse, the California 
lapper rail and the least tern. 

THAT S Till-: way i; has been for Thorpe since 
l|i?,l uh"n he fir-t proposed Shorelrfiid-. He ha- 
clianged his project a number of times o\er the 
vtars in h.o;,LS of making hi^ project envii Oinriculal- 
jy acceptable to state and federal agencies. 

A num .ivi of go 1 , eminent agencies must give their 
blessing beforv ci>nstruction iv-jr a waterway can 
proceed That s the way it should be to en.-uri- that 
valuable natural and recreational resources are pro 
tected, and not de-tro\ed. when the bulldo/ers start 
mining the dirt 

What v." ob|cct lo is the process, the incredible 
IHIKMIICI.H > that ha> prevented Thorpe liom getting 
a straight answei One can be assured that when 
Thorpe int: Mines mitigation measure., to appease 
one agency, there will always be another ready to 
shoot it down 

Six years and $10 million later. Thorpe still 
doesn t" know whether any type of development will 
be allowed on his shoreline property. 
That s absurd 

The Hayward developer should have his day in 
court where he and all the regulatory agencies can 
present their facts at a public hearing and argue why 
Sh jrelaii ls should or shouldn t be built 

TO i)-\TE. aii government agencies involved have 
vet in c"inc together, interact and render a reason 
able judgment as to the merits of Shorelands In 
M-v,,l ti;r .-.gcni ic:; keep pnssii g ?!< hunk, which In 
effectively placed the project in a bureaucratic 

! . ; .:rv.c !o ;I.akc the piOit.ct oul o! iiie bureau 
cratic. spider .veb and let Thorpe demonstrate its 
considerable merits to the public 

We think Shorelands is good for the East Bay and 
good for Hayward 

We urae the competing bureaucracies to get to 
gether and cive Thorpe some straight answers so the 
project can proceed through the approval process 


Chall: [laughs] I can believe it. Up in your attic somewhere. 

Thorpe: No! For example, just by way of brief example, I ve got a whole 
garage full of them there, each and every one of these is full of 
the Shorelands files. All these, the garage there and my garage 
at home-- 10 

Chall: Are they dated? 

Thorpe: Well, they re numbered, and they ve got some sort of system. The 
fact is that basically, we have focused on some litigation with 
some partners, and we haven t focused with historically saying 
what happened. 

Chall: So you got through those fourteen-some permits? 

Thorpe: [moves away, long pause, returns with several volumes of 

mitigation-EIR/EIS reports] There was Thomas Reid and Associates 
in Palo Alto, and Richard Murray Associates. 

Chall: Now [looking at plan books] this is the draft of March 1987; this 
one is dated September 1990, Volume I." It says here, 
"Shorelands Response to Thomas Reid Association, June 15, 1989, 
Letter Regarding Scoping." So in other words, what happened is 
that you went back again to get your--you went back through the 
permit procedure, is that right? 

Thorpe: We hired Richard Murray Associates in Carmel-- 
Chall: Yes, that was the first- 
Thorpe: --Monterey. But we rehired them, along with Thomas Reid 
Associates in Palo Alto-- 

Chall: And what was the reason for doing that? 

Thorpe: They prepared a series of books-- [walks away, tape interruption] 

Chall: You hired? 

Thorpe: Thomas Reid and Associates of Palo Alto. Richard Bailin, our 

attorney, advises me that in a file cabinet here we have all those 

10 Mr. Thorpe opens a wall closet to show some fifty numbered file 
boxes, only a small portion of the total number stored elsewhere. 

n "The Shorelands Project Environmental Impact Statement Information," 
(Thomas Reid Associates) September, 1990. Volumes I, II, III. 


contracts, and that he has maintained all those files. Murray and 
Reid prepared numerous plans, drawings, and engaged in studies. 
We hired a plover lady from Alameda [Leora Feeney] . 

Chall: A plover lady! 

Thorpe: Plover lady. We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this 

stuff. She did a bird study which among other things showed there 
were no plovers. We prepared alternate mitigation plans. We 
negotiated with Fish and Wildlife in Sacramento, and they finally 
gave us a letter. The letter stated that with the revised 
mitigation, we could in fact obtain the permits. There was an 
article in the Daily Review, and they did ask the lady in 
Sacramento, and she did state, "Yes, they can proceed." Okay? 
[See article, following page] 

Chall: I ll have to find those. That was probably about 1990 or 1991, if 
this came out in 1990. Because these are all responses to all of 
the previous studies and comments. 

Thorpe: Yes. I would think- -where is this sheet that had the different 
people we contracted with, Reid, for example? 

Meetings with Representatives of Environmental Agencies 

Thorpe: [leaves room, tape interruption] It was a misunderstanding that 
the federal authorities stopped the project, not the city of 
Hayward. But by that time, it didn t matter, and so we simply 
didn t bother correcting people. 

The final thing that was issuedyou see--I have to explain 
this. The jeopardy letter is contained in a document called the 
Preliminary Biological Opinion. The Preliminary Biological 
Opinion is not a final biological opinion. We met with a whole 
slew of people. In May of 1990, we had a meeting at the corps, 
with Calvin Fong and Irene Ulm of the Corps of Engineers; Pete 
Sorensen, Wayne White, Peggy Kohl, from the Fish and Wildlife 
Service in Sacramento. Wayne White was the then head of the 
Portland office of the Fish and Wildlife Service, along with two 
field workers, Peggy Kohl and Pete Sorensen. 

Chall: They were also with Fish and Wildlife. 

Thorpe: Right. Bob Ruesink [spells] and Don Sundine, Fish and Wildlife 

Portland regional office. Tom Reid and Karen Weissman [spells] of 
Thomas Reid Associates. 

13 la 

moves closer 
to approval 

Race track learns what 
it must do to protect 
endangered species 

By Dennis J. Oliver 

HAYV, ARD - - The Shcrelands 
project now proposed as nearly 
600 acres of race track. Industrial 
park, and theme park on the Kay- 
ward shoreline Is closer today 
than It ever has been to becoming a 

The U.S. Department of Fish and 
Game Last week decided the devel 
opment would threaten three types 
of endangered species, but listed a 
number of ways that those con 
cerns may be alleviated. 

Developer John Thorpe believes 
he can accomplish that. 

The answer lies In a pile of wordy 
government documents that pave 
the way toward Thorpe s permit to 
fill an area of sensitive wetlands In 
exchange for a- mitigation plan. 

Maps of the development show 

Please see Track, next page 

Track: Developer could 
give up more for wetlands 

Continued from previous page" 

about 1.000 acres of land, half 
relegated to endangered creature, 
the other to concrete. 

"There are a number of hurdles 
that can still be overcome." said 
Peggie Kohl, a fish and wildlife 
biologist. "Things are not crystal 
clear. We could Issue an opinion 
that It can be built without risk to 
the anlmal(s)." 

If that happens, Thorpe will 
come a step closer to obtaining a 
permit from the Army Corps of 
Engineers to fill an area of 

Fish and wildlife officials told 
Thorpe that his project would 
Jeopardize the salt marsh harvest 
mouse, the California clapper rail 
and the least tern. 

To repair the problem, a num 
ber of suggestions were made. In 
cluding the suggestion that 
Thorpe remove 60 acres of crucial 
development land from his 

Thoroe savs he can <\ea\ with 

only remaining obstacle before 
Thorpe applies for his permit from 
the corps. 

Once a satisfactory plan Is ac 
complished. Thorpe feels the 
benefits his project would provide 
to the community In revenue and 
help with financing a Hayward 
traffic plan would make 
Shcrelands attractive to local 
government. . 

The City Council Is largely un 
decided on how It feels about the 
Shorelands project, according to 
council members questioned last 

Councilman Matt Jimenez said 
he has been In favor of the project 
from the beginning. 

"1 was raised In Hayward all my 
life and I used to go down to the 
salt flats all the time and I ve nev 
er seen a salt water harvest 
mouse out there." said Jimenez. 

Council members Roberta Coo 
per and Shirley Campbell said last 
week that they were largely unde- 
and uninformed about the 

the demands federal biologists 
have made, and that an area of 
compromise Is In the horizon. 

A letter mailed from Shorelands 
to fish and wildlife ofTicials lays 
the ground work for some of that 

Setting up a successful predator 
control program aimed at protect 
ing the endangered species Is the 

project . Maxor Michael .Sweeney 
said he was concerned abo ut the 
project and that he would ask 
some "tough questions" before 
forming an opinion. 

The Shorelands track and In 
dustrial park would provide an es 
timated 15.000 Jobs In Hayward 
and would fill an assessment dis 


Thorpe : 




Thorpe : 

Thorpe : 

And was there somebody from the state? 

There was myself, Nori Hall, and Dick Bailin from Shorelands. 
There was Bob Douglass from Leslie Salt Company. There was Dave 
Ivestor from the attorneys for Leslie, Washburn, Briscoe, and 
McCarthy. [spelling all] There was Jack Stewart from Kregan and 
DeAngelo, our civil engineers. 

Well, I ll tell you, maybe we should just copy that so I don t 
have to take the time writing all the names. 

Okay. There was Steve Foreman of WESCO, there was Jeff Peters of 
Questa. Okay. Now, we had hired--oh, dear, thisbetter take the 
names, because I m not going to copy it, because it s two-sided 
and it s an old one. Or I can copy it for you later. 

Yes, some time later would be fine, 
and Game in this? Were they there? 

Now, where is the state Fish 

They don t have a role in it. The jeopardy opinion is solely a 
creature of federal law. Now, this is the meeting following which 
we were told we can obtain a permit, and they wrote us a letter--, 
[looking through files] Is this the letter? Let s see. This 
letter is May 21, 90--no. I don t know where that letter is, I 
don t think. But the point is, this--I believe this is the 
meeting just prior to the letter that says you can obtain--. 

Bottom line, what happened is simply this. We could not get 
the Sacramento office of Fish and Wildlife; they had done this 
jeopardy opinion, and it was absolute B.S. None of the creatures 
that they said we jeopardized with the project were in fact on the 
site. We couldn t get them to do a damn thing. Fish and 
Wildlife s regional counsel told them, "That isn t going to fly. 
That will simply not fly. If this thing is litigated, you re 
going to lose." 

That they would lose, or you would lose? 

That they would lose. Wayne White was then transferred to 
Washington, and he was sent to a special school, a management 
school. Wayne White came back and was made the new manager of the 
Sacramento office, in part because of this mess, okay? And 
meanwhile, we got Thomas Reid, we had the plover studies, et 
cetera, and they then said, "Okay, you can obtain a final 
biological opinion," and there was an announcement in the paper. 

Then, because we were ready to drop the thing and Leslie was 
ready to drop the thing, we were all saying it was hopeless, let s 
face it. At that point they said, "No, it s okay." 


Attempts to Solve the Predator Problem 

Thorpe: We also hired another company, Wildlife Control Technology. You 

see, what happened is the preliminary biological opinion said that 
what the project is going to do is multiply rats and they re going 
to go outboard and destroy the plovers. What happened was it 
developed that there is a surplus of predators. 

The range carrying capacity for skunks and other predators- 
rats, every kind of predator--out on those outboard areas is 
exceeded. There are more predators out there than the range 
carrying capacity in the area. And the only predator problem we 
would have is predators coming in that are already there. 

Fish and Wildlife Service then hired this outfit, and they 
went out and they shot red squirrels. This is the killer--this is 
the CIA for Fish and Wildlife. This is the company that they use 
to shoot red squirrels that all the environmentalists think are 
lovely but they re in fact awesome predators. Okay? 

Lack of Support from the City of Hayward: Thorpe Drops the 
Shorelands Project, 1992 

Thorpe: In any event, it then became evident that we had zero support from 
the city. We just didn t have any support from the city 
whatsoever. We then said, "Look, it s going to take another 
couple of million bucks to conclude this thing, and it simply-- 
there s no point if we can t get any help from the city." That s 
when we dropped it. The same, every major project in the city of 
Hayward. What has happened up in the Hayward hills? They were 
lied to, just the way we were. 

The Baily property lies just below Hayward 1900. Both 
Hayward 1900 and the Baily property were told, "If you work with 
the city and come up with a design for the appropriate number of 
units that will be between X and Y, we will go forward." And they 
have screwed around for years just the way we did, and they ve 
gotten nowhere. Is there any development? No. Are there any 
permits? No. 

What happened on the golf course? Same thing. I mean, the 
city keeps telling you, "We will go for X and we will support X," 
and then they don t. 


The point is, you cannot hold a successor city council for 
the commitments of a prior city council. 

Chall: That s right. 

Thorpe: So what do you have in Hayward as a result? You have absolutely 
no one trying to develop anything major. They re not going to do 
it. It s too risky. The point is, we showed that you can spend 
millions of dollars, and you can do a well-intentioned effort, and 
it s not going to get there. 

But the point is, people must understand the process. The 
process is one where, in finalizing the EIR and issuing permits, 
the corps does not issue a permit until after the city issues a 
permit. That s the way the process works. You don t get the 
final permits from the federal agencies until you have the initial 
permits from the city. 

Chall: I see. And I thought that early on, you did have the initial 
support in the Giuliani era? 

Thorpe: The Giuliani era, we had enormous support. Parenthetically, even 
though Alex is a perfectly nice guy, Alex would support anything, 
whether it made any sense or not. [laughs] But then you got 
Michael [Sweeney]. You have a bunch of politicians, and in 
Hayward, to understand Hayward politics is very simple. The 
mobile home park tenants, who are older, the police and firemen 
associations. If you have those three, you have elections. Okay? 

Now, nobody wants to raise any controversial issue in 
Hayward politically. You have a bunch of people, all of them 
happy being reelected, and they get reelected if they do nothing. 
So they make the mobile home park tenants happy with vestigial 
rent control. You know, they do those things that do elections. 

The Finances: The Limited Partnership. Bankruptcy, and Subsequent 
Continuing Litigation 

Chall: I m about ready to finish now, but before I do, tell me-- just to 
get this financial thing understoodyou had to set up a 
partnership. As I understand it from reading your partnership 
material, that you originally thought you might have, what, maybe 
eighteen or nineteen limited partners, and ultimately, according 
to the newspapers, at the end of the time you had about fifty, is 
that correct? 


Thorpe : 






Well, seventy. 

And you in fact put in about $2.75 million of your own money? 

And my wife and son put in another million. We had about half the 
money in it. But the total project investment was really about $8 

About $8 million total. I had $10 million in my data. 

Well, there was $8 million, plus we ended up with about $10 
million in debt. 

How many did you say you 

How did you get the people together? 
ultimately had? 


Seventy. So how, ultimately did you get those people? Who were 

Originally it was all my money. And then I saw I wasn t going to 
have enough, and I got friends. 

Yes, you had plenty of those around, I m sure. 

Yes. And then, made a real error. [laughs] Which is an 
attorney. Dick Bailin here had been in a law firm in the city 
[San Francisco] called Dunne, Phelps, and Mills for many years. 
In San Francisco. They were one of the oldest law firms in the 
city. Then both Phelps and Dunne folded their tent. The senior 
partner one day, Arthur Dunne, did not return to work and never 
returned again. He was one of the foremost appellate lawyers in 
San Francisco; he just quit. So they all looked at each other for 
a while wondering what the hell s happened to Arthur. 

And then Lou Phelps left and joined with a fellow by the 
name of Ted, Theodore Kolb. Kolb was the senior partner of a San 
Francisco law firm called Sullivan, Roach, and Johnson. I made 
two mistakes at that point. One was that I thought that Phelps 
was straight, which he turned out not to be. And I had known him 
for years. And so Phelps joins with Kolb. Well, Sullivan, Roach, 
and Johnson, the Sullivan was Walter Sullivan. He was the brother 
of the Sullivan who was the cofounder with Crocker of Crocker 
Bank. The Johnson was the late Senator Hiram Johnson, senator and 
governor of California. 

And so here are these prestigious people. At any rate, 
Phelps brought in this Kolb, and Kolb brought in the Sullivans. 


They live in a house in Pacific Heights where there s a wooden 
round plaque on the door that says "Consul of Consulate, Kingdom 

of Monaco." Mrs. Sullivan is the consul general to Monaco, 
a nice person. She had the good luck to inherit Beaulieu-- 

She s 

Chall: Oh, the winery? 

Thorpe: Yes, and they are very wealthy people. I should say major San 
Francisco types. 

You see, I had made an awesome mistake by forming a limited 
partnership, because I was the general partner, and the general 
partner is personally liable for all the debt of a limited 
partnership. When the jeopardy opinion came along, the people 
stopped putting in money, saying, "The jig is up." And yet Kolb 
said, "If you can get by the jeopardy opinion, we will put money 
in. We will again fund it." 

So what I did as a big boob, you see, I borrowed against the 
building next door. I borrowed against my antique and classic 
cars. I borrowed every nickel I could put my hands on, and I paid 
Tom [Reid] and all these people to do all this work to get by the 
jeopardy opinion. I then had a partnership meeting one day and 
said, "Now, we re by the jeopardy opinion. We need some money." 

Well, at that point, they hemmed and hawed. Well, I ran 
into a British firm, Grand Metropolitan. Grand Metropolitan, PLC, 
very decent British investors, and they put a couple million in, 
which carried us a while. But Grand Metropolitan then bought a 
company called Pillsbury--the Pillsbury "Doughboy." They paid $5 
billion for Pillsbury. 

Well, the folks at Pillsbury said, "My God, you re investing 
in a racetrack in California? Racetracks are not consistent with 
the image of mom and apple pie that we at Pillsbury like. 
Gambling is bad." Well, Grand Metropolitan it happened to many 
other companies in Britainthey owned the firm which is the 
bookmakers to the Queen, where gambling is accepted. So they sold 
their gaming houses, they sold their casinos, they sold theirall 
that sort of thing, and they cut us off at the pockets. 

So however, I had gotten by the jeopardy opinion. At this 
point, the San Francisco folks said, "I ll tell you what we will 
do." See, I never dropped the project as such. But they said, 
"Tell you what we re going to do. We re going to bring in a guy 
who s a great turnaround expert." And I thought, What the hell do 
we need a turnaround expert for? I was up to here [points to 
nose], I was about to lose everything I had. So they said, 
"Well, we will bring in this wonderful guy to reorganize the 


thing, cut the budget, slash the things and so forth." And I tend 
to spend money, so I couldn t quibble about that. 

So they brought in Albert J. Miller, and Albert J. Miller 
went to Leslie and negotiated a new deal with Leslie. And they 
formed a corporation called Shorelands Park, and they took over 
the assets, and they were going to pay the liabilities. 

I began to smell a distinct odor of dead fish, and I went 
down to San Jose, and I found twenty-two judgments for fraud 
against Al Miller. I found that Al Miller was a charlatan who had 
screwed investors for a period of years. I went to San Francisco 
and said, "My God, what have you folks done? This is a fraud." 
At which point they all said, "He s a wonderful man." What he had 
told them is that he would-- 

Thorpe: He didn t give me the line of b.s. he gave them. But he said, "I 
can get people in Hong Kong to put millions into this because they 
like racetracks, and they will put up the money, and they will buy 
you out at an enormous profit, and you ll make millions of 
dollars . " 

So they actually paid for a trip of Miller s to Hong Kong. 
In any event, because I then found out he was negotiating with 
creditors, he was promising payment plansit was all fraud. Just 
the whole thing was a big fraud. So I then put Shorelands and the 
limited partnership in bankruptcy, in Chapter 11, and that gave me 
a tool that we could use. And I retained counsel. The counsel I 
got is Rick Simons, with Furtado in Hayward. The law firm is 
Furtado, Jasporice and Simons. Furtado has been here for years. 

Now, Rick, it happens, is this year s president of the 
California Trial Lawyers Association, the state association of 
trial lawyers. They are very good; Rick is a very good trial 
lawyer. They have an associate counsel by the name of William 
Lockyer. [laughter] 

Chall: I know him. [Senator Bill Lockyer] 

Thorpe: Now, does it ring a bell? Now does it go around the circle? 

Chall: Right. 

Thorpe: Okay. We filed suit in the district court, and that lawsuit is 
still pending. The first judge we got, [Barbara] Caulfield, 
decided that she wasn t making enough money, her daughter got some 


horrible illness that takes a lot of money; so she resigned. We 
were put in limbo for six months. [See article, following page] 

We were then transferred to the second judge, [Eugene] 
Lynch. Lynch meanwhile recused himself. He recused himself 
(which is excused himself) from serving. He recused himself when 
Clayton Jackson was put in jail. The managing general partner of 
Sullivan, Roach, and Johnson was Clayton Jackson. Clayton Jackson 
is the one who bribed Alan Robbins and others. Biggest lobbyist 
in the state. I got myself into a nest of thieves without it was 
just stupidity. I mean, Sullivan, Roach, and Johnson? You know, 
you just don t--! didn t think that the biggest San Francisco law 
firm would be a bunch of crooks. It s just not what I thought. 

In any event, Clay went to jail, and so Lynch recused 
himself, because Clay is a big Republican. Clay, when he gets out 
of jail in a couple of years, will become a big Republican power 
again. Clay Jackson, before he got prosecuted, Clay Jackson spent 
New Year s Day with Governor [Pete] Wilson down in Palm Springs. 
They spent the day together at Wilson s place, and Wilson is very 
clubby with Clay. Oh, yes. 

In any event, in any event-- 
Chall: So your suit is against whom? Miller? 

Thorpe: No, I suedwe sued Miller, we sued Theodore Kolb, we sued Walter 

Chall: Oh, the whole firm- 
Thorpe: The San Francisco limited partners who got us into this mess. 

They didn t put up the money, as they said they would. The second 
judge, Lynch, recused himself when Clay went to jail, and another 
six months in limbo. The third judge that s assigned to the judge 
in Oakland. At that point, Illston, Susan Illston is appointed to 
the bench, and she is finally confirmed by the Senate. You know, 
there s a horrible mess in the federal courts which most people 
don t know about, and the mess in the federal courts is that there 
is 100 vacancies currently. The Republicans haven t been 
approving anybody. So no judges. 

At any rate, so then we get the fourth one, Illston. 
Chall: Susan Illston? 

Thorpe: [spells] We are now I think aboutwell, let s see, 90, 91, I 
guess 91, 95-- 



Developer sues 
wants company back 

D Man wants to stop 
his ex-partners from 
transferring assets 

By Rich Riggs 


HAYWARD Belrapurrcd de 
veloper John Thorpe ha? filed a 
lawsuit charging that former part 
ners In his bid to build a horse- 
racing hark on the city shoreline 
have hijacked his company to 
avoid paying a multimillion-dollar 

Thorpe s lawsuit says his for 
mer partners and associates have 
set up a new company. Shore- 
lands Park, and transferred the 
assets of his Shoreline Associates 
development firm to the new 

The assets were transferred to 
Shorelands Park "to hinder, de 
lay, and defraud the creditors of 
Shoreline Associates and to es 
cape the liability of the creditors 
of Shoreline Associates." the suit 

Please see Developer, A-18 

Developer: Says 
company hijacked 

Continued from A-1 

Thorpe said he wants the bank 
ruptcy court to nullify the transfer 
of assets to Shorelands Park or to 
require Shorelands Park to take 
on the debts for the project as well 
as the assets. 

Lawrence Brookes, an attorney 
who once worked for Shoreline 
Associates and who helped estab 
lish Shorelands Park, said Thorpe 
Is trying to destroy efforts of 
Shorelands Park to produce a suc 
cessful shoreline development. 

"Now. rather than see a suc 
cessful project, he d rather see no 
project at all." Brookes said. 

Thorpe said Brookes Introduced 
his 120 partners, who he says 
have Invested about S18 million. 
to a "corporate turn-around 
expert." Albert J. Miller. 

Eighty of the 120 partners In 
Thorpe s Shoreline Associates 
voted on March 22 to transfer all 
of Shorellne s assets to 
Shorelands Park. Thorpe Is the 
managing general partner in 
Shoreline Associates, but under 
the partnership bylaws all the 
partners had a right to vote on a 
transferor assets. Thorpe said he 
abstained from the vote. 

Miller said he did not want to 
comment until he has seen a copy 
of Thorpe s lawsuit. 

On July 1. Shorelands filed for 
protection of the bankruptcy 
court under Chapter 1 1 . a section 
of the law meant to salvage a busi 
ness while arrangements are 
made to pay off debtors. Thorpe s 
court papers listed $5.8 million In 
debts and $1.6 million In assets. 

Thorpe now says that the "as 
sets and equity" transferred to 
Shorelands Park were worth 
about $9 million. " 


Chall: My goodness, it s 98 already! 

Thorpe: So yes, we ve spent six years in the federal court being buffeted. 
We had a ruling we didn t like, we ve appealed that. We ll go to 
trial probably in another year. So then I may be unbroke. I may 
not be unbroke, but I may be unbroke. 

Chall: In the meantime, Shorelands is still a dream? 

Thorpe: It s kaput. Well, the corporation bought it, and then we sued the 
corporation and they spit it back. There s one thing I hate. I m 
not a crook, I m not a liar. I cannot go to investors and say put 
some money in something that I don t think is going to happen. 
And the city of Hayward in the last nineteen years has not 
supported anything. They ve opposed everything, it s politically 
safe. They ve opposed everything except to build useless and 
ridiculous city halls. [laughs] Well, the first one never fell 
down. Do you know there are no cracks in the first city hall, the 
old Hayward city hall [on Mission at D Street)? There are no 
cracks in the hall? The City Center building [Foothill Blvd.], do 
you know that when the earthquake came, it wasn t hurt a bit? Not 
a bit! There s not a crack in the damn thing! And yet they say, 
"Oh, dear, we have to build something earthquake--" they re just a 
bunch of nits. 

John Thorpe s Personal Loss: The Historic House, the Classic Cars 

Chall: Tell me what happened to all of the fifty, sixty, seventy people, 
aside from you and your family, who put in money, sometimes 2,000 
units at $1,000 a unit or whatever it was. Have they lost 
everything that they ve put in? 

Thorpe: It depends on the lawsuit, but probably so. 

Chall: That s a chance you take when you enter into a partnership. 

Thorpe: Yes. Most of them, like the Bailys who own the 400 acres on the 
hill, the Bailys are all family. They were a big investor, and 
they lost a couple of million bucks, and Norman is still a client 
from time to time. 

Chall: Oh, I m talking about your limited partnership. Baily wasn t part 
of yours? 

Thorpe: Yes, Baily was one of the limited partners, sure. The Baily 
family was. 


Thorpe : 



You say he lost a couple of million collars on your-- 

The Baily family lost a couple of million dollars on Shorelands, 
sure. Well, we put in $8 million. It ain t there any more. 
Sure . 

Wow. What s happened to your house next door, then? 
in limbo also? 12 

Is it just 

The house next door no, no. The house was kind of a comic 

story. The lenders who had loaned money on the house had made 
some severe documentary errors, and I am a reasonably decent real 
estate lawyer. And so the savings and loan went to foreclose, and 
I fought them. And of course, they weren t getting paid, and they 
were not happy with the fact that they weren t getting paid, and I 
wouldn t let them foreclose. They tried a second time. We had a 
series of potential buyers. One was a couple of crazy women who 
were going to sell cruises to the elderly out of it, and they were 
going to have them come by bus to the bus stop on the corner and 
walk down at night? Can you imagine that? That s the craziest 
thing I ever heard. Who needs a great big house like that to sell 
cruises? But these people were just nuts. 

There was another guy who was going to operate another thing 
that didn t make any sense at all. 

Then along came Mr. Stout, Edward Stout. Edward Stout is a 
guy who restores pipe organs. Right there in the coach house 
right now there is a huge pipe organ which they re restoring for 
the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. They ve 
restored the pipe organ for the Grace Cathedral and he maintains 
it. They ve restored the pipe organ for the San Jose--the huge 
Catholic church there in San Jose. 

And Stout is a craftsman, and the coach house lent itself 
beautifully to the pipe organ restoration business. So at that 
point I gave up and let him have it. 

I see, so he has it. 

I owed $800,000 on it, and he bought it at a fire sale for three. 
Which is why I was fighting with them: if someone was going to get 
it at a fire sale, I wanted somebody that I thought was 

12 Mr. Thorpe s law office and the Shorelands Corporation were housed 
in an historic building on Hesperian Boulevard in Hayward. Behind it, in 
the old carriage house he kept his collection of classic automobiles. 
Thorpe s office is now in a small cottage next door to the old building. 


appropriate. Because I wanted somebody who was going to maintain 
the old building and take care of it. [See article, following 

Chall: Yes, it s beautiful. And what about the automobiles? 

Thorpe: The automobiles all gotincluding the Dusenberg that I gave to my 
son [Nelson] on the occasion of his eleventh birthdayall got 

Chall: What is Nelson doing now? 

Thorpe: Nelson has gone into the auction business in Berkeley, works for 
Harvey Clar. He is their expert on various kinds of antiques and 
classic cars and stuff. And he likes it. He evaluates them and 
appraises them and so forth. 

Chall: Good. I m glad he s found a niche. 

Thorpe: Yes. He s found something that fits him. He has a problem that 

we didn t recognize as early as we should have, finally did. He s 
extremely bright, he s a very, very bright kid, but he wasn t 
doing well in school. It was about the sixth grade, I guess; he 
just wasn t doing well in school. Couldn t figure it out. Turned 
out he has dyslexia. 

So there s a Catholic school operated in the hills [The 
College of the Holy Names]. 

Chall: Yes, exactly. I know they have had a very fine reading program. 
Thorpe: They did a tremendous job with him. 

Background on Interested Commercial Developers for Shorelands 

Thorpe: You ve asked some questions [looking at the interview outline]. 13 
Chatham. Chatham died. Bob Chatham was an interesting guy. 
Chatham got out of the army at the end of World War II with 
another guy. The other guy took his kids on a cross-country tour 
of the United States and really didn t like the hotels at all. He 

13 The question dealt with the persons or corporations who might be 
interested in the commercial side of Shorelands. Chatmar, Inc., was a 
hotel chain, owned by Robert Chatham. --M.C. 





dreaitied oT build! 

foreclosure action m 
who is 

> . i:.:-. .CT-. 


,., -x< 


- -4*t^ l > r?t 
^4!!iL * \ 


called them hotels. Chatham is the Chatham Mills- -towels, 
pillowcases and stuff in Tennessee? 

Chall: Oh. 

Thorpe: The other guy who went across the United States, stayed at hotels, 
didn t like them, went to Bob and said, "Bob, I want to borrow a 
million dollars, I want to build a hotel." So he loaned him the 
money and he built a hotel. He came back and he said, "I want to 
borrow another million, I want to build another hotel." Chatham 
said, "I ve got a board of directors, they re not going to like my 
just giving out money to my friends." He said, "Either you re a 
friend of mine or you re not," so Chatham gave him the money. 

Well, the other guy ended up building a chain of hotels 
called Holiday Inns. And every Holiday Inn had in it Chatham 
towels, blankets, pillowcases, and a Tennessee Tall Case 
Grandfather s clock in the lobby. (They also owned the Tennessee 
Tall Case Grandfather Clock Company.) But Chatham was kind of a 
fun guy. 

You mentioned the labor thing, 
labor unions. 

We had a lot of support from 

Chall: Yes. 

Thorpe: And I still work a lot with labor unions, but part of that is 
because of the fact that what I was trying to do was something 
that has some social sense to it. We wanted something that had 
environmental balance, we wanted something that had social 
balance. And of course, developers don t try to do that. 
Developers just worry about money. Which is maybe why I m not in 
the business any more. 

[reading names of limited partners from the outline] Brusk, 
Burt Brusk was a local Hayward contractor. [Richard] Ehrenberger 
is an architect in Berkeley. Murray we discussed. Richard Murray 
is a very, very talented guy. Funny, a lot of these folks are 
still my friends. Engineers-- Jack Stewart just died. 

More on the Racetrack 

Thorpe: You have a couple of things here [looking at outline]. You 

mention lack of cooperation from the horse racing industry. We 
had enormous support from owners, breeders, trainers. Racetracks 
are a mixed bag. You look at San Francisco with the 49ers. You 




Thorpe : 

look at Oakland with the Raiders, 
racetracks are a similar thing. 

You get intc--and the 

DeBartolo, the senior DeBartolo happens to be the Cleveland 
Mafia. He s now dead. [Edward] DeBartolo owns- -they own gambling 
facilities all over hell s half -acre and racetracks. We discussed 
DeBartolo funding this thing, and DeBartolo said, "Well, our 
concern is that the league might get upset about our having a 
gambling thing right across the water from the 49ers. Even though 
we ve got gambling things in other states, but the public doesn t 
associate it, so we re clean." 

But the racetracks it s really kind of fascinating. The 
racetracks, about half of them are mafia organizations. The 
Golden Gate Fields was always related to the mafia. About half 
are clean, half aren t. That s kind of an interesting thing. 

You know, I have some information that at one point, you were not 
given--! guess the dates that you wantedin 1985 or so. 

That s the state of 

Oh, that s a different issue, okay. 
California Horse Racing Board. 

Yes, that s right. 

Right. Well, it s a funny thing. Theythat s politics. 
Politics. When they came back, they were actually willing to let 
us run racing dates at Bay Meadows. The fact is, if you don t 
have a racetrack, what are we going to do with the racing dates? 

That s correct, and so you 

So we dropped that. 

It was uncertain, a lot of it. 


The Corps of Engineers 

Thorpe: [continuing on the outline] The Corps of Engineers. I m going to 
comment on them briefly. The Corps of Engineersby and large, 
the colonels were helpful. 

Chall: Now, you dealt with two different colonels, [Andrew] Perkins and 
[Galen] Yanagihara. 


Thorpe: The ones that are good go back to command school 
a step up the ladder thing, this post. But the 
large were helpful. And I tell you, the people, 
know them, most of the people, most of the upper 
the corps were helpful. Most of the staff peopl 
mean, they regarded this whole scene as bizarre 
who s at all fair, when they see you ve got a je 
three things that aren t there, they realize the 

This is sort of 
colonels by and 
once I got to 
echelon people in 
e were helpful. I 
too. Anybody 
opardy opinion on 
system isn t 

You see, the Fish and Wildlife Service serves as the 
biologist to the corps. The biological opinion is an opinion 
delivered to the corps that says, Okay, this is all right, or no, 
it s not all right. But the corps people, generally speaking, I 
found helpful. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

Thorpe: Fish and Wildlife. You see, we had a choice. Maybe I made the 

wrong choice, I don t know. When we got the jeopardy opinion, we 
could have litigated. We could have litigated, we could have shot 
them down. I figured it would take four or five years, by the 
time you have a trial and appeals and all the rest of it. If I 
could negotiate my way around it, it s politically better; it s 
probably the same cost, when you come right down to it. What are 
you going to do, if you re litigating? What do you do? Shut down 
the whole operation while you litigate? And here s something 
where you re dealing with, what, fifteen, twenty agenciesyou re 
going to shut all that down just so you can go fight with 

Chall: And you would have litigated against the corps? 

Thorpe: No, Fish and Wildlife, because you see, they issued an opinion 
that our project would jeopardize endangered species. But the 
endangered species weren t there. They weren t there. There were 
no mice, no least terns, they simply weren t there. But the point 
is, the upper echelon people at Fish and Wildlife realized it was 
nutty too, and in essence, they said, "Look, we ll work with you, 
we ll send Wayne White back to school in Washington, we ll get a 
new head in Sacramento, we ll get by some of these lunatics." 

Basically what you had, what happens in these environmental 
agencies, you get a pecking order that develops. The point is, a 
given Fish and Wildlife or a given Fish and Game person wants to 
be perceived as important, as having power, and he wants to be the 


bigwhat does my wife call them?--the lead gorilla. He wants to 
be the lead gorilla, and he wants all the environmentalists to say 
oh, how clever he is, and how nice he is, and so forth. And so 
you develop these sort of biological coteries that have nothing to 
do with the wildlife. 

And Fish and Wildlife saw, "We ve got a problem," because 
you see, parallel to this problem at the same time, you have the 
farmers. Now, the farmers have the developers. The farmers never 
want to work with Fish and Wildlife, and the developers never want 
to work with Fish and Wildlife. And so here you have like the 
trout problem, which is a similar thing. It s partly real and 
partly not real. 

And so the people at Fish and Wildlife that really cared. 
There was a guy Wally, Wally Steucke, who was the acting regional 
director. Wally retired and went up to Oregon. He got a job. 
Right now, he s a fish person. Wally has been setting up, for the 
last five years, he s been setting up hatcheries and fish programs 
for Indian tribes. I mean, he s died and gone to heaven. Okay? 
And he s a hell of a nice guy, and I got to know Wally pretty 
well. I mean, if I had spent all my life working for Fish and 
Wildlife, I would much rather resolve this sort of a problem in a 
way that sort of gets the troops working positively, you know? 
Which is a good thing, I thought. 

The State Department of Fish and Game 

Thorpe: Now, the state government- -you have Paul Kelly. Paul Kelly is one 
of the ones whom I regard as wanting to be the lead gorilla in 
Fish and Game. Van de Camp, the attorney general- -John Van de 
Camp tended just to be a politician. 

Chall: Well, there wasn t much he could do, was there? 

Thorpe: Oh, well, yes. Van de Camp set up an environmental office within 
his attorney general s department, and the head of it was a gal 
down in L.A. Van de Camp was running for reelection at the time. 
And we had some problems with that. Basically, they would 
politically advise us on how to solve our problems in such a 
fashion that didn t interfere with his electoral chance. Then, of 
course, that sort of thing is now rampant with Pete Wilson and 
with the now attorney general we have. [Dan Lungren] 


The Bay Conservation and Development Commission 

Thorpe: BCDC [Bay Conservation and Development Commission] essentially was 
very peripheral to our process. 

Chall: Yes, right. I saw just one letter. 

Thorpe: BCDC is one of these agencies. If 1 am a bureaucrat who wants to 
see to it that my paycheck is well protected, and wants to see to 
it that I am left alone, I want an agency that has as many 
directors as possible. You say, "This is your agenda for this 
meeting." You give it to them an hour before the meeting. That 
way, nobody knows anything, and they all have to do what I tell 

Now, the city of Hayward has some of that in that the city 
manager does that, and these people are fed stuff, and the city 
council people don t want to say, "I don t have a clue." They 
just don t want to say that. So they tend to go along. But it s 
a power thing. 

The East Bay Regional Park District 

Thorpe: The regional parks. The former director of East Bay Regional, in 
part over the flap that was developing during this time, went back 
to S.F. State as a professor. 

Chall: Oh, and who was that? Was that Trudeau? 

Thorpe: Trudeau, Dick Trudeau, yes. He just got tired. The environmental 
community--! mean, the first thing we had was this thing in 
Columbia. It was a hell of a deal for them. It was a wonderful 
deal for them. I was giving them about ten times more than any 
developer ever had, and he could use it as a footprint for the 
next developer that comes along and say, "Hey, what are you going 
to do for us?" 

I, when they built the little park around the mud puddles 
down there-- 

Chall: Cull Canyon? 

Thorpe: Yes, the Cull Canyon Park. The year after I was out of that 

project, it was closed. The East Bay Regional parks screwed up, 
and they plowed out the pumps for the swim hole and knocked down 


the fence, and they fixed it and put it back, and they ran out of 
money. I got a call saying, "You don t have to do anything, but I 
know you re sort of fond of this park and it s kind of your 
child." Because I built the bridges and stuff in there. "Would 
you be willing to replace the fence for us?" I said, "Tell you 
what I m going to do. I know how if East Bay Regional builds a 
fence, it costs millions of dollars a foot. Will you tell the 
people down there that if somebody shows up with a truckload and 
some fencing, to turn their backs for a couple of days?" They 
said yeah. So I went down, and we rebuilt the fences for them. 
But it wasn t contracted through East Bay Regional parks, so it 
was much cheaper. 

The Media 

Thorpe: The newspapers by and large--! have on the Chronicle, or had a 
friend who s now retired. He s writing a history of the San 
Francisco Chronicle, Mike Harris. Mike is writing a history of 
the Chronicle . But he tried repeatedly to get a good Chronicle 
writer to come over and to try to understand our project. We re 
trying to do a balanced project, we re trying to do something that 
developers don t normally do. And among all the environmental 
writers, none of them would do it, because the environmentalists 
are good, the developers are bad. Period, end. Getting around 
copy slant is just the next thing to impossible. Everybody s got 
their copy slant. 

Chall: The [Hayward] Daily Review had a lot of articles. 

Thorpe: Yes, the Daily ReviewKaren Holzmeister. Of course, there is no 
Daily Review any more. There is the Alameda newspapers who have 
decimated virtually all the papers [Alameda Newspaper Group--ANG] . 
But Karen is still there; Karen is a very, very skillful writer. 
And I never knew when Karen walked in whether she had been 
assigned to cut off my head or whether it was positive. One 
article was very supportive, the next article was very hostile. 
That s just the way it was. 

The TV interviews were very interesting, because the TV 
people, they always have copy ahead of time which make the 
newspapers look mild. Of course, I prefer the print press. I 
think the print press, at least when they had one, did a better 
job. They were more balanced. The [TV] media tries to do 


everything in ten-second sound bites, and so you can t get the 

"The Wild Edge" TV Documentary on the Baumberg Tract 

Chall: Speaking of media and TV, there was this article inlet s see, it 
was in the Express, I think, and it dealt with the Baumberg Tract. 
It was about a documentary by Stephen Fisher called "The Wild 
Edge." 1 * 

Thorpe: Yes, that s interesting. 
Chall: Remember that one? 

Thorpe: Yes, "The Wild Edge." This guy Stephen Fisher entered into a 

contract with KQED, and in that era, I was a KQED supporter. And 
what he did is he did something just incredible. He was a buddy 
of Paul Kelly s. They wanted to show that the project was an 
awful project. So what they did is they went out there. I said, 
[quoting from the documentary] "As far as habitat, this doesn t 
serve as habitat for much." And then they said, [quoting in 
sonorous tone from the documentary] "But standing on the identical 
spot just a few short months later--" 

Chall: [chuckles] 

Thorpe: Have you seen the thing? 

ChalJ : I must have seen it; but I read the article. 

Thorpe: "But standing on the identical spot a few short months later." 

Well, here [demonstrating] is Paul Kelly. Now, here am I on this 
absolutely barren piece of dirt right here, okay? Now, when you 
look at the documentary, he s got grass that s three feet high. 
Well, if you go out there later, you d find some evidence of there 
having been grass there, right? There is no grass. And he s in 
water up to his ears. And here s this massive bunch of birds 
behind him. 

So I didn t know what to do, but I got hold of folks at 
Sunset magazine who do documentaries. And what they did is they 

"Dennis Drabelle, "Life on the Edge," Express. September 13, 1985. 


took a freeze frame of where I was standing and a freeze frame of 
where Paul Kelly was standing. The guy comes over, and he s 
laughing, and he says, "Now, you see this power line back here? 
The power towers are here. See this power line behind you? And 

this power line over here behind you?" I said yeah, 
move to the freeze frame on Paul Kelly. 

Now, let s 

And he said, "You notice they re enormously further apart." 
Chall: Oh, standing in different places? 

Thorpe: Paul Kelly actually was out here in the marsh. He was over a mile 
away in the water. Well, 1 knew he had to be someplace different, 
because of all the grass. There is no grass here. Okay? So the 
identical spot is in fact it s fraud, thing. 

So this is when Trudeau was still there. 1 think Trudeau 
was still there. Whoever was there, and they said, "Look, we ve 
spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this damn documentary." 
It s a big long documentary, Shorelands is only two minutes out of 
the huge documentary. "And we really would like to show it." I 
said, "Well, if you don t show it to local groups around here, 
then as far as I m concerned you can use it." They wanted to use 
it to promote KQED and raise money for KQED, I said, "Fine." So 
at any rate, they said, "But we ll bear that in mind the next time 
this guy Fisher comes and tries to flog something to us." But I 
could have sued KQED. But I love "the identical spot." 

I found out about what Sunset could do through Dick Bailin. 
Yes, Dick Bailin, the attorney, Dick Bailin was the one. Dick is 
a director, with Rich Murray- -Murray does a lot of parks. Bailin 
is a director with Murray of the place where the A9ers want to 
build their stadium. DeBartolo is out where the football stadium 
is [Candlestick]. In any event, it s a heavily black, very bad 

Chall: Oh, yes, I know where you mean--Bayview/Hunter s Point. 

Thorpe: Okay. Well, Bailin is a director of a nonprofit group that built 
and operates the children s play park out there. Murray built the 
children s play park out there. And Sunset magazine did the 
sponsorship, and that s how they knew Sunset . and that s how we 
got the guy to do the thing. Isn t that kind of interesting? 

Chall: That is. 


Well, I think I ve come to the end of the tape, and I think 
I ve come to the end of the interview. Thank you very much fur 
the time you have given to discuss the many aspects and 
ramifications of the Baumberg Tract/Shorelands history. 

Transcribed by Gary Varney 
Final Typed by Shannon Page 


Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

California Water Resources Oral History Series 


Robert C. Douglass 

An Interview conducted by 

Malca Chall 

in 1998 

Copyright C 2000 by The Regents of the University of California 

Robert C. Douglass, 1998. 


TABLE OF CONTENTS -- Robert C. Douglass 




Background: Education and Career with the Cargill Company 156 
John Thorpe Takes an Option on Leslie (Cargill) Salt Property 

to Build the Shorelands Project 158 

Major Problems Concerning Mitigation 160 
Environmental Agencies: Their Mission, Their Personnel, and 

Their Effect on Local Control 163 

Local Activists and the Environment 166 

Cargill Accused of Reconstructing the Land 167 

The City of Hayward and the Shorelands Project 168 

The End of the Stretch for the Shorelands Project 169 
Baumberg Tract Purchased by the California Wildlife 

Conservation Board, 1996 170 


INTERVIEW HISTORY --Robert C. Douglass 

Robert C. Douglass is the property manager for the Leslie Salt 
Division of the Cargill Company in Newark, California. Leslie Salt is a 
solar-salt production and refining company with a long history in the 
San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Douglass was interviewed for the Baumberg 
Tract Oral History Project because he had close ties with John Thorpe 
during the years when Mr. Thorpe was striving to obtain permission to 
build his Shorelands Project on former salt ponds on the Baumberg Tract. 
Currently, Mr. Douglass is closely watching the progress of the plans to 
restore the tract as a wetlands under the aegis of the state Department 
of Fish and Game. 

His position has made him acutely aware of federal, state, and 
local legislation, as well as the many regulations and agencies which 
deal almost exclusively with the environment: The Clean Water Act, the 
Endangered Species Act, the Corps of Engineers, the Fish and Wildlife 
Service, the Department of Fish and Game, and the local recreation and 
park agencies. He is also acquainted with the personnel of these 
agencies. Moreover, he knows the grassroots environmental organizations 
and activists. He has had close encounters with them all, and he has 
strong opinions about the environmental movement and its meaning for 
both the environment and development. 

Mr. Douglass agreed to be Leslie Salt s spokesperson for the 
Baumberg Tract Oral History Project. We recorded the interview in his 
office on February 24, 1998. He discussed his association with John 
Thorpe s unsuccessful Shorelands Project, and Cargill s successful 
Gateway Technology Centre. He touched on problems inherent in dealing 
with environmental regulations, regulators, and activists. Although he 
was willing to answer all my questions, he occasionally paused and 
carefully considered his answers before replying. His opinion that many 
environmental regulations are onerous, that some agency personnel were 
extremely unfair in their dealings with John Thorpe, and that some 
activists wield too much clout and have too much access to the agency 
staffs, helped me to prepare questions for subsequent interviewees. 

At the time he reviewed and made minor corrections to his lightly 
edited transcript, Mr. Douglass gave me permission to insert, in the 
volume, correspondences between Leslie Salt, the Fish and Wildlife 
Service, and the Corps of Engineers. Cargill s cooperative mananger of 
public affairs, Jill Singleton, sent important historical and current 
material for the volume Appendix and for deposit in The Bancroft 


This interview with Robert Douglass adds an important element to 
the history of the Baumberg Tract with its focus on the uneasy 
relationship between developers and those who are committed to the 
preservation of endangered species and habitats. 

The Regional Oral History Office was established in 1954 to 
augment through tape-recorded memoirs the Library s materials on the 
history of California and the West. Copies of all interviews are 
available for research use in The Bancroft Library and in the UCLA 
Department of Special Collections. The office is under the direction of 
Willa K. Baum, Division Head, and the administrative direction of 
Charles B. Faulhaber, James D. Hart Director of The Bancroft Library, 
University of California, Berkeley. 

Malca Chall 
Interviewer /Edit or 

January 2000 

Regional Oral History Office 

University of California, Berkeley 


Regional Oral History Office 
Room 486 The Bancroft Library 

University of California 
Berkeley, California 94720 

Your full name 

write clearly. Use black 

Date of birth 

Father s full name 

Mother s full name 

Your spouse 



Your children 


<, \ 


Qfl i/g 

^) Birthplace 


/ U 


Where did you grow up? 

Present community 




) J^ 


Areas of expertise 
L^ /ft f\ 

Other interests or activities 

Organizations in which you are active 

f\ /* 

r-q ^r^xr/rt^ ir- 

A?D^ C //> 

Current Position 
Since 1985 



37689 Los Arboles Drive 
Fremont, CA 94536-6626 

(510) 791-5801 (H) 

(5 10) 790-81 56 (W) 

Manager of Real Property, Cargill Salt, Western Division. 
Responsible for management of 30,000 acres of property 
along edge of San Francisco Bay. Responsible for permits 
for solar-salt operations and land-use entitlements. 

Professional Registration 

Registered Civil Engineer in California. 


B.S. Civil Engineering, Sacramento State College 
M.S. Civil Engineering, San Jose State University 

Previous Employment 

Principal in the Oakland office of Greiner Engineers of 
California -- Northern California office of nation s fifth 
largest consulting firm. Designed public works and land 
development projects in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. 

Community Involvement 

Chairman, Chabot College Engineering Advisory Committee 

Member, American Society of Civil Engineers 

Member and Past President, Southbay Engineers Club 

Past Chairman, City of Fremont Planning Commission 

Past Member, City of Fremont Civil Service Board 

Past Vice President, Treasure Island Museum Board of 


Lecturer on Marine Corps history, Treasure Island Museum 

Military Service 

Decorated Marine Corps combat veteran of Vietnam War 
Colonel, United States Marine Corps Reserve 
Activated during "Desert Storm" - served in Thailand 
Currently, Officer in Charge, 10 reserve units across U.S. 





[Date of Interview: February 24, 1998] ft 1 

Background: Education and Career with the Cargill Company 

Chall: First I always like to find out a little bit about the person 
I m interviewing. So could you give me some background about 
how long you ve been with the company, Cargill, and what your 
present and past career positions have been here. 

Douglass: I have been with the company twelve and a half years now. I 

joined Cargill in October 1985. I m a civil engineer, and I m 
registered to practice civil engineering by the State of 
California. I have a bachelor s from Sacramento State and a 
master s from San Jose State. Prior to my employment with 
Cargill, I was with a consulting/engineering firm in Oakland 
and started as a junior project engineer and rose through their 
corporate ranks to the point where I was a managing principal 
and a small stockholder. 

Douglass : 


What was that company? 

That company started out as Murray and McCormick. It went 
through a number of name changes. It was publicly held, so we 
went through the stock rollercoasters. Other corporations 
bought us. The final name change, until just recently, was 

Greiner Engineering, 
engineering firms. 

which is one of the nation s largest 

So you left them in about 1984 or 1985? 

II This symbol indicates that a tape or tape segment has begun or 
ended. A guide to the tapes follows the transcript. 


Douglass: In 1985, yes. Leslie Salt was owned by Cargill at that time, 
but the name was still Leslie Salt. Leslie Salt was a client 
of our company. We did engineering work for the salt company. 

Chall: I see. So you knew it, and they knew you. 

Douglass: Actually I knew a little bit of it. At that point my project 
engineers were doing most of the work for Leslie Salt; I was 
aware that thev were a client, but I didn t do any of the 
actual work. But my predecessor, Ray Thinggaard [spells], left 
to open his own consulting business. So I basically traded 
places with Ray. 

Chall: So you came here as a civil engineer? 

Douglass: I m called a manager of real property. 

Chall: And you ve always been a manager of real property? 

Douglass: That s right. 

Chall: Is there quite a bit of property that you re selling or 
optioning or changing or something of this kind here? 

Douglass: Not quite a bit. The parcels we have are significant the 
Baumberg Tract being one of them. That was a former salt 
plant, and I m in the last stages of the construction of a 
former salt plant called Plant One in Newark [California] that 
was taken out of production the same time Baumberg was. 

Chall: Which was 1970-something? 

Douglass: Late sixties. 

Chall: And what s Plant One going to be? 

Douglass: Plant One is now the home of Sun Microsystems. It went through 
many of the same hurdles that the Baumberg Tract faced, but we 
were successful in that regard. We kept that property for our 
own portfolio, so to speak, and we were the project managers. 
We did all the permit processing. We never optioned it to 
anybody. We pursued it. And we just won an award from the 
Association of Water Quality Engineers for our design of it. 
So we re rather pleased with it. 

Chall: That would mean, I assume, that even though you were in charge 
of it you still had to go through some of the hurdles with the 
Fish and Wildlife Service and all the rest? 



C argil! Salt has won the 
1997 California Water 
Environmental Associa 
tion s Engineering Award for the 
drainage design and creation ol 
wetlands for the Gateway 
Technology Centre in Newark 

"Cargill s. careful and creative 
engineering went tl.e extra step 

to integrate development with an 
improved environment," says 
Lindsay Roberts, executive direc 
tor of tiieCWEA 

The 143-acre high-lech indus 
trial park near the eastern 
entrance to the Dumbarton 
Bridge features a series of grassy 
swales to filter out sediment and 
pollutants from stormwater, pro 
tecting neighboring sloughs and 
marshes. The design also creates 
17 acres of tidal wetlands to pro 
vide habitat for several endan 
gered species found across the 
street at the Don Edwards San 
Francisco Bay Notional Wildlife 

from "The Bay s Edge," a Cargill Salt Report, 
vol. 9, no. 1, July 1998. 


The site was a former salt 
plant that had been decommis 
sioned in 1^59. Despite pressure 
from developers, to sell the land 
for housing, the salt compam 
stuck to the ideal that the proper 
ty should remain industrial and 
contribute to Newark s ecoiioim 
When the company began taking 
steps toward developing an 
industrial park on the property in 
ly85, legal battles with the feder 
al government ensued. Cargill 
won the right to develop 90 per 
cent of the land and proposed an 
innovative consolidation of the 

disputed acreage into a function 
al wetland habitat, which 
allowed the Gateway Technology 
Centre to become a reality. 

"We worked hard to prove 
that a former salt plant could be 
redeveloped as an environmen 
tally friendly, high-tech business 
park," says Bob Douglass, 
Cargill s design engineer and 
project manager. "We ve devel 
oped a wetland habitat that 
reflects the values important to 
us. It s a bridge between indus 
trial use and wildlife, enhancing 
both the workplace and 
the refuge next door." 


Douglass: All of them. 

Chall: That sort of gets us to the Baumberg Tract, which seemed to 

have greater complications involved in it than maybe Plant One? 
Plant One will be manufacturing software? I mean, Sun 
Microsystems will be-- 

Douglass: They re manufacturing hardware. That s just a use that Sun 

Microsystems made after it was developed, after we made our way 
through the process that John Thorpe tried very hard to wind 
his way through but was unable to. I answer in response to 
your question about the other properties we have. In round 
numbers, 30,000 acres in the South Bay. Almost all of it is in 
salt production. But in my job I pay the property taxes, I 
keep the fences intact. I do all the kind of things that a 
property manager does. I deal with all of our neighbors and 
cities and counties and flood control districts. I m staff 
civil engineer to the solar operations people that use the land 
for production of solar salt. 

Chall: It must keep you rather busy doing all that. 
Douglass: It does. 

Chall: Are you taking other areas out of salt production? Or is it 
just Baumberg and Plant One? Are there others? 

Douglass: No, there are no others, and those were taken out of production 
years ago. 

John Thorpe Takes an Option on Leslie (Cargill) Salt Property 
to Build the Shorelands Project 

Chall: Now if we go back to about 1981, John Thorpe I think at that 
time took his option for ten years on the Baumberg Tract to 
build his project. You weren t here at that time, so with whom 
did he deal to set up this plan to option this land? 

Douglass: Paul Shepherd. 

Chall: Paul Shepherd I know is still here. 

Douglass: Yes. 

Chall: When one takes an option on land, what does that mean? They 
have to pay rent to you? 


Douglass: The terms are always negotiable. John s option involved annual 
payments plus payment of property taxes and whatever 
extraordinary maintenance is required on the site. So that was 
the arrangement with John. Quite often options are initially 
free. If someone wants to look at a piece of property, the 
landowner can say, in the vernacular, we can give you "free 
look": you can look at it for ninety days. What the option 
does is protect the potential buyer so that the property is no 
longer on the market. We agreed to negotiate solely with John, 
and we were not talking with anyone else. In return for that 
protection, he gave us compensation, which was to be counted 
towards the ultimate price of the property. 

Chall: As I understand it he took out about 1200 acresthese are sort 
of round f igures--which combined two districts with 500 acres 
of open space. Is that how you see it? The 1200 acres being 
the Baumberg, which was 800 and something, plus other 

Douglass: No, I think that 1200 is probably high. I think initially he 
had an option on 790 acres and these numbers could be wrong-- 
with an option for another fifty, which would have brought it 
to 840. That was primarily the former salt plant. It became 
obvious very early in the process that he was probably going to 
need additional mitigation land. All the salt ponds 
surrounding the tract were in production and are still in 
production, so they were not really an option for his 
mitigation lands. We did discuss with John possible open space 
uses or open space reserves, but my recollection of the primary 
option, though, it was the former salt plant entirely. 

Chall: So all his material that we see that talks about 1200 acres or 
1 100-something--I don t think I brought my major piece of 
material, but I think he divides into x number of acres of 
building, et cetera, plus about 500 acres of open space, 
[shows Mr. Douglass Shorelands brouchure, "A New Racetrack for 
Northern California." See envelope insert, back cover] 

Douglass: It does say 1200 acres here. 

Chall: Yes, it does. That brochure says that the development combined 
two distinct properties. I ve always wondered what they were. 

Douglass: I m not sure what they are either. The acreage outlined here 
does not total 1200 acres. 

Chall: There are many maps around. This is the one that John Thorpe 
more or less outlined for me. I guess it shows his various 
mitigation plans. 


Douglass: Those areas that he s outlined may total 1200 acres, but John 
nevei had an option on these parcels. 

Chall: That s correct, he did not. He did not have an option on what 
he calls the Whale s Tail or this other little place [B8, Map 
1]. Did he have an option on expanding this area in here for 
maybe trails, or was it just what he outlined? [Area outlined 
in red, excluding channel, Map 1]. 

Douglass: That s primarily what John had an option on. 

Chall: So that s really basically 800 and some acres. 

Douglass: Yes, 850 acres or so. 

Chall: All right. So we re agreed on that. 

Now by the time you got here, he was not planning anymore 
to put in Marine World Africa-USA. 

Douglass: Marine World was not in the picture. 

Chall: So what was left on the 800-some acres was his idea of the 

racetrack and trails and hotels and playgrounds and all that? 
Did you think this could be successful? Or did you think that 
there were going to be problems with it? 

Douglass: I always considered it possible. Very difficult, but possible, 

Major Problems Concerning Mitigation 

Chall: Eventually, of course, he had to do a lot of mitigation, and 
his plan was to mitigate with the so-called Whale s Tail and 
these other areas that you pointed out had not been in the 
option. Were you ever planning to provide that land for him? 

Douglass: We were supportive of John, and we probably would have done 
whatever it took within reason to help him. The problem was 
that there were avowed opponents of his project within the 
agencies, and they always selected mitigation that struck at 
the salt business, and we were not agreeable to that. 


By that you mean what? 


Douglass: Taking salt ponds out of production and turning them into 

Chall: If he mitigated on the site and included all those other 

acreages that we were talking about, he would have to use the 
salt ponds. That meant setting up little ponds in one area for 
the snowy plovers and things of this kind? 

Douglass: Yes. 

Chall: That s interesting, because his scheme always included the 

possibility of using these other areas. Dr. [Howard] Cogswell 
told me that youthat is Leslie Salthad never come out over 
the years agreeing to have the islands made or the use of the 
other property, so that he [Thorpe] was always sort of stuck. 
I think he had in mind the Oliver property, which of course he 
couldn t get his hands on at all. So where was he? I mean, if 
you were supportive, how would you have supported him? At what 
point would you have said, "Okay, John, you can have the 
Whale s Tail and you can have this other land for your plovers 
or for whatever other reasons you need the land." 

Douglass: We probably would have supported him if we could have seen 

evidence from the agencies that said, "John, if you do this, we 
will give you the permits." And if this involved the Whale s 
Tail we would have probably made that available to him. 
However, you need to be aware that the Whale s Tail was not 
necessarily sufficient mitigation. It was already a wetland. 
Transferring the ownership would have given him some credits, 
but it certainly wouldn t have given him true mitigation. 

Chall: Right. He was permitted to mitigate on site, as I understand 
it, if it would compensate for whatever would be lost by the 
project . 

Douglass: That was our encouragement for John to make a project that 
would stand on its own, that he could control within the 
confines of his option. 

Chall: Which meant what? 

Douglass: Which meant shrinking his project down and mitigating on site 
to the extent possible. 

Chall: As I understand it, he never was agreeable to that. 

Douglass: Oh, I think he would have been agreeable if he would ever have 
been given assurances from the agencies that he could have a 
reduced project on that site. But he never got those 


assurances. I don t think John was treated fairly by anybody 
in the process, except the salt company. 

John is an interesting fellow, an attorney. We did things, 
even though we re a major corporation, we did things with a 
handshake with John. We trusted him, and he trusted us. We 
gave him as much leeway as possible. It was in our interest 
for him to succeed. He was going to write us a very large 
check if he succeeded. So within the goals of continuing to 
make salt and selling John a major chunk of property, we tried 
our best to help him. But it was always behind the scenes. We 
did not want to ever appear publicly opposed to anything he 
suggested. So John floated a lot of schemes, and we were 
basically very quiet about that. 

Chall: You mean the schemes for-- 
Douglass: Mitigation. 

Chall: But as he floated themand they are detailed in the EIR/EIS 
and biological and mitigation studieshe was never assured 
either up front by you, or it was never made certain by the 
people who were checking on the studies or setting up the 
jeopardy opinion that he could do them. It was never focused. 
Is that a problem? 

Douglass: That was a problem, yes. The position we took was that we gave 
John just about all the rights he had and let him be almost, in 
effect, the property owner of the option property. Then we 
made it clear to him that if it ever came down to the point--! 
do not think that our silence on the subject ever hurt him. It 
never got down to the point where he came to us and said, 
"Cargill, if you will sell me the Whale s Tail, the project 
goes." It never reached that point. 

Chal] : In terms of mitigation, there were all kinds of plans for 

plover ponds which couldn t happen unless you gave the land. 
What about the predator fence? That seemed occasionally like 
something out of science fiction. 

Douglass: The predator fence was probably one of the worst examples of 

how the agencies mistreated John, just by sending him on these 
wild goose chases. I m sure the individuals within the 
agencies think they acted honorably, but basically there was if 
not a public strategy then certainly informal strategies to 
drain John, to send him down corridors with wild goose chases 
and continually chase project approval but knowing full well 
they were never going to give him project approval. 


Chall: Did you think that the whole subject of predators per se was 

not an important subject or it could ve been handled some other 

Douglass: It could have been handled some other way. Predators are major 
factors when you have urbanization right up next to natural 
resource properties. While John was probably going to bring 
predators close, there were already numerous feral cats, dogs, 
skunks, red foxes, rats; they were out there anyway. You could 
make the argument that John s project may have provided them 
more opportunities than the marshlands, and it may have had a 
positive impact. It was just one of the many hurdles they put 
up in front of John. 

Environmental Agencies; Their Mission, Their Personnel, and 
Their Effect on Local Control 

Chall: What is your general opinion of these environmental agencies 
following their own regulations, like Department of Fish and 
Game, Fish and Wildlife Service, EPA [Environmental Protection 
Agency], and others? They are scientists and they are trained 
in environmental science. What has been your opinion of them 
in general? You re dealing with them now in the [Baumberg] 
restoration project. I realize you re working with these 
people all the time, so by now you probably have some kind of 
opinion of how they operate, who they are, and their merits or 
demerits, or of the regulations they deal with. 

Douglass: If there is a collective judgment within the agencies that a 
project is not going to get approved, then it s not going to 
get approved. The thing that I object to--I am a staunch 
believer in local government, and there is a sub rosa or shadow 
regional government that resides in the hands of young men and 
women who are very low-level federal and state employees but 
wield an awesome amount of clout in the Bay Area as far as land 
use. I strongly object to that. 

Mitigation, for example, is very, very difficult in this 
immediate vicinity, in the San Francisco Bay Area. My own 
personal opinion, shared by many others in my capacity, is that 
the reason mitigation is so difficult is because mitigation 
really means a project is being approved. If someone can 
really mitigate their project they re going to build it. 
Therefore the agencies have chosen to make mitigation the 
battleground as well. That was one of John s problems: he 


could never in their mind fully mitigate the impacts of the 

His famous triple-jeopardy opinion was one of the most 
farfetched fantasies I ve ever been involved in, and the 
jeopardy opinion went something like this: the global warming 
is going to raise the sea level and destroy marshes, which is 
the habitat for endangered species, and the only restorable 
land left is the Baumberg Tract. Therefore it would jeopardize 
the species if that was developed, assuming global warming was 
going to happen. And that was absolutely preposterous. I 
argued long and hard internally in the salt company to take 
that one on. And we did not. Speaking personally and 
professionally I was very disappointed. We let John try and 
fight that battle when it was really aimed at us. 

Chall: Really? So you think that to some degree the scientific work 
or the final decision was really aimed at salt production? 

Douglass: No, not salt production. The agencies were very afraid that if 
we let John buy this tract and develop it we would drain 
another pond and sell it to another developer. They drew a 
line in the sand saying that we can t let anything proceed. 
John was handicapped. We are still in the salt business and 
we re going to be in the salt business. The evidence did not 
support their fears. 

Chall: I notice that toward the end--I guess it was 1990 [July 5]-- 

Leslie Salt s vice president William Britt sent a letter to Mr. 
[Marvin) Plenert, who was then the regional director of the 
United States Fish and Wildlife Service, with quite a detailed 
legal opinion from Edgar B. Washburn outlining objections to 
the draft jeopardy opinion, and part of it was concerned with 
this idea of global warming. Also his objection to the concept 
that even though there had been no use of the habitat over the 
years for the so-called endangered species, except the salt 
marsh harvest mouse, that allowing the Baumberg Tract to be 
developed would mean that one other area that might be useful 
for habitat restoration would be destroyed. It is a most 
complex set of issues that he set forth. 

What about these kinds of letters and arguments that went 
off to the Fish and Wildlife Service or in some cases to the 
Department of Fish and Game, or the Corps of Engineers? What 
was the response? [See following pages] 

Douglass: Quite often they were ignored. We sent that letter to protect 
our position on the record but never really joined the argument 
after that. 


^^ V^.^T^ *~r+~ NEWARK, CA 94i0 (416) 7*7.1620 

M L " t> L. L O U . 

July 5, 1990 

Mr. Marvin Plenert 

Regional Director 

United States Fish & Wildlife Service 

3002 N.E. Holladay Street 

Portland, Oregon 97232-4181 

Dear Mr. Plenert: 

As we discussed during ny recent trip to Portland, I am 
requesting a legal review of the Fish & Wildlife Service s 
Preliminary Biological Opinion with respect to the proposed 
shorelands Project. As you know, Leslie Salt is the owner 
of the property in question and has optioned that property 
to Shore] ands. 

I am enclosing a copy of a legal analysis prepared for 
Leslie Salt by the law firm of Washburn, Briscoe & McCarthy. 
That analysis concludes that there is no legal basie for the 
Service to issue a jeopardy opinion. I ask that you furnish 
a copy of the legal analysis to the Service s Solicitor and 
request a legal opinion concerning the Service s stated 
basis for its draft jeopardy opinion. 

I would like to emphasize again that our concern as the 
owner of the property is with the breadth of the draft 
opinion and its attempt to find jeopardy on the property 
regardless of what use the property is to be put to. 

I request that you inform me of the outcome of the 
Solicitor s review. If the Solicitor agrees with Leslie s 
analysis, we request that the draft opinion be withdrawn and 
that the October 14, 1987 opinion (No. 1-1-87-F-47) be 
officially withdrawn as well. 

Thank you for your cooperation in attempting to resolve this 
issue without the need to resort to litigation. 


I M 16 1C r i -j 
w w w u l*/w>U 

C. Kritt/ *CENTOUX j 

Vice PresidenV-6r*General Mgr. JUL 1 UF 

WCB : jb 

ADMINISTRATION FAX (415) 790-162 PLANT OFFICE FAX (415) 790-81 89 TELEX (810) 38 1-6047 



NOVARK. CA. 94560 / (415) 797-1870 


March 22, 1985 


MAR 2 5 1985 

Andrew M. Perkins, Jr. PLANNING DEPT. 

Lieutenant Colonel 

Department of the Army 

San Francisco District Corps of Engineers 

211 Main Street 

- Francisco. CA 54105 

Subject: Shorelands Corporation 
Your File No. 15283E49 

Dear Colonel Perkins: 

This letter is written to you by Leslie Salt Co. ("Leslie") out 
of concern for what appears to be a claim of jurisdiction 
asserted by the Corps over certain lands owned by Leslie. This 
claim is reflected by your letter of January 29, 1985, to Mr. 
John Thorpe of the Shorelands Corporation. The land that is the 
subject of your January 29, 1985, letter is owned by Leslie, 
although the Shorelands Corporation has an option to purchase 
the property at some later date. Whether or not that option 
will in fact be exercised is unknown at this time. 

We have reviewed your jurisdictional determination and find it 
to be erroneous in terms of the facts relied upon as well as in 
your interpretation of the reach of section 10 of the River and 
Hsrbcrs Act of 1899 and section 404 of the Clean Water Act. 
While the purpose of this letter is not to recite in detail all 
of the facts which lead to the conclusion that your jurisdic 
tional assertion is an error, we do wish to point out a number 
of the more significant factors which you apparently did not 
consider. These facts, together with others, are the result of 
an intensive study that has been undertaken by Leslie relative 
to this site over the past ten years. 

A. The Section 10 Jurisdictional Claim; 

1. The entire area landward of the most bayward levees 
was in its natural state above the elevation of mean 
high water. The only exception to this statement is 
certain former slough beds. 

2. The sloughs that formerly traversed the property were 
not extensions of San Francisco Bay, but were separate 
waterbodies and were so treated by the Corps up until 
at least 1972. With the exception of a portion of Mt. 


Andrew M. Perkins, Jr. 
March 22, 1985 

Page 2 

Eden Slough bayward of the former location of Eden 
Landing, none of the former sloughs were navigable in 
fact in their natural condition. 

3. Most of the former slough beds within the subject 
property were reclaimed prior to the adoption of the 
Rivers and Harbors Act in 1899, and that act is not 

4. From 1899 to 1972 the Corps administratively deter 
mined that none of the sloughs that -traversed this 
site were navigable in fact and therefore all portions 
of the site were beyond its jurisdiction. Reclamation 
ar;d development of the property for solar salt works 
and agriculture occurred under those circumstances. 

As a result, the Corps surrendered whatever section 10 
jurisdict ional claims it may have had. (See United 
States v. Stoeco Homes, Inc., 498 F.2d 597 (3rd Cir. 
1974) . 

5. The areas claimed along the northerly portion of the 
property were, in their natural state, a combination 
of freshwater marsh and ponded water. The freshwater 
marsh was not a part of any water body but was upland. 
Similarly, the ponded water was not a part of any 
navigable water course and was not connected to the 
San Francisco Bay. 

For information bearing upon the foregoing, I suggest that you 
review the 1857 and 1897 U.S. Coast Survey topographic and 
hydrographic charts together with the descriptive reports accom 
panying these charts; the 1861 survey of the salt marsh in 
Alameda County performed by Dyer and its field notes; the survey 
and fjeld nctes of the boundaries of the Rancho de Aiameoa per 
formed by the General Land Office; the testimony of Agustus 
Rogers of the Coast survey in the action of United States v. 
Peralta (Nos . 98; 100 U.S.D.C., Cal. 1871); and the testimony of 
Alameda County Surveyors James W. Bost and Horace A. Higley in 
that same trial. 

B. The Section 404 Juri sdictional Claim: 

1. No part of the site is water of any sort, much less 

waters of the United States. During certain times of 
the year some water is ponded in the former crystal- 
lizer ponds from the winter rains due to lack of any 


2 . 

the areas over which you claim section 404 jurisdic 
tion landward of the bayside levees do not presently 

drainage connection to the bay. 
2. With the exception of the banks of Mt. Eden Slough, 


Andrew M. Perkins, Jr. 
March 22, 1985 
Page 3 

possess a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted 
for Jife in saturated soil conditions. In fact, vir 
tually all of the site is devoid of vegetation. 

3. None of the area is inundated by tidal waters at any 
stage of the tide and has not been tidally affected 
for nearly 100 years. 

4. The presence of any saturated soils or wetland vegeta 
tion on any portion of the site is not the result of 
inundation by or a hydrologic connection to waters of 
the United States. It is merely the result of tempo 
rary and occasional ponding of rainwater. 

5. None of the areas over which you claim section 404 
jurisdiction on the basis that they are wetlands are 
adjacent to waters of the United States. 

We consider your assertion of jurisdiction to be beyond what the 
law provides. Although we have no objection to the Shorelands 
Corporation processing a permit application, we do not consider 
that application to be an admission or acquiescence by Leslie 
that your claim of jurisdiction is proper. Leslie does not 
intend to be bound by your determination and, whether the permit 
to Shorelands is granted or not, Leslie reserves the right to 
challenge your assertion of jurisdiction by any proper and 
available means. 

Yours very truly, 

Paul P. Shepherd 

Vice President . Land Manager 


cc: Mr. John Thorpe, President 
The Shorelands Corporation 
P. O. Box 4258 
Hayvard, CA 94540 

City of Hayvard , Ron Gushue 
Honorable Fortney H. Stark 
EPA, Region IX 
USFWS, Sacramento, CA 
NMFS, Tiburon, CA 
CA BCDC, Oakland, CA 
CF&G, Yountville, CA 
Save San Francisco Bay Assn, 



Douglass : 

Douglass : 

Douglass ; 

Douglass : 

There s quite a bit of information here for the record. 

Do you think that these regulations that spawned from the 
Fish and Wildlife Service, the EPA, the Clean Water Act, et 
cetera, have some important benefits in terms of the 
environment? You ve been dealing with them in some areas that 
have been quite well acceptedthe San Francisco Bay National 
Wildlife Refuge. 

That s on both sides of the Bay. Twelve thousand acres of our 
salt ponds are in the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. 

Now you had to work that out also with these folks. 


That s been very satisfactorily handled, 
a good name . 

I mean, it gives you 

It doesn t necessarily give us a good name. It is 
satisfactory; I wouldn t characterize it as very satisfactory. 
We continue to have to negotiate various items of maintenance 
and access and so forth, and the refuge staff use it as a 
refuge, which it is, and we view it as a salt production 
facility, which it is. And those two goals sometimes come into 
conflict, but on the whole it is satisfactory. 

Do you find the regulations onerous? 

Quite often they were onerous. The interpretation of them is 
the difficulty. The regulations are really restrictive and 
prohibitive; they are not proactive. My real concern over the 
agencies is that they re good about saying no, and they can t 
bring themselves to say yes, and they are not very proactive 
when it comes to protecting the species. 

If the clapper rail is diminishing they should be breeding 
the clapper rail. They should be taking proactive measures to 
expand the endangered species. They don t restore marshes 
themselves; they ask private property owners to do it. The 
whole Endangered Species Act is very negatively drafted and 
construed. If endangered species are so important, then the 
act should reward property owners that have endangered species 
on their property. That would be the positive thing to do. We 
would want property owners lined up to make sure they had 
endangered species on their property. But that s not the case. 
That s a personal opinion. 


Chall: In terms of your working with people like Richard Murray or 

WESCO, who drew up the biological background for the EIR/EIS, 
what were your dealings with those people? And Thomas Reid 

Douglass: I didn t have too much dealings with Tom Reid. They came in 
sort of late in the project. I enjoyed working with Richard 
Murray; he s a very creative fellow. The difficulty is keeping 
Richard on the option parcel. 


Douglass: Richard would talk to an agency, and before I knew it he would 
be drawing mitigation plans on property that wasn t in the 
option, and I d have to counsel Richard. [laughs] 

Chall: He was feeding ideas to John and vice-versa, and this is how it 
was all coming out? 

Local Activists and the Environment 

Chall: Then you had some dealings and probably always havewith 

volunteer private citizens like Barbara Shockley. I found a 
letter in someone s files that you had written to Barbara about 
some kind of question she had, I think, about pumping water out 
of crystallizers . Janice and Frank Delfino. Howard Cogswell- 
he s really one of the scientists, but he s also active as a 
private citizen in terms of the environment. How were your 
dealings with people like that? Do you think that they have a 
place as gatekeepers or whatever you might want to call them? 

Douglass: I think in general they have a place, and again in the Bay Area 
they are given far too much access to the agencies. They wield 
far too much clout. That s my own opinion. Now with Howard 
Cogswell I would say something different; we have the utmost 
respect for Dr. Cogswell. He s a true scientist, and the truth 
is what s always important for Howard. Citizens like him are 
absolutely invaluable advocates for endangered species. But 
other citizen activists wield too much influence and are often 
not as knowledgeable as they should be and have too much access 
to the agency staff. 

Chall: The agency staff people take them seriously, do you think? 
Douglass: Very seriously. 


Chall: Why is that? 

Douglass: Their interests are probably more compatible certainly with the 
citizen activists than they are with Cargill Salt, for example. 
At least they perceive their interests as being mutually 

Cargill Accused of Reconstructing the Land 

Chall: There was a concern about Leslie s activity at different times, 
and since it was in the news from time to time I just thought 
maybe you could clarify them. There was a time when Leslie 
plowed north of the crystallizers. A deep plow someplace. The 
question was, was that plowing done to make it appear 
agricultural rather than as a wetland? 

Douglass: That was done before I got here, but I believe it was for dust 
control primarily. We had the same problem on Plant One site, 
which is a former salt plant. We did not plow here, but yet in 
the summertime we were cited for blowing dust off of what the 
agencies were calling a wetland. So we were always on the 
horns of a dilemma. That s a good example of the attitude the 
agencies took on the property. We were the property managers, 
and we needed to do something to that property. As it turns 
out, we couldn t even plow it without arousing the ire of the 
agencies and citizens. Yet if we didn t do something, we were 
cited by the Bay Area Air Quality and Management District for 
blowing dust. It s illustrative of the dilemma that major 
property owners face. 

Chall: So sometimes if you would disk or plow as you did from time to 
time, that would change the kind of land--I mean, perhaps grass 
would grow where it hadn t grown before. 

Douglass: That s what some people claimed. That s absolutely not what 
happened. What happened is that active plowing grew wetlands 
indicators. Where wetlands didn t exist before, wetlands did 
exist after we plowed. 

Chall: So if the excuse was that you plowed because you wanted it to 
look like agricultural land and it turned into wetlands or 
marshlands, that destroyed your argument that this was land 
that could be developed in a different way. 

Douglass: It certainly didn t help. 


Chall: The same with flooding. If you used water to keep out the 

dust, and a solid growth of ditch grass developed, that also 
made it look like a wetland instead of upland or whatever you 
might have called it. 

Douglass: What is unique about our properties is that they are so highly 
saline they will not support uplands grasses, the high 
salinitythe ambient salt after fifty or sixty years of salt 
productionjust kills anything else other than salt-tolerant 
plants which are wetlands indicators. Adjoining properties can 
and do support uplands grasses and that is a normal 
circumstance . 

Chall: There was a criticism that at one point you were draining some 
land, and not to show it you put in a pipe which you 
camouflaged so that nobody would know it was a pipe [laughs]. 

Douglass: I don t really know about that. We did have one major pipe 

that one of the contractor s employees spray-painted for fun--I 
think it was a joke. 

Chall: Oh, well, I think it was taken seriously by people as if you 
were camouflaging the fact that you were draining land. 

Douglass: No. There were "No Trespassing" signs all over the site, yet 
people had pretty much free access. So they would report what 
they chose to report. 

The City of Hayward and the Shorelands Project 

Chall: Now John says that there was a meeting in May 1990 of everybody 
who was concerned with that late jeopardy opinion that he was 
trying not to accept, and that included even the Leslie Salt 
people. Then, he says that after some change of management or 
whatever it might have been with the Fish and Wildlife Service 
--I m not quite sure about that--his project did pass the 
jeopardy opinion, but then the city [of Hayward) wouldn t give 
him a permit. I m not sure whether that had to do with a 
permit- -on the exchange of land for his road into the property 
off the San Mateo Bridge. Is that something that you are 
familiar with? 

Douglass: I can t recall the specifics, but the city of Hayward was not 
particularly helpful in the whole process. I contrast their 
support of John in that particular project with the city of 
Newark s support of our project down here on Plant One. It was 


like night and day. That could have been and should have been 
a major asset for the city of Hayward; the idea of a 
transportation corridor bypassing the 880/92 interchange makes 
all the sense in the world. It was the single largest flat 
piece of land left west of the Nimitz freeway from Oakland to 
Fremont, yet it could have been developed into a good economic 
use and mitigated on site, but the city council and city staff 
were divided on how best to approach it. As a result the 
support was not there. 

Chall: So even though John claims that everything passed in terms of 
his getting his plan approved--! m not even sure that that 
happened- - 

Douglass: No. John never got approval of anything that was really 

Chall: So the interchange was moot. At the time in 1991, this had to 
do with the interchange--! think this information was in the 
newspaper--Cargill says that Thorpe can proceed with Cargill 
authority. That s for the interchange. If Thorpe wanted to 
reopen his file it would cost him $650. Leslie would help with 
mitigation if the exchange were in the right place close to the 
bridge . 

Douglass: That s true. 

Chall: So that s when you actually were willingthat s part of your 
land, is that it? 

Douglass: Yes. 

The End of the Stretch for the Shorelands Project 

Chall: By that time it was pretty late. How did you feel about 

another group of people taking over John s assets to become 
Shorelands Park? Did you have to deal with them? I don t know 
that that lasted very long, because then he filed for 
bankruptcy shortly thereafter. 

Douglass: We met with them on a couple of occasions. I can t recall the 
gentleman s name; if you told me I would probably remember it. 
[Laurence Brooks] How did we feel? Very uncomfortable. 


Because you had been dealing with John. 


Douglass : 


Douglass : 


We felt badly for John because we knew he was in dire straits. 
It was disappointing because John--! don t think he d be upset 
with me- -was eccentric to a fault and was his own worst enemy. 
But he was an absolute man of integrity. His word was his 
bond. Had he been allowed to do what he said he was going to 
do, he would have done what he said he was going to do. We all 
felt personally very disappointed at the turn of events for 
John. We all respected him, we were all very fond of him. It 
got down to the point where John was scrambling to make option 
payments to us and we wondered whether we even wanted to accept 
the money at that point. 

Ethically, knowing what we knew, since we were confronting 
some of the same obstacles in our own projects, how difficult 
it was should we terminate the option whether John wanted us 
to or not? We ended up accepting his money and extending the 
option, knowing at the end that it was like rearranging deck 
chairs on the Titanic. 

None of these possible options, you think, would have passed 
the jeopardy? Whether you had just come out and said, "You can 
have all these extra 600 or 800 acres," do you think that that 
would have done any good? 

I doubt it. But that question was never posed to us. 

At one time John was approached to move his racetrack to Las 
Positas or someplace in Livermore or Pleasanton. Did you ever 
think that that was something that John should have considered 

I don t think we were ever involved in that discussion, 
aren t a whole lot of areas in the Bay Area that would 
accommodate a racetrack. 


Baumberg Tract Purchased by the California Wildlife 
Conservation Board. 1996 

Chall: Between 1992 when he gave up, and 1996 you just held on to the 
property? Did you try to sell it to anybody else? 

Douglass: No, we did not. 

Chall: Howard Cogswell told me that in 1973--that is, of course, long 
before your time tooLeslie offered it to the East Bay 
Regional Park District for about $5,000 an acre. 


Oouglass: That s true. 

Chall: But they couldn t afford it, so they let it go. 

Douglass: We offered it to any number of open space resource/ 
environmental agencies. 

Chall: And it was always too expensive for any of them at the time? 

Douglass: In doing some research I never saw a response to any of our 

Chall: Really? Even from the East Bay Regional Park District? 

Douglass: I can t recall a response. I was a little surprised. It was a 
very generous offer at the time, and it would have saved lots 
of heartache and grief on everybody s part. 

Chall: So now we are into 1996, and the California Wildlife 

Conservation Board purchased it as a result of mitigation in a 
couple of neighboring communities. 

Douglass: Yes. 

Chall: Now as I understand it, they paid $12.5 million for it. Was 
that $12.5 million to Cargill? 

Douglass: Yes. 

Chall: So between the time it was offered to the East Bay Regional 

Park District and it was purchased by the California Wildlife 
Conservation Board the price had tripled. That s pretty good 
[pause] but I suppose that s life. How does one assess or 
estimate the price of property like this? 

Douglass: There are appraisers in the market that do this for a living, 

and Cargill does not sell property without an appraisal. It 

serves as a point of departure for negotiations. It gets 

everybody looking at the same range of values, and then the 

rest of it is a real estate negotiation. 

Chall: And you re in on things like that. 
Douglass: Yes. 

Chall: You are now attending the same meetings that I m invited to-- 
and probably some that I m not invited towhere you re 
hassling out how the Baumberg Tract is going to be turned into 
a restored wetlands. Is that what they re planning to do? 


Douglass: Yes. 

Chall: Is that a good use of the land as we see it today? 

Douglass: I think it is a good use. I think it s proving more difficult 
than they anticipated. That s what it was purchased for with 
public funds, and that s what it absolutely has to be used for. 
There s no question that they need to proceed. 

Chall: You are still planning, as you were before, to harvest salt 

Douglass : 

Douglass : 

We don t harvest salt there, 
them south to Newark. 

We concentrate brines and move 

That s part of the process of salt production there. So that s 
not changing at all. 


So you re attending the planning meetings because your interest 
is in keeping that land and that water pure for what you need 
to use it for. 

Douglass: That s true. They have an interest in bringing more bay water 
into the site and an interest in relocating some of our 
facilities which the agreement provides for, at their cost, to 
make their restoration project more manageable or easier, so we 
have that sort of relationship. The project seems to be moving 
slowly. We are not really part of the process. We hear from 
them infrequently. I really can t tell you what stage they re 
at now. 

Chall: They have maps to show various places where different types of 
water will go and what kind of wildlife it will be suited for. 
They seem to have several options. 

Douglass: It looked as though they were leaning towards one option, but I 
wasn t sure they ve selected that option. 

Chall: We ll know sooner or later. How do you think it s going to 

work out? These young men and womenthese scientists it is 
part of their mission to make this work. Is it a learning 

Douglass: I think a project this size is a learning experience. I think 
they re somewhat handicapped with lack of funding for the next 
phase. Projects this size are not inexpensive in any way you 


approach them. I don t know that there s sufficient funding 
available, but that s my own opinion. 

Chall: I noticed when I was at the last meeting that they were 

concerned they had only $1.3 million to spend, and they didn t 
think that they could do what they wanted to do with that 
amount of money. I just wondered who s deciding how much money 
they can have. You don t know that? 

Douglass: I don t know that. 

Chall: Just within the last week the Oliver property, next to the 
Baumberg Tract, that Thorpe could never get hold of is now 
being planned partly for development and partly to remain open. 
[Proposition HH, See Appendix D] How do you think that s going 
to impact any of this? 

Douglass: I don t think it ll impact it at all. I think a well-designed 
project would have fit nicely next to the Baumberg Tract. I 
don t think that that s an issue. 

Chall: We ve got a little time left, 
like to add? 

Do you have anything that you d 

Douglass: No. 

Chall: I really appreciate your time. 
Thank you very much. 

It s been a good interview. 

Transcriber : 
Final Typist: 

Gary Varney 
Shannon Page 


Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

California Water Resources Oral History Series 


Steve Foreman 


An Interview conducted by 

Malca Chall 

in 1998 

Copyright O 2000 by The Regents of the University of California 









Background: Education and Career 179 

Requirements for the Environmental Impact Reports/Statements 183 

Interpreting the Endangered Species Act 188 

Mitigation and Jeopardy 192 

Trying to Achieve a Balance Between Habitat and Species Needs 196 

Predation and the Fences 197 

Further Research: Reconsidering Mitigation and Jeopardy 199 

Acquisition by the California Wildlife Conservation Board 201 
The Selection Process: RMI Wins the Bid; Steve Foreman 

Project Manager 203 

Restoration Project Staff 205 

Many Factors Involved with Restoration 206 

Other Restorations Projects Around the Bay 212 



Steve Foreman, after receiving a degree in wildlife management 
from Humboldt State University, in 1976, worked briefly with the Bureau 
of Land Management. From 1978 to the present he has worked in and 
around the San Francisco Bay Area focusing on environmental projects. 

An employee of WESCO (Western Ecological Services Company), he was 
responsible, from 1985-1987, for the preparation of the "Biological 
Assessment for the Proposed Shorelands Project." His research provided 
much of the data crucial to the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service to deny John Thorpe a permit to build his racetrack/business 
venture, Shorelands, on the Baumberg Tract. In 1996, the California 
Wildlife Conservation Board purchased the site, now known as the Eden 
Landing Ecological Reserve, in order to establish it as a wildlife 
habitat for several endangered species. Currently, Steve Foreman is 
Wildlife Biologist Project Manager for this restoration project. 

We divided the two-hour interview, recorded in my home on March 
11, 1998, into two segments: during the first hour we discussed Steve 
Foreman s work as the lead biologist for the EIR/EIS on the Shorelands 
Project. He explained clearly the rationale behind the environmental 
impact studies, and discussed how he used background sources and 
extensive field work to formulate the biological assessment. Coming as 
it did after my interviews with John Thorpe and Robert Douglass, Mr. 
Foreman was able to respond to a number of the questions they raised 
concerning the need for the environmental regulations; the relationship 
between the developers, the scientists within the agencies who had 
authority to grant or deny permits, and the citizen activists whose 
opinions seemed to carry great weight. His interview provided the links 
to my upcoming sessions with Karen Weissmann and with Carl Wilcox. 
During the second hour he outlined the complex problems and 
possibilities the restoration staff face in their endeavors to create a 
wildlife preserve on the former Baumberg Tract. 

Steve Foreman returned his lightly edited transcript with a few 
added corrections and clarifications. His careful analysis of what is 
involved in bidding on and obtaining contracts to do EIR/EIS studies, in 
acquiring and analyzing data, and in dealing with others involved in the 
processes provide insights into how and why a development project like 
Shorelands or a restoration project like the Eden Landing Ecological 
Reserve may take many years to reach a final outcome. 

The Regional Oral History Office was established in 1954 to 
augment through tape-recorded memoirs the Library s materials on the 
history of California and the West. Copies of all interviews are 
available for research use in The Bancroft Library and in the UCLA 


Department of Special Collections. The office is under the direction of 
Willa K. B ium, Division Head, and the administrative direction of 
Charles B. Faulhaber, James D. Hart Director of The Bancroft Library, 
University of California, Berkeley. 

Malca Chall 
Interviewer /Editor 

January 2000 

Regional Oral History Office 

University of California at Berkeley 


Regional Oral History Office 
Room 486 The Bancroft Library 

University of California 
Berkeley, California 9A720 

(Please write clearly. Use black ink.) 

Your full name 

Date of birth 


Father s full name 

\ A \ 

Birthplace K- v*? 6.|y ; C A 

Occupation 5</Jit,c. ^Ai^UgO OuJ*Jc/- Birthplace BouJ>W.S >k. Wiv^fl 

Mother s full name p \prex)ce \\oO 
Occupation V 


Rfee/> T Birthplace ^Ao-fkcl Tree ; 

Your spouse (V\q r iL ,0 

Occupation E \gyy\V 



Your children 

Where did you grow up? k. 

Present community I^ t r 



(fV t^JJ-i I 

ZL< <^ 6 . 

.i 0JLttu- 



Areas of expertise Hfrbrt-4~ 

Other interests or activities Mt/-0 n**< / ^-iS,v\.*J< 

Organizations in which you are active four 





[Date of Interview: March 11, 1998] |# 

Background: Education and Career 

Chall: What I d like to do first is to find out something about your own 
background: where you grew up and where you went to school and 
how you happened to be involved in this kind of work? 

Foreman: Okay. Well, I was born in King City, California, and lived there 
until I was about six or seven- -something like that six, I 
believe. Then moved to San Jose about 1960, and grew up there 
until I went to college in 1971. And in 71 I went to Humboldt 
State University at Arcata. Graduated there in 1976, with a 
degree in wildlife management. From there I went to work for the 
Bureau of Land Management as a seasonal worker for a couple of 
years . 

Chall: Right here in the area? 

Foreman: That was in eastern Montana. They transplanted a native 
California coastal boy to the prairies. 

Chall: Right. 

Foreman: And then I started working back in the Bay Area in, probably, 
February of 78. I was looking for part time work, seasonal 
work, any work I could get! I happened to stop at the company 
called Western Ecological Services [WESCO] . The company doesn t 
exist any more. It was bought by Resource Management 

## This symbol indicates that a tape or tape segment has begun or 
ended. A guide to the tapes follows the transcript. 


International [RMI], who I work for now. 2 A number of years ago 
I stopped in there; they needed somebody for a couple of days and 
I have sort of been there for twenty years. 

Chall: So Resource Management International bought out WESCO? 

Foreman: Right. Bought WESCO in, I believe, 1992. Kept it as a separate 
company until 1995, and then we merged together with the 
environmental group in their Sacramento headquarters where 
they re based--RMI, environmental division. 

Chall: So you ve been with that one company, then, all of these years? 
Foreman: Since 78, yes. 

Chall: And doing the kind of work that you are doing now, with respect 
to Baumberg? You know, the biological assessment kinds of 

Foreman: Yes, basically. It s a variety of types of projects. A lot of 

the work has been focused around the edge of the Bay. A majority 
of our work has been in the Bay Area, but it goes from bay, to 
ridgetop, to wherever, for our residential developments. We 
work, you know, with power lines, with reservoirs, highways, open 
space groups. 

Chall: Now, I see that RMI is really all over the country, if not all 
over the world. 

Foreman: Yes. They re an international corporation. 

Chall: They re in England, in Denmark, Australia, and Czech Republic. 
Have you gone abroad with them? 

Foreman: No, I haven t. The majority of RMI s work is in the energy 
development field. 

Chall: Energy development? 

Foreman: Yes, like electrical energy. Two other things, but the majority 
of their work is related to electrical energy production, 
regulation, how it works, particularly like right now, with all 
the deregulation that s going on. That s a big part of the work 
that they do. 

2 Shortly after this interview, Mr. Foreman went on the staff of ISA 
Associates, Inc. [April 1998]; he continues to work on Baumberg 


Chall: That has nothing to do with nature, the environment? 

Foreman: Very little. We were purchased by RMI, or WESCO was purchased by 
RMI, I d say in 92 with, I think, the basic idea that we could 
somewhat support ourselves. Do our own work, but we would be 
kind of like a captive subconsultant to them for doing 
environmental work as it came up. The founder of RMI dreamed up 
this idea or saw this need to construct a high voltage power line 
to bring energy out of the northwest from the production end to 
central California. So a lot of RMI was involved with designing, 
building, permitting this power line that runs from southern 
Oregon down into Tracy. And at the time that we were purchased, 
they were actively starting construction of that line. So we 
provided some of the monitoring, the mitigation requirements, 
that were to do with that power line. 

Chall: I see. That s interesting. Now, I m going to read the title 
page of your report on your study of the Baumberg Tract, June 
1987. [See following page] "Biological Assessment for the 
Proposed Shorelands Project," Hayward, Alameda County, 
California. Then it goes on: Prepared for U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers San Francisco District Under Contract to: Cole/Mills 
Associates, in Martinez, followed by Prepared by: WESCO. 
[laughter] How does that all work out? 

Foreman: Okay, WESCO was a subconsultant to Cole/Mills Associates. 

Chall: And they are still in existence? 

Foreman: Not as that. 

Chall: I see. 

Foreman: But there s still a Mills Associates. Carolyn Mills works out 

of--I believe her office is still in Martinez. Carolyn Cole was 
a partner. It was basically two women running a business. 
Eventuallyactually during ShorelandsCarolyn Cole left that 
group and came to work for WESCO and stayed there for a number of 
years. Carolyn s currently with a traffic planning group. I 
can t remember if its--I think it used to be the Goodrich Traffic 
Group or something like that. Now it s something else. 3 

Chall: I see. So there s no more Cole/Mills Associates. 

Foreman: No, but Carolyn was the main manager-coordinator for the EIR/EIS 
for Shorelands. Basically, their group was a small partnership. 

3 The Crane Transportation Group, 



Prepared for: 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
San Francisco District 

Under Contract to: 

Cole/Mil Is Associates 
1110 Alhambra Avenue 
Martinez, California 94553 

Prepared by: 

Western Ecological Services Company (WESCO) 
14 Gal 1 1 Drive, Suite A 
Novato, California 94947 
(415) 883-6425 

June 1987 
CMA 8401 


And they tended to sub out the specialty areas. And if they 
needed biologists they would hire a biological firm or an 
individual. They worked a lot with Sam McGinnis who s a 
professor at Hayward State [University] and who did some of the 
earlier work on Baumberg. And then they d contract for traffic 
consultants, historians, whoever they happened to need. 

So when the Shorelands came along, the city of Hayward 
published an RFP, that s a Request for Proposals, to have 
independent contractors come in and prepare the environmental 
documentation for the Shorelands Project. Essentially, its a 
third partyit s supposed to be a third party- -document . 
Carolyn [Cole] had done some early planning studies for John 
Thorpe in the early eighties, like I would say 81, 82. 

Chall: Oh, when he was just beginning? 

Foreman: When he was just beginning. And I think that Sam McGinnis s 

early bird studies were done like in 1982 or something like that, 
under contract to Carolyn. When the RFP came out, there were 
some other issues and plus the time frame was something Sam 
couldn t doshe requested that we join their team to bid on the 
project. And when she was ultimately selected--! think that was 
around 1985 the first work I remember doing at that time was 
trapping for salt marsh harvest mice. 1 believe it was summer of 

Chall: That s what I think this report indicates. And because you were 
working for WESCO at the time, they assigned you to the project? 

Foreman: Right. I was the primary field biologist of the company. 

Chall: Who is Greg R. Zitney, who was listed on the staff as the 

Principle/Certified Wildlife Biologist, Project Manager and 
technical review? 

Foreman: Greg was one of the main owners of the firm. There were 

basically three primary partners at that time. It was Greg, 
another man, Scott Cressey [spells], and then a Jeff Peters. 

Chall: So they are with RMI, now, is that it? 

Foreman: No. They were the owners of WESCO. Jeff left WESCO in the late 
eighties. I don t remember the exact year, went to another firm 
and sold his interest. When RMI bought WESCO in 1992, it was 
because Greg wanted out of the business. He was basically the 
majority shareholder-president of the firm. So he left the firm 
then and Scott is actually still with RMI. 




And Kirk Ford, Wildlife Biologist, was about at your level? 
were listed as Principal Certified Wildlife Biologist. 






Yes. Somewhere in the--I don t even remember that day or year, 
it had to beprobably about "87 I would guess--! was made a 
principal of the firm, given a small portion of the stock, I 
think like 3 percent, or something. That put me in charge of a 
number of biologists. Greg dealt pretty much more with 
promotional activities, administrative activities. I dealt a lot 
with the coordination of the field work, report progress, and 
that sort of thing. 

So it would look as if you were in charge? 

I was probably more the direct day-to-day manager, where Greg had 
the more administrative authority. And we also tried to have a 
policy where everything that we prepared was really read by one 
of the three main principals. 

All right. I ve got that one solved. Now, when you were given 
this assignment, had you known much about that area, the Baumberg 

No, very little. 

So you go out, in this case, not knowing the area and with no 
particular mindset? Is that correct, generally speaking? 

Correct. Yes, we re basically hired to developprepare 
information on an independent basis: evaluate itwhatever the 
environmental effects werereport it. And again, it was a joint 
document between the city of Hayward as the California state lead 
agency. The document [EIR] was a joint document with a federal 
document, the EIS. The Corps of Engineers was the lead agency 
there; they pretty much deferred everything to the city. 

Requirements for the Environmental Impact Reports /Statements 

Chall: While you were doing this study, what was going on with respect 
to the EIR/EIS? I ve never been quite sure which comes first in 
this kind of case. 

Foreman: Well, they were prepared at the same time. 
Chall: With your data? 


Foreman: With a lot of people s data, right. The difference between the 
twothere are some differences in the type or level of 
information you have to put into an EIR versus an EIS. EISs are 
required for major federal actions. And the big difference is 
that EIS has to look at alternatives to projects and with a fair 
amount of detailtheoretically, the same level of detail as the 
proposed project. So if there are other sites or other potential 
uses, you re supposed to treat each one of those alternatives 

Under CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act, you 
don t have to do that level of detail for all of the 
alternatives. Typically, you look at the main project, you 
analyze that at great detail and then alternatives are addressed, 
but usually at a much lesser detail. So the joint document 
basically meant that you have to expand the analysis of the 
alternatives that are available. And there are some timing 
differences on public comments that you can integrate into making 
one single document. 

A lot of our early work was to develop some baseline 
information. Sam McGinnis had done some bird studies looking at 
water bird use of the various ponds out there. There was also a 
lot of information available from the Department of Fish and Game 
and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They used to fly and 
count birds all around the Bay Area. Again, our principal role 
was to initially come in and deal with the harvest mice. We were 
one of the few groups that were permitted to trap and look for 
the mouse. You had to have some special federal permits and I 
think, at that time, there was only our firm and one other. 

Chall: That could do the trapping? 
Foreman: That had the permits. 

Chall: So when you began a study of this kind did you study the 
literature that was available? I noticed that you have a 
bibliography. Then you do your field work? 

Foreman: Yes. We look at what information s available. Specific 

information then was pretty much the work that Sam McGinnis had 
done on this preliminary analysis from like 82 to "83. We 
looked at the site developed and said, "Okay, this is the 
additional information we need." and generated that. And again, 
I think that was "85. I don t think there was an actual there 
was a break from 85 to later, before we really got going on the 


EIR/EIS. I don t think that was prepared until 87. 4 The EIR 
was designed to address the public. It s basically public 
interest review. So that the facts, the environmental effects of 
a project, are presented for people to review and comment on; so 
they know. It s an information document, it s not a decision 
document . 

Chall: And the E1S is? 

Foreman: The EIS is essentially an information document so that people can 
make and form decisions. The later work, like the biological 
assessment and other things, they re designed to address specific 
regulatory requirements, be it the biological opinions or the 
federal Endangered Species Act. That s a specific requirement, 
under the consultation requirements that the corps [Corps of 
Engineers] or any federal agency has to do with the Fish and 
Wildlife Service. And it really only has to address the project 
that has been proposed. 

Chall: So that, in effect, is what you did in this particular project 
report that I have right here in front of me. When you were 
doing this study, you also, in your report, dealt not only with 
the harvest mouse but the clapper rail and the snowy plover. And 
what was the other bird? 

Foreman: The main ones were those. The least tern, that was a concern. 

Chall: As you were working, doing your own study, were you also having 

some relationships, in terms of gaining information, with Hayward 
officials, city officials, like Martin Storm and others? 

Foreman: I didn t have a tremendous amount of interaction with the city 
officials, that would have been mostly Carolyn Cole. 

Chall: Well, what about John Thorpe? Was he, at the time you were 

working on this, was he revising his mitigation plans from time 
to time? 

Foreman: Yes, there was a lot, a tremendous amount of interaction between 
the people working on the EIR and Thorpe s group and Johnand 
also with some of his employees. Probably more than is typical. 
Usually it depends on the jurisdiction. A lot of jurisdictions 
limit the amount of interaction that a third party EIR consultant 
has with the actual project applicant. 

The draft EIR/EIS report, "The Shorelands, 1 
Associates, is dated March 1987. 

prepared by Cole/Mills 


In Hayward s case, I think, basically we dealt most directly 
with John and his group. The money went to the city, came to us; 
the proposal would go from us for work, back to the city, to 
John. He would approve them. So the money always flowed through 
the city, or 99 percent. There were a couple of things, I think, 
they had us do separate because they didn t want to deal with the 
contracting issues. 

Chall: I think that John Thorpe also paid for this study? 

Foreman: Yes. The developers always end up paying the cost of these 

studies. And, in fact, what they usually do is they pay above 
what the consultant contract is, because the city is taking some 
percentage to manage it and deal with it. But in this case, I 
think that was pretty much of a--a lot--a tremendous amount of 
work was done with the significant involvement of John Thorpe and 
his group. 

Chall: Which means that when you were concerned with mitigation, as you 
were all the way through here, you were dealing with mitigation 
as it might be revised from time to time? 

Foreman: Yes. Through the EIR, particularly, we identified what we 

believed to be impacts. You know, there were also comments from 
the various agencies about what they were concerned about, so all 
that was incorporated into the EIR. 

Chall: That means that you had personal interaction with, let s say, 
Peter Sorensen [U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service]? 

Foreman: Right. 

Chall: Paul Kelly [California State Department of Fish and Game]? 

Foreman: Yes, they were the two main people. I m trying to remember also 
from the Fish and Wildlife ServiceKaren Miller was probably 

Chall: And their agencies had already in the past come out with their 

own plans for the restoration of endangered species in that area? 

Foreman: Well, I think what you re referring to, which is commented upon a 
lot in the documents, is the recovery plan for the harvest mouse 
and clapper rail. That was a joint document. Another 
requirement of the Endangered Species Act is that the service is 
supposed to develop these recovery plans. And it s a pretty 
broad planning document. They go throughthey identify areas 
that they believe should be returned to habitat for whatever 
species. And they tend to designate areas that are essential for 


that. There are a variety of terms that they use. And the 
Baumberg Tract did fall into an area that they saw as critical to 
the recovery of the species. I think the reality of that 
document is probably all of the historic bay lands that were 
undeveloped, all the existing salt ponds, fell into that 

Chall: My understanding is that at the end that played a very important 
part in the decision, the jeopardy decision in 1992. At the time 
what were you dealing with? 

Foreman: We were dealing with--a large part withwhat were the potential 
direct impacts. The definition of jeopardy relies both on--it s 
really directed to two elements. One is survival of the species, 
and to argue you re going to cause something that is going to 
cause the species to go extinct. That s the primary test. There 
is a secondary test: Are you affecting the potential recovery of 
the species? But I don t believe you can base a jeopardy on the 
fact that what you re doing would prohibit recovery by itself. 
There s a lot of legal terms on that one. It s a difficult 
concept. It gets debated by lots of lawyers. 

Chall: [laughter] I can believe that because this is really an 

interesting study in the law, the vagaries, the permits- 
Foreman: Yes, there were a lot of other things that we did relating to 

other laws for that project, not just endangered species issues. 
One of the elements we worked on was a jurisdictional 
determination for the corps. Even though the corps was lead 
agencythey started off, you know, requiring an EIS--there had 
never been an official jurisdictional determination on site. 
What was the geographic limits of their jurisdiction? So that 
was another study we did. 

That led into some other work. Oh, there were some cases 
going on where Leslie Salt at the time, which is now Cargill 
was involved in some suit with the corps over determining corps 
jurisdictions, Section 404 jurisdiction, over some salt ponds 
over in Newark, I believe. And there was some language in the 
case when it first came out: it was the first verdict where the 
judge s decision had some comments that the land could not grow 
plants. You couldn t call it a wetland. John got into this- -dug 
out his chemistry book. 

This is one of the things because down here it is so salty 
that there weren t very many plants growing. So we did this big 
study looking at the chemical characteristics of the soils 
throughout the whole area, basically to show that it was too 
salty in a lot areas to grow plants. That was largely what we 


came out with, 

So his conclusion was that, well, those weren t 

Chall: In other words, it s not wetlands if you couldn t grow anything-- 

Foreman: If you couldn t grow plants. So technically, you couldn t call 

it a wetland. That was the [Section] 404 definition. There were 
some other broader def initions--that you really don t need plants 
to function as a wetland. John tended to ignore that and we 
launched off on this great soil study to look at those 
relationships. The map didn t change. The amount that we mapped 
that was actual Section 404 Clean Water Act of wetlands was 
relatively small, but most of the rest of the area was 
jurisdictional because it ponded water for an extended period of 
time and was used by migratory birds. And those are some other 
classifications of Waters of the United States which came under-- 

Chall: Which came later than the boats? 

Foreman: Yes. But that was a fun, interesting study. Didn t help John 

any, but he was bound and determined not to use the word wetlands 
wherever he could. 

Interpreting the Endangered Species Act 

Chall: Well, let s just analyze a bit what is in your report 
respect to the harvest raouse-- 


Chall: With the mouseone of the statements in here is that, "The 

majority of the project area, however, was historically tidal 
salt marsh and, as such, likely supported large populations of 
small mammals, including the salt marsh harvest mouse." [p. 18] 

And there we have the word, "likely." 

"Although isolated populations, such as occurs at the 
Shorelands project area, likely suffer from inbreeding, they may 
be important in preserving unique genetic characteristics..." 
[p. 19] 

What I find here is the word "likely." Let s just start 
here with the word "likely." 


Foreman: Biologists hate to make commitments. [laughter] If we weren t 
there, didn t see it, we always like to hedge our bets. That s 
probably the best explanation. Again, the issue with what the 
historic conditions were: a lot of the historic information about 
the Bay is very sketchy, so we make the assumption that if it was 
within the areas that had been mapped as tidal wetlands, it 
probably was habitat. By inference, they re there now, so they 
most likely were then. 

Chall: Even though you trapped only a very few mice in that whole area? 

Foreman: The issue would be that the area was so radically changed from 
its historic conditions. Like, you know, at one point Eden 
Landing was established there. Boats could come up, basically to 
where Eden Landing Road is now. A lot of that land was diked for 
salt production and the channels silted in. So actually most of 
what we have now for marsh in the areas that we trapped were 
really open water in historic times, in the 1800s. So it s an 
assumption based on what we anticipate used to be either with the 
records, or-- 

Chall: Therefore, you decided that, "Purchase and donation of existing 
habitats would meet some of the goals outlined in the salt marsh 
harvest mouse recovery plan (F.W.S. 1984b) but would yield no 
direct long-term gains in habitat value." [p. 20] 

And you wrote that there would be long-term loss. So the 
concern was that while there was nothing much there, the long- 
term loss, the recovery- 
Foreman: The recovery aspect-- 
Chall: Was important. 
Foreman: Was important. 

Chall: Because it could be--as you re doing now, you could change the 
habitat and recover? 

Foreman: Yes, I guess. And I think a lot of the justification for Fish 
and Game going forward with purchasing the land has certainly 
been to implement the recovery aspects for the mouse and clapper 

Chall: Now, let s see, we have sort of taken care of the mouse problem. 
Unless you want to say a little bit more about it. With respect 
to predation, that was a concern with the mouse and-- 

Foreman: Well, with all the species. 


Chall: Well, let s go to the least tern. 

It was classified as endangered by the Fish and Wildlife 
Service and then also by the Department of Fish and Game so it 
was considered quite important. 

Foreman: The mouse was also state and federally listed. 

Chall: And you describe very well, and I guess you need to, with charts 
and very careful language, how they live. You would get this 
information from somebody, say, McGinnis, or [Leora] Feeney, or 
other people? 

Foreman: A lot of the least tern information came from Leora. Most of the 
birds the least terns there were nesting up around the Oakland 
Airport and the Alameda Naval Air Station. They would come down 
here after nesting to do what they called a staging area, pre- 
migratory, post-fledging staging area. So Leora was hired, I 
- think, maybe by the Department of Fish and Game. I think she was 
under contract with them to do a lot of the monitoring and 
evaluation work. 

Chall: I see. So her report is included. 

Foreman: Everything is. Every piece of information that we got from her, 
what we gleaned from other sources, the literature about the 
values, information from Fish and Game, and the Fish and Wildlife 
Service would be incorporated in all of these documents. 

Chall: We were talking about the least tern. This is page 32 of your 
report. "Construction of the proposed Shorelands development 
would not directly impact known colonial nesting areas of least 
tern, however, construction and operation of the project could 
significantly affect the pre-migratory staging area immediately 
west of the project site." And you go onwhat the problem was 
possibly, as we saidpredators. 

Foreman: Primarily, it was the predators, if I recall. 
Chall: And then, the clapper rail. 

Foreman: The clapper rail, in many instances, is very similar to the 

harvest mouse. Essentially they re both San Francisco Bay tidal 
marsh endemic species. This is the only place they occur, at 
least that subspecies of clapper rail. Clapper rails are a 
little more sensitive than the mice in that they seem to be 
pretty restricted to tidal areas. They need the tidal action and 
the fluctuation of the water to provide the food sources that 
they need and the plant cover that they nest in. The harvest 










mice can do pretty well in altered places, areas that have been 
diked that have altered conditions. 

Here, on page 33, you say, "Adjacent salt ponds (including the 
proposed Shorelands development site) are identified in the plan 
as having a high potential for restoration, and currently are 
being threatened 1 with development." That s also noted as from 
Fish and Wildlife ServicePeter Sorensen, personal 
communication . 

So the clapper rail seems to be important, 
been an important loss there. 

It might have 

Yes, and in particular, with an aspect of recovery for the site, 
itself. The predation, or indirect impacts, are a major problem 
with the clapper rail. They are more endangered than the mouse; 
their habitat is more limited. And they re very subject to 
ground predators like cats, red fox, and other things like that. 

Yes, that s what is here on your report, on page 37 with respect 
to predation. So, basically, those are the three important 
areas . 

They were the three listed species at the time. 

The plover? 

The plover certainly was a candidate at that time, 
finally listed as threatened a few years ago. 

It was 

So that s why, in your restoration project, you re quite 
concerned with the plover. That s the snowy plover, right? 

Right. As a candidate species, like the plover was then, it has 
no protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. There s 
no regulatory mechanism to say, "You can t do this because you re 
impacting a plover." We typically include, and the Fish and 
Wildlife Service typically requests, that you include candidates, 
so that you ve addressed all that. So that if the species gets 
listed before the project s done, or even in the middle of your 
permit process, you re not going to have to start over again. 

On page 45 of your report you write, "The Applicant has proposed 
creating several snowy plover nesting islands, totalling 
approximately 17.2 acres. Another 10 to 15 acres of islands 
would also be constructed as part of the proposed brine shrimp 


Mitigation and Jeopardy 









Now, there you re dealing with his mitigation proposals? 
Right . 

With respect to the mitigation in the long term-- (page 70)-- 
you re now sort of at the summary of your report: "The 
Applicant s plan alsjo includes the purchase of approximately 332 
acres of existing tidal salt marsh habitat at the mouth of the 
old Alameda Creek." Also, "Donation of the salt marsh meets some 
of the Fish and Wildlife Service s goals described in the Salt 
Marsh Harvest Mouse and California Clapper Rail Recovery Plan, 
but provides no direct, long-term gain in habitat value to offset 
project impacts." 

Was this important at that time? I know that you have a 
restoration plan now because of mitigation off site. Was he 
required to mitigate all of this off site, at the time? 

Well, he would have only been required if he had been approved. 
It would have been whatever the agencies ultimately required. 
Again, our job here was to analyze his proposal and make 
suggestions. And the conclusion to what you re reading there, 
was that what he had proposed addresses some of the issues but 
not all of the issues related to the impacts to the listed 

Of course, one of the problems was that he was "mitigating" or 
planning to mitigate on land that he probably didn t own. 

Didn t own or control. 

Or control. And might not get, like the Oliver property which he 
was never able to get hold of or adjacent gun clubs. That was 
also uncertain. 

Yes. And John had a lot of --there was a lot of discussion at 
that time that he didn t have that other property. And a lot of 
the areas that we looked at were owned by Leslie [Salt]. 

And you weren t sure that they were going to commit? 

Right. And they basically stated that they weren t sure that 
they would commit. But they also had made statements that if 
they did get approved, that they probably would. It was in their 
long-term interest. Leslie has always hadand now Cargill--has 
always had an interest in seeing development in their salt 


production ponds. It increases the value of the lands for them. 
So it s a commodity. And I think a lot of what went on with 
Shorelands and their dealing with John was that he was the first ; 
really big project to try to go through the federal gauntlet to 
get approvals to do that. 

Chall: That was quite a bitthe hurdles were incredible. 

Foreman: Right. And John, he was a very good salesman. He had a very 

strong presence and didn t want to take no for an answer. One of 
the things I always remember about John was that when the first 
jeopardy opinion came out for the four species from the Fish and 
Wildlife Service, he thought it was a positive letter. We 
weren t quite sure of that. But I just sort of remember being in 
a meeting in that big old office he had in San Lorenzo. And he 
said, "This has many positive aspects." 

Chall: Well, that s great. And he hung on for another four years. 
There has been some concern that the people in the agencies 
having to do with the EIR or EIS, that maybe theythe Fish and 
Wildlife Servicewere hostile to John and his project, and would 
never have given it to him. In fact, some people feel that they 
really wanted to bankrupt him, and did. Do you think there was 
that much hostility toward John and his project? 

Foreman: I don t know if it was that or inadvertent. But I d say that s a 
pretty typical technique that the government will use. They very 
seldomly come out and say, "No, we just won t permit this." And 
a final tactic, not only of the agencies but a lot of 
environmental groups, is just to string something out until 
people go away. And I think it was, in part, John s fault. 
There are time frames for getting specific answers like a 
jeopardy opinion. He would string out asking for that answer. 

Chall: Setting up new mitigation? 

Foreman: Change ideas. We d go through he was trying to deal with stuff 
in compartments: you know, "Let s deal with what the city wants. 
We ll deal with the feds here. There s some overlap, but we 
won t ask for this consultation." If you ask for a consultation 
with the biological assessment, there s a document that it s part 
of --what they call a Section Seven Consultation Process. 
Technically, the Fish and Wildlife Service is supposed to give 
you a yes or no answer in 135 days. So that was always kind of 
pushed out there. The only reason why we ultimately did it, I 
think, in whatever articles in 87 was that the corps required it 
to be addressed as part of the EIS. And those results 
incorporated into the EIS. 


("hall: You have a mitigation chart here [page 71, table 3] which 

indicates just about everyat that timeproposal that "he d 
made, and then the advantages and the disadvantages. One of the 
aspects that I noticednumber onewas the proposed purchase of 
332 acres. And the disadvantage was that, "There would be no 
direct long-term gain in habitat value to offset project 
impacts." That was number one on your list, which, I guess, 
always was crucial. 

Foreman: Yes. Basically, he was just buying sometaing that was already 

there. And in my opinion and a lot of people s opinions--! guess 
since its in our document our firm s opinion was there was 
already existing safeguards for that habitat. Yes, the [Fish and 
Wildlife] Service wanted to acquire and protect those. So that 
was the one goal we were meeting. Whether he would have met it 
as part of the recovery plan but protecting existing habitat 
doesn t give you any restorative value. There s nothing added to 
what s lost. 

Chall: Then there were other items here with respect, let s say, to the 
brine shrimp feeding pond. You claim that it s an "experimental 
design and operation; long-term maintenance and operational costs 
and commitment; island loss through wave erosion." 

But I noticed that several of your disadvantages dealt with 
costs: costs of maintenance, high acquisition costs. And I 
wondered why you would be concerned with the costs? After all, 
John, if he wanted to put the money into it, could do it. 

Foreman: There s always a concern. Developers are always willing to put 

up money, but one of the things is that John never identified his 
source. Developers will identify and will often pay to start 
something, usually because they re building and they still need 
permits, so they comply very well with permit conditions. But 
once something s up and running--. He never identified a 
mechanism that would fund that cost. Because it was for managed 
systems. He never said how he would deal with it, you know: was 
it going to be an assessment district on the development; would 
there have been an endowment? He never addressed that issue. 

So without some identification of a way to pay for it, just 
for somebody to actually go out and make sure they manage these 
systems, it s a big concern. If you don t have that management 
aspect, the system that you would have set up wouldn t work. And 
then you ve lost whatever mitigation you might have got from 
that. That s why what we re trying to with Baumberg, now, is to 
design it so we can get by with as minimal maintenance as 


Chall: When you were finished, June 1987, did you then have any opinions 
which you didn t have when you started out with respect to 
Shorelands? Was it viable in terms of wildlife management? 

Foreman: I think I always felt that there was a potential with enough 

money and resources to develop a system that would replace the 
use and values that would have been lost from water birds, for 
endangered species. It would have been, I think, certainly 
feasible to go out to restore enough habitat to show a net 
benefit to the species over time, based on what they have now 
with no changes and continued degradation of existing habitat. 
So some restoration, better management of the salt ponds 
certainly could increase bird use out there to offset what they 
would lose from this unmanaged site. And I think that, 
certainly, was a conclusion, I believe, we expressed in the 
EIR/EIS, that you could deal with this loss of use or value to 
the wildlife. 

The issue that couldn t be addressed, which I still believe 
is valuable, is that he could never replace that space, that 
element for recovery, the "acreage." That was something that he 
could not replace or did not try to address. 

Chall: Yes, he could have replaced it, I suppose, by going across the 
Bay, to Bair Island? [See Appendix D] 

Foreman: Right, but Bair Island, again, is an existing area with the same 
similar values. 

Chall: So, it s pretty hard, then, to develop something that isn t 
already around the Bay? 

Foreman: Yes. This segment of the Bay, from San Jose to the Bay Bridge- 
space is critical. There aren t really any large blocks left 
that aren t functioning in some value. There s a little bit of 
land down around San Jose that has some potential, I guess. But 
it s very expensive land, now. John had explored going up into 
Napa, Petaluma River, pieces of San Pablo Bay. There, there are 
a lot of historic bay lands that are currently farmed. And that 
could have given you this "wetland" space back. Except, the use 
and values of the wetlands of the North Bay are very different 
than down here. There s a difference of species that use that 
area versus the South Bay. 

Chall: So actually, if he were to mitigate off site, he would have had 
to mitigate for the mouse, the rail, the plover, the very ones 
that are endangered here? 



Now, while the mouse and the rail occur up there, too--you 
probably could have got the mouse and railwell, actually it s a 
different subspecies of mouse up there than is down there. And 
the one in the southern Bay is a lot scarcer, more endangered 
than the one in the North Bay, it s assumed. So it is a real 
geographic problem in the availability of land. 

Trying to Achieve a Balance Between Habitat and Species Needs 

Foreman: And the other issue, which to be honest with you, everybody is 

still struggling with even to this day, is that if you are doing 
something within the remaining bay lands, which to a large part 
are salt ponds; values are there; you affect some other value 
that it has. That s the issue still bothering us. "Okay, we 
restore this to tidal marsh; we re affecting the values this has 
for shorebirds, waterfowl." 

Chall: Ah, nature! It s pretty hard to fool around with nature, and 
make sure that what you are doing is going to work? 

Foreman: Yes, it s a balancing act. There s a whole process going on 

right now trying to develop a set of goals for the Bay ecosystem, 
and it s a major balancing act. We ve had, oh god, it s been 
going on for two or three years. And we ve had some big meetings 
over the last six months: big groups of different individuals 
talking, "Oh, this is what we want to see." Well, to do that, 
you effect this, and so it s a real balancing act. How much can 
you restore without wrecking--? 

Chall: Well, you can do nothing. But it you do nothing, something will 
happen even if you do nothing, won t it? 

Foreman: Well, even doing nothing is doing something. But it s probably 
the wrong thing because even if you let the Bay kind of go, the 
quality will degrade over time. We re not doing anything to 
recover the mouse, the clapper railthey need more space, they 
need more habitat, they re pretty pushed from a lot of different 
factors! So something s got to give. And its where can you find 
that balance to get them a little more habitat, a little more 
secure versus how you might affect birds that are more mobile, 
and not as endangered. 


Predation and the Fences 

Chall: I just want to get into one more aspect of this report of yours. 
You talk about predation and you have pictures here of, you know, 
fences, the so-called "vaulting varmit" fence. The ideas for the 
fences, I gather, came from Richard Murray Associates. Is that 

Foreman: And John. 

Chall: John and Richard Murray. Now, you looked at it, but as far as I 
can tell, you didn t do any experimentation with it? 

Foreman: Later, there was. 

Chall: But did you do it? Did WESCO do it? 

Foreman: Yes. 

Chall: I wondered whether you were involved in trapping the rats and 
putting up the fences. And yes, you did? 

Foreman: Yes. 

Chall: Well, tell me about it. 

Foreman: Yes, that was one of the things with John, you know. A lot of 
the concern from the agencies was that he would go in and say, 
"Well, you know, we can build this." Their response was, "Prove 
it." So that s how the fence thing came up. 

He and Richard came up with the designs for these fences 
that he would build around the development to keep everything 
inside; nothing would get out. So the agency said, "Prove it." 

Chall: Which agencies? 

Foreman: Fish and Wildlife Service, principally, I think at this time. 
Since they had listed the jeopardy opinion, they had the big 
hammer. That was the primary group of people that we were 
dealing with. 

So they built the fences. We conducted the studies for 
them, you know, again, third party studies. I don t remember how 
manybut we captured several wild cats. We trapped them in live 
traps. We trapped rats from the area, brought them in, put them 
in the cages to see what would happen. 


Chall: They got out? 

Foreman: Yes. The first couple designs I think the-- 

Chall: Go ahead. 

Foreman: All right. We put the cat in, opened the trap door, and I think 
it was out of the--it went out, over, hit the side, went over the 
top of the fence in about two seconds. I don t think I was even 
out of the pen, yet. And it was gone. And it went out, cleared 
over the top, took off running, ran through a ditch, started 
swimming off across one of the flooded ponds, and was gone. 

Chall: What a shocked cat! Well, I m sure you were shocked, too. 

Foreman: No, we had a feeling that it was going to get out. I forget, it 
was probably a six, seven foot tall fence. I have to admit, I 
was surprised at how high a cat could jump. I mean, I think that 
cat did about a six foot vertical leap. 

Chall: So it didn t climb the fence, it jumped. 

Foreman: It jumped up, grabbed the top and then kicked itself over. I 

think after that cat--I don t know how much John spent on these 
fences, I m sure it was a fortune. They were pretty big, well- 
constructed fences. We went, got another cat. He redesigned it 
[the fence], put an overhang over it, and we put some aluminum 
things around there so they couldn t get a foothold. And I think 
the next cat got out within an hour. 

Chall: Dug under, or something? 

Foreman: No, he got out the same way. It finally got enough footholds. 

And then we put more aluminumbasically we were creating a solid 
sheet so they just didn t have any--I think that the next time 
that we put a cat in there it never got out. 

We were more effective with rats; we were able to keep those 
in. I forget how many rats we did. And I think somewhere along 
the time, it started raining and it flooded up. We kind of 
stopped after three cats and maybe half a dozen rats. 

Chall: General opinion was that was not going to work? Or would it be 
just too expensive to maintain? 

Foreman: I think it got to the point that we felt that you could probably 
build a fence that you could keep stuff from getting over, if it 


was well maintained. It was going to be big and ugly, and that 
was sort of the time when a lot of this was winding down. I 
think John was starting to run short on cash. The agencies 
wanted to see more, but we never did any more after it dried out, 

Further Research: Reconsidering Mitigation and Jeopardy 

Chall: When Karen Weissman of Thomas Reid Associates got the project to 
revise--! guess John decided that he would make another try at 
it. They used your original report, they just simply made some 
revisions and added to the information. I guess they had to 
because the EIS/EIR was already completed. Did they contact you 
in any way for more studies? Or was this report just based upon 
their own research? 

Foreman: We worked with them. Again, what happened was that our role was 
as a third party. We reviewed stuff, we provided them with 
suggestions, but in large part it was ideas that they would come 
up with. They would react to some of our ideas, but even though 
there was a lot of integration, we were still somebody else s 
client. We were still the city s and the Corps of Engineers 
client. They [Shorelands] brought in Thomas Reid because they 
wanted somebody that was for them and more of an advocate for 
them rather than this third party thing. So that s when they 
brought in Thomas Reid. 

Chall: I see, and that was in 1989? 

Foreman: Right. And again, we provided technical information. We worked 
with them. And they incorporated a lot of our information, and 
repackaged it, and resubmitted it. And I think they came up with 
the same opinion. 

Generally speaking, I think they felt that under certain 
conditions that Shorelands could have had the permit. 

Right. I think the Service came back with the same thing. I 
believe there was--I don t know that it ever came out with a 
formal biological opinion, but I think there was a draft that 
also concluded jeopardy. 

Chall: Their concern was with restoration and mitigation. Which is very 
interesting in terms of what you re now doing. And I think they 
felt that it could be developed--! guess with a lot of 
mitigation; that there would not be any great loss of habitat or 




loss of species, because they felt there was not that much 
already there. 

Foreman: I think from the aspect of dealing with what was directly 
impacted at this site, it is pretty minimal: the amount of 
habitat, at least for the mouse. And there are certainly 
projects that have probably affected as much or more habitat for 
the mouse that have been approved. But they were also able to 
deal with some of the other issues of recovery and that sort of 

Chall: The road? 

Foreman: Yes, the roads and different things. 

Chall: Well, it s a very interesting report. A quotation from it will 
lead into what you will be doing on the Baumberg Tract. "There 
is nothing unique about the subject property that makes this 
specific piece of land particularly critical to the recovery of 
endangered species compared to other former tidelands. The 
property may appear to be more readily restorable than similar 
sites which currently have an economic use, such as active salt 
production, but the economics of restoration itself are 
uncertain. " 5 


"Biological Assessment for the Proposed Shorelands Project," revised 
by Thomas Reid Associates, August 1989, p. S-5. 




Why don t we go into the restoration of the Baumberg Tract that 
you are now working on. 

Foreman: Okay. 

Acquisition by the California Wildlife Conservation Board 

Chall: Now, John Thorpe s plan fell apart. I mean he couldn t go on 

anymore. And I know that the present Baumberg Tract restoration 
project came into being because of mitigation. 

Foreman: Well, some of the funding, I m not sure of the exact percentage 
of it, but some of the funding for the acquisition and 
restoration of the site is as mitigation for some projects. In 
part, there s a highway interchange with CalTrans, with a 
Fremont -Newark interchange. 

Chall: Fremont-Milpitas, I think. 

Foreman: Right, Milpitas, whatever. Some of those, it might even be all 
three, I might have to go back and look. And then the other 
aspect is the city of San Jose or Santa Clara Valley s sewer- 
waste water discharge. All the fresh water flowing into the Bay 
has changed the characteristics of the salt marshes down there. 
They ve become more brackish--dif ferent vegetation s grown. It s 
changed the plant and animal life. And it has decreased habitat 
suitable for the clapper rail and harvest mouse. The Regional 
Water Quality Control Board, as mitigation for their continued 
discharge, required restoration of 350 acres, I believe. That s 
what they figure had been affected. So they said, "Okay, you 
restore 350 acres to tidal action." 


Chall: So that s why even your restoration plan, I noticed, requires you 
to restore acreage for particular species. It s really 
difficult, I suppose? 

Foreman: Right. So that s the mitigation requirements. So Fish and Game 
has parlayed that into the ability to buy the land from Cargill, 
and then also fund the restoration activities. 

Chall: And then the East Bay Regional Park District has put money in for 
trails? About a million dollars, I think? 

Foreman: Yes. They have an interest in open space, habitat preservation, 
but they are also interested in public access. That s one of 
their major mandates. Fish and Wildlife Service also put in 
money. Yes, you probably should ask Carl [Wilcox] , but I think 
it s in the range of a half million dollars. I think that s for 
endangered species habitat restoration, wildlife values. [See 
article, following page] 

Chall: Altogether, they paid about $12.5 million to Cargill for this 
piece of land? And some of the money, $5 million, came from 
Proposition 70 and the Wildlife Conservation Board. 6 So was 
there, as far as you know, an attempt to put this money for this 
mitigation in other places besides Baumberg? 

Foreman: 1 don t know how much they looked. I m sure they would. I know 
there has been searches for a long time particularly for the 
Santa Clara Valley, San Jose, whichever it is, for their 
mitigation. I know they looked at a lot of places. There were 
different evaluations going on. Part of the problem is that a 
lot of the salt ponds are still in active production, so if you 
take them out of active production you re affecting Cargill s 
operation. And even though I think there s historically been a 
fair amount of animosity between Cargill and the regulatory 
agencies, they also understand, they bothat least the agencies 
understand they need Cargill. 

Chall: So, finally, various mitigation proposals and the money came 
together and Baumberg was selected for this restoration? 

Foreman: Right. 

Proposition 70, June 1988. Wildlife, Coastal, and Park Land 
Conservation Bond Act. Initiative statute sponsored by Calif ornians for 
Parks and Wildlife. $776 million to acquire, develop, rehabilitate, 
protect, and restore parks, wildlife, coastal and natural lands in 


Hayward wetlands project to receive 
$500,000 in unique replacement deal 

. #</:-; > ^ <tfi^"^ > KK UA-KJ X? TRvfcovS fe 

By Scott Andrews 


The 18 acres of wetlands sur 
rounding the Interstate 880/Dixon 
Landing Road interchange on the 
Fremont-Milpitas border are no 
pristine wilderness. ; 

; "- s* " -y* " 

Six lanes of traffic barrel pa1. 
San Jose s Newby Island landfiU 
wafts a scent of rank garbage. 
Nearby, weeds crark the tannao of 
the defunct Fremont airport. The 
shallow wetlands themselves seem 
more like stagnant puddles than 
wildlife habitat. 

The interchange is scheduled to 
be widened and improved by 
2002, but the untrained observer 
would expect little environmental 
damage from paving over this 
barren sliver of slightly soggy 

Sah marsh harvest mouse home 

However, 6.5 acres of the wet 
lands are home to the salt marsh 
harvest mouse, an endangered 
species. And state and federal laws 
require replacement of any de 
stroyed wetlands, no matter how 

After .the improvements are 
.complete, there will be only one 
acre left of the current 18 acres of 
wetlands." So Fremont and Mil- 
pitas, which are paying for the im- 

provements, were required to find 
replacement land elsewhere. They 
quickly found themselves in a 

Land costs out of range 

The cost of buying land reached 
over $1 million. Furthermore, 
each site they found was nixed by 
the state Fish and Game Depart 
ment a* environmentally unaccept 
able, Fremont. Assistant City 
Engineer Allen Shelley said. 

But in a unique deal, the cities* 
have agreed to locate their re 
placement wetlands in the Baum-| 
berg tract, 835 acres of former 
salt evaporation ponds in Hayward 
that the state plans to restore to 
prime marshland. "** 

State strapped for funds 

The state, which was short on 
money to buy the tract, is happy 
for the extra $500,000 the cities 
will give. Shelley was equally satis 
fied, calling the deal an "excellent 
solution" in part because it will 
save the cities at least 5500,000. 

Paying for part of the larger 
tract makes more sense environ 
mentally than creating a separate 
17-acre pocket of wetlands, said 
Carl WjJcoXj__the^ state_FjsJb _and. 
Game ^nwojunental_seryice _su- 
pervisor forthe Central j^oast. 

"You re always looking for the 

opportunity to create larger units 
and have habitats that are going to 
be more broadly productive not 
just creating habitat for mice but 
for other species as well," he said 

Upgrading wetlands 

He said upgrading from the 
low-quality, seasonal wetlands at 
Dixon Landing Road to the rich 
Baumberg tract is barely more ex 
pensive than buying another patch 
of low-quality marsh. 

The Baumberg tract will have 
500 to 600 acres of habitat for the 
salt marsh harvest mouse. The 
larger amount of land makes the 
land easier to manage and less 
susceptible to drought and flood 
damage, Wilcox said.. 

The Fremont and Milpitas 
money is expected to be combined 
with about $1 million from the 
East Bay Regional Park District 
for trails and about $6 million 
from San Jose to mitigate sewage 
damage, said state Wildlife Con 
servation jJoard _ assistant exec 
utive director Georgia Lipphardt. 

"The money will push the state 
over the $12^.4 million it needs to 
buy the tracCshe said. 

Work on returning the barren 
marshes to their original state will 
begin during the summer of 1998, 
Wilcox said. It is expected to be a 
flourishing habitat within five to 
1 5 years. 


The Selection Process; RMI Wins the Bid; Steve Foreman Project 



Now, how is it that you got into this? You re in charge? 
Well, I m the project manager. 

Sort of like the way we got into it the first time: Fish and 
Game put out a request for a proposal. It was a competitive bid 
process. I don t recall, I think there were maybe five firms 
that bid on the project. [sarcastically] It s a joyful process. 

The project was originally awarded to a different firm, 
Levine and Fricke [spells], which I think now goes mostly by the 
name of RECON. But they re in Emeryville. They were originally 
awarded the first contract, or the initial selection was for 
them. One of the other groups that had bid on itit s Jeff 
Peters, one of the former WESCO ownerswith a group of other 
consultants. He had gone, looked over the ranking sheets, and he 
was mad because his firm wasn t selected and didn t even make the 
technical qualifications. Two firms had made the technical 
qualifications: ourselves and Levine-Fricke, of all the groups I 
think that had put in. He threatened to protest the award 
because there were some ambiguities in the ranking system- -in the 
way different people rated the proposals. 

And it appeared that there was, I guess, some strong bias 
from one of the people towards Levine-Fricke. So Fish and Game 
pulled the award and reissued the RFP with some different 
characteristics and different evaluation criteria. And the 
second time we won. Levine-Fricke threatened toconsidered 
objecting to the award, but didn t protest it. 

My, there s a lot of competition out there for these things. 

Yes, it was amazing. To be honest with you, you know, the budget 
is so tight, it s not a tremendously profitable thing for a 
private firm, 

I m largely in it because I m interested in the 

Chall: And you knew the site. 

Foreman: I knew the site. For me it s kind of a nice circle to work at it 
from the aspect of seeing it close to development to being 
restored, which is really what I think it was suitable for. 

Chall: It must be a great kick, really, to do what you had watched maybe 
being undone or maybe not being done by the other project? 





Well, I think that this may go back to some of your earlier 
questions about the animosity towards John. I don t know that it 
was to John, personally, maybe not even to John s project, per 
se. I think what they- -particularly, the agency saw this thing 
as: this is the first big development project on a large tract of 
former bay lands, unused salt ponds. And I don t think they 
wanted to see a precedent set there. 

I think they re happy with Cargill and salt production. 
There s a lot of value that generates to the Bay from that, to 
the resources around the Bay. But they also don t want to see 
that land ever developed. To them, it s salt production or it s 
restored, or managed in some other manner for wildlife. And I 
think that was their big thing with this project. You know, over 
here it was fine, you go on the other side of the historic bay 
line, he could have had it. 

But he wanted it there in Hayward? 

There was a location issue. And a long-term recovery of the Bay 
issue. They just didn t want to set that precedent. And I think 
that s a large part that s led to the Fish and Game buying the 
land from Cargill. They want to show that, "We ll buy the land 
from you; you have value for that land." 

So it was Fish and Game that bought the land with the money that 
came in? 

Foreman: Well, really--see, the Conservation Board it s a separate 

agency, but it s basically an arm of Fish and Game that buys 
land. Fish and Game can t go out and buy land. They manage 
lands and do other things, but the Conservation Board buys it, 
gives it to Fish and Game. 

Chall: And since the jeopardy opinion went through Fish and Wildlife 

Service, which is a federal agency, do you have to deal with Fish 
and Wildlife Service, now, to set up your plan? 

Foreman: Yes. 

Chall: You still have to pass their? 

Foreman: We have to go through the same regulatory process. And that s 

why there s a lot of information there, a lot of the concerns for 
the snowy plover where we re dealing with restoration, the tidal 
salt marsh. There s clear long-term benefits for recovery for 
the clapper rail and salt marsh harvest mouse. If you create the 
tidal marsh, they will come. They re around the edges and you re 
addressing their needs. 


But by restoring tidal marsh to these old salt ponds, the 
salt ponds are what the snowy plover uses. It s not a natural 
habitat for them. But some of the old salt ponds mimic the 
historic types of habitats that the birds had, which were some 
salty ponds. Most natural marshes have a mix of ponds, salt 
pans, within the areas that get poor circulation. So in portions 
of the Baumberg Tract, those ponds mimic the historic conditions 
and are what the birds rely on. They re artificial, they re 
maintained, but they re critical to the current survival of the 
species. So we re trying to balance that out. 

Restoration Project Staff 

Chall: I do appreciate being on your mailing list and being allowed to 
come to your meetings. They ve been most informative. The team 
members whom you introduced--! think it was at your meeting July 
10 [1997] --were George Molnar, a wetland biologist from RMI, and 
Carl Wilcox, who s an environmental services supervisor for 
California Fish and Game. He s in charge of whatever you do? 

Foreman: Right. 

Chall: You report to him, but he doesn t do the studies? 

Foreman: No. Well, Fish and Game has done some studies out there. Carl, 
and a seasonal technician for Carl, did do some extensive bird 
studies last year, counting, you know, doing bird censuses, 
looking at how the ponds behaved, how they flooded up, how much 
it flooded, that sort of thing. Fish and Game doesn t have the 
manpower to put together these plans and go through the whole 
process. Stuff s usually contracted out. 

Chall: And then, there s you, the Wildlife Biologist Project Manager, 

RMI, and Janet Green, Landscape Architect Studio Green. What s 
her place in this? 

Foreman: Janet also does a lot of public review, or public interaction. 
So, she s helping us with that. Plus, she s also dealing with 
the access issues for the East Bay Regional Park: the trail, 
landscaping issues around the trail, and how would the trial be 
set up. It s not a big role in the overall project, but that s 
the aspect of what she s doing. 

Chall: I see. I think I saw her when she came in the night of the 


Foreman: Yes. 

Chall: Well, this first meeting that you had followed the field trip, 

which I certainly found interesting. You can t simply see all of 
this on a map and understand the scope of the project. 

Foreman: There are a lot of other people involved. There s a guy, Gary 
Page. He is with Point Reyes Bird Observatory. He is a snowy 
plover expert and actually had done some of the early censuses 
around the Bay, including the Baumberg Tract. A lot of the 
information on snowy plovers in the Biological Assessment was 
from the study that he and his wife did. 

Another is Larry Fishbein, a hydrologist. He s working on 
the project a critical role. Then there s a man named Andy 
Leahy. [spells] He s an engineer, does a lot of the engineering 
work. He s done a lot of wetland work. I worked with him 
extensively on a number of projects, so he s dealing with the 
engineering aspects. And there s a list of other people. 

Chall: You call them as you need them, is that it? 
Foreman: Right. 

Many Factors Involved with Restoration 

Chall: Now, as I attended the meetings, I noted there are plenty of 
problems. You listed some in one of the exhibits here under 
Commitments and Constraints: the commitments are to, "Provide X 
number of acres of land per harvest mouse and the clapper rail." 
You note that their habitat is somewhat similar. And then, 
"Creation of seventeen and one-half acres of new jurisdictional 
wetlands including some for the mouse." And then you need, 
"Restoration of tidal marsh and enhancement of seasonal 
wetlands." But you also have to deal with the plover, and that 
isn t in here. Is there a certain amount of land for the plover? 

Foreman: Well, the constraint really is that we cannot jeopardize the 

continued existence of the snowy plover. In the definition of 
the continued jeopardy and the continued existence, the wording-- 
the def inition--includes survival and recovery. 

Chall: Oh, I see it s under constraint. You also havewhat s been 
interesting to me--is this whole problem of the access to the 
sewer lines, facilities and property of Cargill, PG&E and 


transformers. There are all kinds of things out there, physical 
things that you can t not deal with. 

Foreman: Well, basically, we can t afford to move them. 

Chall: No, you can t afford to move them and that sewer line- -might 
sometime in the next fifty yearsmight have to be checked or 

Foreman: Checked, or it might break, or something. Right. 

Chall: So you don t want anything over the sewer that could be 

destroyed. I mean, if it were destroyed it would destroy an 
important habitat? 

Foreman: Yes. We want to be able to restore it back. It certainly is a 

Chall: And you have available just so much funding? It s only $1.3 
million. How was that determined? 

Foreman: Carl, I think he said he spent $12 million--$12.5--he basically 
had $1.5 million left over after the purchase. That was his 
initial estimate on how much he thought it would take to do the 
restoration work. Our contract is roughly $185,000 to do all the 
work, somewhere in that range. So that I think we just took off 
--kind of two--so, yes, $1.3--that was what he had available. 
We ve done some preliminary estimates of costs. And he s working 
to find more money. So, we re trying to refine the costs a lot, 
so there s not a lot he has to ask for. He will go back to the 
cities, the people doing the mitigation. They ll be responsible 
for parts of it, so they can maintain their commitments. 

Chall: At your November 6 [1997] meeting, which was mainly for the 

agency people involved, you had a number of alternative maps. 
There were Map One, Map Two, Map Three, and this three-page draft 
of Conditions, Constraints, and Opportunities Summary. It just 
boggles the mind- -particularly a mind like mine. I like to go 
for a walk and look at birds [laughs]. But I can see that each 
one of these maps is different with respect to how much land 
would be used for the snowy plover, how much for marsh 
restoration, how much for seasonal wetlands. There are some 
significant variations and some of them look just like nuances. 
I think that the group finally came up with alternative number 
three, at least that s the one I have my marks all over. But I m 
not sure whether you really had made a decision at that point. 
[See two early alternative plans, following pages] 

Foreman: No, we hadn t. 














s = 

.2 - 

3 C 

P i. 











Chall: Do you want to look at this? 

Foreman: No, I ve committed it to memory. There are probably 500 

variations of ways that we could do things. We tried to show- 
well the first one was Carl s first idea. 

Chall: Carl s idea was number One? 

Foreman: Wellnumber One. It was kind of his original idea to show how 
he saw it being done. Two and Three were variations off of that 
to look at other physical constraints, regulatory constraints, 
and did it make sense. 

Chall: I can see where you ve listed the physical constraints, the 

hydrologic considerations, the salinity of the soil, the mean 

elevation, and all of that kind of thing. There is so much 
involved here! 

Foreman: They all relate to how the area may be restorable or what 

problems you may have. And again, you know when Carl did his 
first idea, it was based on one set of knowledge. As part of our 
work, we ve developed a whole additional set of information to 
bring into the equation. In principle, the pond elevation is a 
critical element to what can be restored. 

Chall: That s why you need your engineer? 

Foreman: Right, and the hydrologist. Because the hydrologist will tell 
us, "Okay-- 

Foreman: So, there s this change in elevation, and the marshes will behave 
differently depending on the elevation. If they re very 
subsided, very low, when you first open the tidal action, you re 
going to get open water; and you get one set of conditions that 
way. And if there s enough silt, they ll silt up, and that s a 
very desirable component. So we have to make sure there s enough 
sediment moving in the water, variable sediment, to give us the 
proper elevations. 

Chall: Now, we ve just had enormous rains. I bet everything looks a 
little different on the ground right now. 

Foreman: It s wet. [laughter] There s a lot of sediment in the water. 
This would have been a great year to have it open because we 
would probably gain some extra because of all the washout from 
the hills, and the uplands, and moving around. There s a lot of 
sediment in the Bay and it has a lot to do with the mudflats. 


Mud will tend to move around and sediment will tend to move 
around. One of the concerns is, if you re in the sediment depths 
and you open up too many big areas and the sediment gets sucked 
into there, you might affect the size of the mudflats out in the 
Bay. And those mudflats are critical feeding resources for 
shorebirds at low tide. There seems to be available information 
in this area of the Bay that we have plenty of sediment, that we 
won t have that problem. But it s also a timing issue. If 
you ve got to wait for four feet of sediment to come in that 
might be X number of years before you get a marsh established. 

Chall: And how many years are you allowed to have? 

Foreman: We re not on a time frame. 

Chall: You just have to do the best that you can. 

Foreman: We just have to do the best we can. I think the original--! 
guess I wouldn t say that we are not on a time frame, because 
there is some assumption in the board s assessment the regional 
board s assessment for the waste water. The assessment was that 
it might be fifteen to twenty years before we had that clapper 
rail habitat. If it takes thirty--! don t think it s written as 
a permanent condition, but there are some assumptions that once 
the habitat s restored, we will get a usable clapper rail habitat 
within fifteen years. 

Chall: Well, I hope we re all around to see it. [laughter] 

Foreman: Hopefully, it will be faster than that. But I think what we re 
trying to do nowto be honest, the plan we re moving forward 
with isn t really one of the three of those you saw. 

Chall: You have another one? 

Foreman: We ve modified Three a bit, just by looking at some additional 
information, and comments from the meeting, that made sense. 

Chall: Some of your meetingsthe first one I attended had a lot of 

agency people, and then in the evening it was open not only to 
the agency people. 

Foreman: The general public. 

Chall: The general public. And so the people like the Delfinos, and 

Howard Cogswell, and others--! didn t know them all but are they 
still available for commenting? And do they comment? 

Foreman: Oh, sure. We re right now, George and I, working with Carl and 
the rest of the team trying to finish the plan up. 


Chall: Do you have a time limit on finishing the plan and getting 

Foreman: Yes, we re a little behind schedule for a variety of reasons, but 
we re trying to get the plan together. We haven t put anything 
out since the last meeting in November. What George and I have 
talked about doing is, hopefully, within the next week or two to 
be putting out kind of a little summary to say, "Okay, this is 
the preferred plan. This is what we decided, how we decided to 
proceed forward." A big part of that is that I m waiting for the 
hydrologist to finish his work so that I know that it will work, 
before I say this is what we re going forward with. And then 
he s comfortable that these are how things may develop, so we can 
kind of describe that in general detail. And from there, we can 
put the rest of the plan together with the other environmental 
documents we need. 

Chall: And do you then have to get permission from the Fish and Wildlife 
Service, and, I guess, the Regional Water Quality Control Board? 
The city of Hayward--not necessarily? 

Foreman: [sighs] I don t think we have to get actually , I m pretty sure 
--we don t have to get city of Hayward permission because it is a 
state project. The state s not subject to local regulations. 
The state certainly cooperates with them, but they re not subject 
to any permits. We do have to apply for Section 404 permits from 
the Corps of Engineers. 

Chall: That s water, isn t it? 

Foreman: Yes, the Clean Water Act. That will cover dredging activities, 
fill, excavation, and any areas subject to their jurisdiction. 
We will also--as part of that permit processdeal with the Fish 
and Wildlife Service to address the endangered species issues so 
that the project complies with the Endangered Species Act from 
the federal standpoint. Fish and Game will also have to do their 
own thing to make sure they also comply with the state Endangered 
Species Act. 

Chall: And you have to do all that before you put a spade in the dirt? 

Foreman: In the dirt! Yes. And also as part of that process, we deal 
with the regional board. The regional board has to certify-- 

Chall: Which regional board? 

Foreman: The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board. For 
any 404 permit they have to say that the project either complies 
with state water quality standards or they don t have any 
concerns. For a project this size, they ll have to provide a 


certification that this project complies with water quality 
standards for the Bay. 

Chall: How long will all this take? 

Foreman: Optimistically, six months. More likely, a year. 

Chall: So your shoveling doesn t start until mid- 1999, or early 1999. 

Foreman: I thinkwe were hoping to get this done in like three to six 
months, so late fall, maybe, we could start. For a variety of 
reasons. One of the big concerns has been a lot of the recent 

Chall: Right. Changes. 

Foreman: It changed things. But it s alsoCarl, Fish and Game, wants to 
have the East Bay Regional Park District manage the construction, 
do the bidding, and do the construction. 

Chall: Oh, really? Of the whole thing? Is that right? 

Foreman: Of the whole thing. 

Chall: I guess you have reasons for thinking they can do it? 

Foreman: Well, they ve done the Ora Loma project. They have some 
experience doing it. 

Chall: And they ve also done the Hayward Area Shoreline. 

Foreman: Yes. The district has the manpower, some manpower facilities for 
construction. So they ve done a lot of this. And they re a 
public agency with those capabilities. To be honest, Fish and 
Game is somewhat lacking in that. It s not their job. I mean, 
they do have some, you know, refuge managers, and they have a 
refuge manager arm, but they ve got enough of what they already 

Chall: So, if you turn it over to them for doing the work, is that part 
of the $1.3 million? 

Foreman: Yes. So one of the aspects is that they ll 
Chall: They might not do it for that amount? 

Foreman: Right, right. Well, we have to make sure there s enough money 
available, or we ll have to scale back what we do, or get the 
money. Carl s looking to expand the budget to fit what we want 
done. But they, the park district many of their facilities have 




suffered so much damage in the last two months, they have other 
priorities. And they won t have the time immediately to devote 
to the project. So, with some of these delays, and just the time 
it takes to get through the regulatory process, I think it will 
be probably 99 before things start happening. 

Well, are you feeling sort of excited about doing this project? 

Oh, yes. 

Is it very meaningful to you in terms of your career? 

Yes. A lot of the focus of what I like to do--and 
professionally, what I ve done with this companyis work on 
habitat restoration. Whether it s for mitigation, for projects, 
or just for somebody who s got an open space land and they want 
to improve the values on it. That s a big goal of what I like to 

Well, you certainly are doing it, aren t 


Other Restorations Projects Around the Bay 

Foreman: Well, you know, there are lot of projects. There s a number that 
we re doing around the Bay. They are in various stages. This is 
certainly the biggest. This is a big project. The one I went to 
look at this morningyou may have heard of Roberts Landing? 

Chall: Oh, yes. 

Foreman: I ve worked on that for years. We did some mitigation, tidal 

restoration, this last year. We just finished completing it and 
have it restored in tidal action. It s about 130-some acres, I 
believe. So that s one I was looking at today. I think we 
opened it first last July, and then did some additional work late 
this fall and reopened it again in December. So it s been moving 
along. I ve some on the West Bay, Palo Alto, Redwood City, that 
I m working on that if we can get the permits finalized, would 
affect another 140 acres next year. 

Chall: Well, you re a busy person, doing what you really want to do, and 
that s fortunate, then, that you can do it. 

Foreman: Yes. Yes. It s a--I guess a portion of that is that I get to do 
what I like to do and I get paid for it. 


Chall: Very good. Is there anything you d like to say about the 
Baumberg Project or anybody involved in it that we haven t 
covered? I m sure there may be. 

Foreman: Well, we covered just about everything, seems like. You know, 
there s lots of little things. If I probably started reading 
back through these books--! see the cover on thatthis starts to 
trigger back memories of dealing with Richard. 7 He was always 

Chall: I m going to be talking to him next week. Mr. [Robert] Douglass, 
of Cargill, told me that the problem they had with Mr. Murray was 
to keep him on the track-- [laughter] --because he was making his 
plans with the mitigation areas that they really didn t have. 

Foreman: Well, Richard--he s a very interesting man--a little spacey 
sometimes, but he had some ideas and he didn t have a lot of 
training in this. 

Chall: No, he s a landscape architect, I understand. 

Foreman: Right. But he had done some--I guess he had worked on a 

mitigation project for snowy plovers at Pajaro River [Pajaro 
Dunes], or something, and had gotten an award for that, and I 
think that s how John found him. So he was their principal 
mitigation person. And in part, we were somewhat the check on 
his enthusiasm. 

Chall: You had two enthusiastic people to deal with. [laughter] 

Foreman: Yes. [laughter] A lot of what we did was to respond to his 
ideas, and some of his ideas probably would work with time--. 

Chall: Time and money. 

Well, I really appreciate the time you ve given for this 
interview. Thank you very much. 

Transcribed by Amelia Archer 
Final Typed by Shannon Page 

7 "Shorelands Biological Mitigation Master Plan," (Revised 12/12/87) 
Prepared by Richard Murray Associates. 


Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

California Water Resources Oral History Series 


Karen G. Weissman 


An Interview conducted by 

Malca Chall 

in 1997 

Copyright 2000 by The Regents of the University of California 

Karen Weissman, 1999, 


TABLE OF CONTENTS- -Karen G. Weissman 

PROJECT, 1988-1990 



Karen Weissman 1 s Background and the Origin of Thomas Reid 

Associates 219 
Establishing Contact with John Thorpe and the Shorelands 

Project 220 

Preparing for the Task Ahead 224 
Overcoming the Hurdles: Mitigation Due to Loss of Wetlands Area 225 

Planning and Working Toward a Successful Outcome 227 
Habitat Mitigation Issues: The Snowy Plover, the Salt Marsh 

Harvest Mouse, the Clapper Rail, the Least Tern 228 

The Concern for the Future of Wetlands 230 

Attempts to Control Predation of the Clapper Rails 232 
The Second Draft Jeopardy Opinion Means Defeat for the 

Shorelands Project 236 
The Frustration of a Consultant Failing to Reach the Desired 

Goal 237 

The Current Status of the Baumberg Tract 238 

Examining the Processes Required to Restart the Project 239 
Critique of Government Environmental Regulations in General 

and on the Shorelands Project in Particular 242 


INTERVIEW HISTORf--Karen Weissman 

Karen Weissman, soon after receiving a Ph.D. in biological 
sciences from Stanford University, formed, in 1973, the partnership 
Thomas Reid Associates [TRA] with fellow student Thomas Reid. They 
specialize in environmental impact assessment and habitat conservation 

During my first interview with John Thorpe he revealed that he 
had, in 1987, withdrawn his application for a permit to build Shorelands 
when he realized that the Fish and Wildlife Service had determined the 
project would jeopardize endangered species. He then hired Thomas Reid 
Associates to prepare another biological assessment, and to advise him 
on measures he might take to pass jeopardy so that he could move ahead 
with his ambitious project. 

When I contacted Thomas Reid and asked him to participate in the 
oral history of the Baumberg Tract, he said that Karen Weissman had been 
in charge of the Shorelands Project, and that he would prefer to 
delegate the interview to her. I contacted Ms. Weissman, who agreed to 
be interviewed. We met in a conference room of the Associates office 
in Palo Alto during the morning of November 4, 1997. 

When we met for the interview session, Ms. Weissman brought along 
with her many of the documents, memoranda, and letters from her work on 
the Shorelands Project between 1988 and 1990. We covered the problems 
faced by Mr. Thorpe trying to meet the regulations of the Fish and 
Wildlife Service regarding endangered species. As we have learned from 
previous interviews in this volume, John Thorpe faced high hurdles 
overcoming jeopardyhurdles related particularly to mitigation and 
predation. Ms. Weissman discussed her work on the project with good 
humor and with careful attention to detail, expressing her frustration 
at failing to help John Thorpe overcome the final draft jeopardy opinion 
of the Fish and Wildlife Service. 

When asked whether all the rigorous regulations required by 
environmental laws were necessary, she said emphatically that they were. 
Ms. Weissman strongly opposes attempts by Congress to weaken 
environmental legislation. 

Immediately following our brief interview, Karen Weissman 
generously copied memoranda and letters she thought would be useful for 
research on the Baumberg Tract, and gave me a copy of the "Biological 
Assessment for the Proposed Shorelands Project," which she had revised 
for Thomas Reid Associates in August, 1989. The memoranda and her clear 
explanation of the various aspects of the environmental regulations laid 


the groundwork for my interview with Peter Sorensen. These papers will 
be deposited with this volume in the Bancroft Library. 

Ms. Weissman carefully reviewed her lightly edited transcript, 
correcting spelling and adding information, where necessary. Her 
interview provides additional and essential information about the 
hurdles faced by developers and environmental assessment specialists 
like TRA as they attempt to design plans acceptable within the framework 
of complex environmental regulations. 

The Regional Oral History Office was established in 1954 to 
augment through tape-recorded memoirs the Library s materials on the 
history of California and the West. Copies of all interviews are 
available for research use in The Bancroft Library and in the UCLA 
Department of Special Collections. The office is under the direction of 
Willa K. Baum, Division Head, and the administrative direction of 
Charles B. Faulhaber, James D. Hart Director of The Bancroft Library, 
University of California, Berkeley. 

Malca Chall 
Interviewer /Editor 

January 2000 

Regional Oral History Office 

University of California at Berkeley 


Regional Oral History Office 
Room 486 The Bancroft Library 

University of California 
Berkeley, California 94720 

Your full name 

Date of birth 

(Please write clearly. Use black ink.) 

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Father s full name Le*li 
Occupation F> \ IV\ 

Mother s full name K L>cfK S /-A 

Your spouse 


Your children 




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Where did you grow up? 
Present community 

Q /i |TQ. 

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Areas of expertise 


Other interests or activities 

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Organizations in which you are active 


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Dr. Weissman has been a Principal of Thomas Reid Associates since she 
completed her doctorate in late 1972, and Vice-President of the firm since 1982. Her 
areas of expertise include ecology, population biology, demography, land use, 
governmental planning and policies and regional environmental issues. As a 
principal of the firm, Dr. Weissman provides public representation of many of her 
cases in the EIR process. In the firm s numerous cases for the California Public 
Utilities Commission, she has provided expert witness testimony in administrative 
law proceedings. 

Dr. Weissman has participated in nearly all of the firm s past work. As CEO of 
the firm she plays a key role in the conceptualization, planning, contracting and 
execution of all jobs. She has served as client liaison for technical information 
transfer and review on numerous cases, and has expert familiarity with the methods 
of data collection and analysis from diverse sources, including governmental 
agencies, universities, public service organizations, public and private interest 
groups, and private industry and commerce. Dr. Weissman has primary 
responsibility for administering subcontracts and assuring the delivery of acceptable 
work products by subcontractors. Dr. Weissman also reviews all of the work of TRA 
staff for CEQA adequacy and overall quality control. 

Current case work includes the Santa Clara Valley Water District 
Sediment/Erosion Control and Vegetation Management Program EIRs. Recently 
completed studies include the Mount Washington Cellars and Resort Village EIR, the 
Brisbane General Plan EIR, the Pacifica Wastewater Management Plan EIR, and the 
Grassland Water District Land Planning Guidance Study. Dr. Weissman was Case 
Manager and Principal Investigator for the Claratina/Coffee and North Beyer Park 
Reorganization EiR, Giiroy Hot Springs Resort EIR, Gilton Solid Waste Transfer 
Station and Outdoor Resorts Recreational Vehicle Park EIR. She has also been 
Principal Investigator for numerous other TRA studies including the Farm Labor 
Housing Project EIR, Devers-Serrano Transmission Line EIS/EIR. 

Dr. Weissman s expertise encompasses up-to-date knowledge of the 
requirements of CEQA and other environmental legislation and case law as they 
pertain to environmental documents. She is frequently hired by private and public 
clients to provide detailed, formal technical review of numerous EIR s prepared by 
others, including industrial projects, "new towns" other mixed-use developments, 
high-voltage electrical transmission lines, sewage sludge disposal, and a solid 
waste/hazardous waste transfer station. 

Projects reviewed include the Dougherty Valley General Plan EIR (Contra 



Costa County), Mountain House new town EIR (San Joaquin County), Diablo Grande 
and Lakeborough New Town EIRs (Stanislaus County), Renaissance Residential 
Project EIR (San Jose), Evergreen Specific Plan (San Jose), O Connell Ranch 
Annexation/Rezoning (Gilroy), Franklin Canyon residential project (Hercules), Signal 
Energy Biomass Plant EIR (Shasta County), Uruted Technologies Rocket Motor Facility 
EIR (Merced County), Metropolitan Oakland International Airport Development Plan 
EIS/EIR, San Jose International Airport Master Plan Update Draft EIR, Chiron R&D 
Facility EIR (Emeryville), Vacaville Entertainment Center Negative Declaration, and 
Fourmile Hill Ceothermal development (Klamath/Modoc Counties, CA). 

A biologist by training, Dr. Weissman has done biological reconnaissance and 
impact assessment of projects ranging from oil and gas pipelines, transmission 
lines, marine terminals for oil and liquid natural gas, port expansion, landfill 
expansion and residential subdivisions. She has worked closely with wildlife 
agencies in the study of impacts on rare or endangered species in California and 
other parts of the western region. 

Dr. Weissman has had a central role in the firm s many endangered species 
conservation planning studies. She was a Principal Investigator for the Natomas 
Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (1994-97), the Southern San Joaquin Valley Habitat 
Preservation Study (1986-89) and principal author of the Coachella Valley Fringe Toed 
Lizard Habitat Conservation Plan and EIS/EIR (1984-1985). She provided expertise in 
theoretical ecology for the Biological Study for Endangered Species and Habitat 
Conservation Plan for San Bruno Mountain. 

Educational Background and Honors 

A.B. Zoology, University of California, Los Angeles, magna cum laude, with Highest 

Departmental Honors, elected to Phi Beta Kappa 
Ph.D. Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 
National Science Foundation Graduate fellowship 

Professional Membership 

American Association for the Advancement of Science 
Corporate member, Association of Environmental Professionals 




[Date of Interview: November 4, 1997] it 1 

Karen Weissman s Background and the Origin of Thomas Reid 

Chall: I d like some background, before we get too far into this, 

about your education and your career. How did you happen to 
end up with Thomas Reid, in charge of this Baumberg research? 

Weissman: Certainly, I would be happy to tell you. I went to Stanford 

University between 1968 and 1972, 73, in the doctorate program 
in biological sciences. It was there I met Tom Reid, who was 
also in the same program. I got my Ph.D. at the end of 1972, 
and my specialty was population biology and ecology. My major 
professor was Paul Ehrlich. 

Tom did not finish his graduate program, but he did take an 
early course in the Civil Engineering Department on 
environmental assessment. This was in the very early days, 
right after the passage of the National Environmental Policy 
Act [NEPA] , and the California Environmental Quality Act 
[CEQA], and the Friends of Mammoth decision, which was in 1972, 
which extended the authority of CEQA to private projects. It 
opened up a whole field of professional endeavor that didn t 
exist before, which was environmental impact assessment. 

Tom was one of the early people who had training in this, 
and he decided to start his own company shortly after that. I 
was, at that point, getting my doctorate and I did not want to 
leave the area. He asked me if I wanted to work with him, and 
I decided that seemed like a very interesting thing to do. We, 


This symbol indicates that a tape or tape segment has begun or 
A guide to the tapes follows the transcript. 


basically, started this company, and we ve been doing it ever 
since. We r-j one of the early founding companies in this area, 

Chall: What exactly do you call your specific field of endeavor? 

Weissman: Environmental impact assessment and habitat conservation 

Chall: You have had a lot to learn. 

Weissman: The whole industry has had a lot to learn, and the public 
sector as well, which is the side that reviews all of this 
information. They have become much more sophisticated, in 
terms of what they ve come to expect. 

Establishing Contact with John Thorpe and the Shorelands 

Weissman: How did we get involved with the Baumberg Tract and John 

Thorpe? I m not sure. Someone recommended us to possibly 
their attorney, Richard Bailin, at the time. I m not sure 
exactly what the connection was, but we were contacted by them 
to basically help them with the permitting because things were 
getting bogged down. At the time, they had a biological 
consultant, which was WESCO [Western Ecological Services 
Company] who they continued with. Their role then became doing 
field studies and things like the enclosure that they were 

Our role was to be the technical liaison with the agencies, 
with the Corps of Engineers, and with the Fish and Wildlife 
Service and the California Department of Fish and Game, to 
negotiate through the permitting process and end up with a 
proposal that would be acceptable to all the agencies so that 
Shorelands would end up getting their permits to go forward 
with the project. 

Chall: Was this after 1987 when he withdrew his application because he 
was afraid he would get a jeopardy opinion and be denied a 

Weissman: Turned down. 

Chall: Yes, right, his application was all set to be turned down, so 
he withdrew it, and, apparently, then hired somebody else to 
see if he could bring it to fruition some other way. 


Weissman: That s correct. He came in to us, I thf.nk, in 198iJ. 
Chall: Oh, all right, that makes sense. 

Weissman: That s right. He wanted to restart the process, which he did. 
He restarted his application with the Corps, and he restarted 
his Section 7 consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Chall: You call that Section 7? 

Weissman: That is for the endangered species issues. He also wanted to 
restart his environmental impact statement. That had to be 
revised, but that never actually happened. I think that the 
whole thing fell apart before that document was reissued, and 
we were giving him advice on that as well. 

Actually, there is a document which Tom wanted me to show 
you, which was the very first letter that we ever wrote John 
Thorpe. After he decided to retain us, we had a meeting with 
him and his attorney, and Richard Murray, and all the players 
at the time. We did an assessment of what his chances were of 
succeeding with this project. It was our firm conviction that 
he was going to have a very, very difficult time, that we could 
not offer him any assurances that this was going to be 
successful . 

Later on through the process, we advised John Thorpe that 
if he wanted to build the type of project that he had in mind, 
he would be much better off picking another site that was not 
in the bay lands. We suggested that he might do it in 
Pleasanton, that area in the 1-580 corridor, because there were 
some demographic projections that had been done, I think by 
ABAC [Association of Bay Area Government], and the California 
Department of Finance, to show that the concentration of the 
population who would be attracted to his facility, like his 
racetrack, was going to shift to the East. 

He would have a much greater market for his project if he 
were located in a place like Pleasanton as well as having a lot 
less problem with traffic, because where he was was sort of the 
major bottleneck. The whole Bay Area, from the San Mateo 
Bridge it was going to be an absolute nightmare of traffic to 
be there. John Thorpe was a man with a mission. He was on a 
mission from God; I don t know how to put it but it was this 
site, it was this project, or nothing. 

Chall: That s interesting that you bring this up because I ve seen 

some of his correspondence and he had been asked, it seemed to 


me, before 1987 to move his racetrack to the Pleasanton area. 2 
You think you may have been the first people to suggest the 
change of site? 

Weissman: I m not sure we were. 

Chall: Or, you may have been just reiterating the possibilities? 

Weissman: Right. 

Chall: Yes. He refused to do that. 

Weissman: He was not receptive to the idea, and it was a sensible idea. 
If it were purely a business decision, I think that s the 
decision he would have made, because at the time he just had an 
option on the property, he never actually purchased the 
property. He was always struggling with how to renew this 
option with Leslie Salt, and it was costing him a lot to have 
that option. I don t know that much about his history or his 
family background, but there was something that just really 
tied him to Hayward; it had to be Hayward. It had to be the 
Baumberg Tract. 

He was absolutely convinced that if he stayed in the game 
long enough, he would succeed. I think, finally, he just 
burned through every possible financing option, he used them 
all up, and he was out of money. The strange thing was that he 
had created a structure for himself which gave the illusion of 
a real development business. He had this house, he had a whole 
staff of people, which was costing him a lot of money. I don t 
know how many people he had in there, but he had a full-time 
technical staff. Have you interviewed Nori Hall? 

Chall: No. 

Weissman: Well, she would be a good one to talk to. 

Chall: Nori Hall was whom? 

Weissman: Nori Hall was John s right-hand lady. 

Chall: His secretary? 

Correspondence between John Thorpe and Colonel Andrew M. Perkins, 
Jr., District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (February-April, 
1985), suggesting an alternative site at Los Positos (Livermore). 


Weissman: No, she wasn t a secretary. She was like a technical advisor, 
assistant. She was his liaison for regulatory affairs, and we 
worked most closely with her throughout the process. She was 
constantly writing letters, making phone calls, communicating 
with all the consultants, with the agencies, tracking what was 
going on, she attended every meeting. She was very energetic; 
she was quite good at what she did. The problem is that she 
was dealing with a hopeless situation. 

And then, he had all these other people there, just 
secretaries, and--. I don t know what all these people were 

Chall: It was all Shorelands at that time, probably, because he had 

built another major project called Columbia Homes in the hills 
of Castro Valley, maybe a few years before. So, he was known 
as a developer. Of course, he was known anyway in Hayward. 
So, some of that might have been still going on, I m not sure. 
I think he was finished with the housing development. 

Weissman: Well, that s interesting because we asked him what sort of 

track record do you have to know that you can do this. There 
was really nothing. He didn t mention--. I don t recall this 
Columbia Homes Project at all. 

Chall: Oh, really. 

Weissman: We wondered where he got his initial shot of financing to even 
consider doing this. What was bankrolling him? This is news 
to me to know that he built homes in the Castro Valley hills. 
He certainly wasn t forthcoming about showing it off. 

Chall: I m not sure whether he ended up in some kind of problem with 
that financially, but it s a going concern; that is a major 
development in the hills of Castro Valley. There, again, at 
the time he had quite a bit of altercation with some of the 
environmentalists in the area who didn t want him going through 
certain areas where there were trees, cutting down trees, and 
building a new road. But he got through all that. He was very 
proud, actually, of what he managed to accomplish at that time. 
So, yes he does have a track record. Many people really 
believed in him and gave him a lot of money. 

Weissman: That s true, he was very persuasive with the investors. I mean 
at one point he got--. I remember I think the last major shot 
of money he had was--. There was a check that they had 
photocopied and blown up, I think it was for $1 million. It 
was sitting on Nori Hall s desk under glass. This was a group 


of British investors who invested in racetrack and hotel 
development. That was one of the last people he went to. 

In fact, once Tom and I were on a plane to New York and he 
was on the same flight, it just so happened--a complete 
coincidence. I think he was on his way to the UK to try to do 
more fund raising at that time; that was way at the very end of 
the project. 

Chall: Oh, I see, when he was really dssperate. Well, are you saying 
that when you started out at the very beginning after an early 
meeting with him, that you sort of warned him that you might 
not be able to provide anything more than had already been done 
to get him past the jeopardy opinion? Is that it? 

Had you done a considerable amount of research on the other 
material that had then been finished, like the Murray reports 
and the report for the Cole /Mills Associates by Steve Foreman? 
[shows copies of reports) 3 

Weissman: Oh, that s the early one, yes. And this was the WESCO one, 

right? You should get a copy of the one that we did. I think 
this is an extra copy. 4 

Preparing for the Task Ahead 

Chall: Oh, good, thank you. I m just trying to think of how you would 
go about this task. The first thing you said is that you 
forewarned him. Now that means that apparently you went over 
all the literature? 

Weissman: We did. We had access to all the materials that had been 

prepared to date, and we based our assessment on what we saw; 
in particular, what was the content of the jeopardy opinion 

3 Richard Murray and Associates, "The Shorelands Biological Mitigation 
Master Plan." Revised 12/12/87. The original plan is dated 8/31/87. 

"Biological Assessment for the Proposed Shorelands Project." Prepared 
by Western Ecological Services Company (WESCO), June 1987. 

Thomas Reid Associates, "Biological Assessment for the Proposed 
Shorelands Project," (Revision of the report originally prepared by Western 
Ecological Services Company [WESCO]), August 1989. 



that he was about to receive when he withdrew his application. 
We could see the magnitude of the problems that he faced. 

Did you go on a field trip? 

Yes, we got the grand tour of the property and the whole thing. 

Tom Reid assigned this to you. Is that it? 

Well, he and I are the principals of the firm. I have 
necessary biological background to have done the assessment and 
prepared the documentation that was needed. 1 also 
participated in all the meetings and the meetings with the 
agencies. The critical factor here was there was one 
individual who is an employee of the Fish and Wildlife Service 
who was absolutely determined that this project would fail. 

Overcoming the Hurdles: Mitigation Due to Loss of Wetlands Area 

Chall: Who was that? 

Weissman: His name is Peter Sorensen. He and John Thorpe were just as 
opposite as they could be. As determined as John was to 
succeed, Peter Sorensen was determined that he would not 
succeed . 

Chall: Is this a common problem among people in agencies who might not 
just have a difference of opinion but a difference of 
personality which can color the final results? You re probably 
going to tell me a little bit more, but right now it looks as 
if this might have been based more on their hostility than on 
scientific evidence. 

Weissman: Well, I don t think it was hostility, it wasn t a direct 
hostility. What it was was essentially a difference of 
philosophy really. You could take the scientific information 
and interpret it according to a spectrum. One end being, yes, 
they could build this project and they could do all the things 
that were in this document that said that they could mitigate 
the impacts on all the species of concern and there wouldn t be 
a problem, which was John s point of view. Peter Sorensen at 
the opposite end would say, "No, this land is historic wetland, 
it is part of San Francisco Bay. I won t see one inch of fill 
put on any more of San Francisco Bay, and certainly not for a 
project like this." 



What it came down to was that the deal that they would have 
had to negotiate--. There is always a deal waiting in the 
wings. The deal that the Fish and Wildlife Service wanted was 
to get a very, very large tract of land set aside as part of 
the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge on the order of 
six or seven thousand acres, essentially the magnitude of the 
Baumberg Tract. So, they were not going to allow fill on six 
hundred and sixty acres, which is what he wanted, unless they 
were going to get six thousand acres. 

And, where would that have come from? 

Weissman: That was difficult, right. 

Chall: That s quite a deal. That was an incredible deal. [laughs] 

Weissman: Well, that s what it really came down to. But, what John was 
really offering was acre for acre or something. 

Chall: And, not off site. Apparently, he had this 800-some acres, or 
whatever he had, as an option from Leslie Salt and was just 
going to use that land, build on a part of it and find more-- 
another several hundred for mitigation. That s the only way I 
can understand what he had in mind. 

Weissman: Well, the problem also is that there was going to be a net loss 
of habitat value because the area that he was using as 
mitigation already had habitat value as salt ponds, and what 
he s saying is okay, well, we ll change it into something else, 
give it a different type of value that has a greater value. 
But there s still going to be a net loss, and the service was 
not comfortable with that either because the trade-off wasn t 
good enough. 

Here Sorensen, I think he would have responded negatively. 
In fact, he did. Every single applicant who came in in that 
same period of time went nowhere, got nowhere. There was 
Mayhews Landing, in Fremont. There was another project, the 
name escapes me, in the Hayward area that essentially ended up 
in the same situation as Thorpe did. Every developer thinks 
that they can succeed where somebody else failed because the 
other guy isn t playing the game right. 

The interesting thing is that Peter Sorensen is a staff- 
level individual, he was not management, he was not the upper 
levels of that organization, but the project never got beyond 
him. John Thorpeeither it didn t occur to him, or he was 
unable to use influence. He tried to use influence, I believe, 
in Washington at some point, but that wasn t very successful. 


In order to have changed anything, it would have required major 
shifts in wetlands regulation, which the Republicans were 
working on. They are always working on that. 

John Thorpe, himself, was a Democrat and he was pro-union 
and all that, so what he wanted to do was at cross-purposes 
with the major part of his political orientation, so that 
didn t work very well either. He didn t have the kind of 
influence in Washington that it would have taken to try to get 
his property somehow exempted from anything. 

All the time he was just dealing with the staff level at 
the Fish and Wildlife Service that was sufficient to basically 
block him. He never got beyond that, and the same problem with 
the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Planning and Working Toward a Successful Outcome 

Chall: Given all this, when your company is hired, you really are 
expected, I would guess, to do your best to reach the 
objective, the goal, whatever it is. In this case, to reach 
the goal was to see that he would pass the jeopardy opinion. 
Were you able to do anything at all? 

Weissman: Well, we took this a long way. The situation that it was in 
when we got involved was that he had been taking advice from 
people who really were not very helpful. A really important 
point of background is I think that he surrounded himself with 
and used as advisors people who were interested in being 
participants, themselves, in the project. 

We never actually found this out, but we suspected that 
part of the compensation that he paid some of his other 
consultants was in what were called "points" in the project. 
In other words, they were deferring their reimbursement for 
their work until such time as the project went forward. So, he 
gave them a certain amount of cash and a certain amount of 
points. I think that Richard Murray was one of those. I don t 
know the other people, attorneys, whatever. I don t think that 
was true of WESCO, the biological consultant, or Cole/Mills. 

The problem is that once you have a consultant who has an 
interest in the project, it s very difficult for that person to 
be objective any more. Our role was strictly to deal with 
technical issues and to try to help them through by solving the 
technical problems that they had. We were not being advocates, 




pro or con for the project. We were going to deal with the 
scientific issues, the technical issues, and see if there was a 
way to prove that they could successfully build this project 
and mitigate the impacts that the agencies were concerned with. 

We thought that was a real possibility. We told him it 
would be very difficult. We didn t give him any assurances 
that this was going to happen. It was his decision that he was 
going to get good advice from our firm and that he had the best 
chance of success in working with us, which was probably true. 

I don t think anybody else there isn t a person that I ve 
ever heard of who could have produced a better result. The 
problem is that the powers that be weren t interested really--. 
I mean because it was almost as much philosophical or political 
as it was scientific, why this never went anywhere. It wasn t 
the weight of the evidence, really, that killed it. It was 
just the way they chose to interpret the information. 

If you read the jeopardy opinion, he did get a draft 
jeopardy opinion throughthe process did get to that point. 
If you read what s in there, it s very clear what the thinking 
was. I think one thing is that if he had not insisted on the 
racetrack as part of the project, he could have succeeded. 

Yes, of course. I mean the racetrack was the end-all and be- 
all, that s quite right. There wouldn t have been any problem 
if he had just had a couple of hotels and some office 
buildings . 

Exactly, he could have solved the problem if he had not 
insisted on the racetrack. The other thing was that the 
racetrack was working to his disadvantage in terms of financing 
because if he wanted to go to a major financing institution, he 
would have a hard time showing that would be profitable because 
most of the racetracks in the Bay Area weren t doing very well. 
There were Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields, and they were 
struggling to keep their doors open. So that was not the most 
lucrative part of the project but that was truly the sticking 
point in terms of what if came down to in the end. 

Habitat Mitigation Issues: The Snowy Plover, the Salt Marsh 
Harvest Mouse, the Clapper Rail, the Least Tern 

Weissman: Richard Murray wasn t a biologist, he was an architect, and he 
had some ideas for mitigation that were completely contrary to 


what the Fish and Wildlife Service was interested in. By the 
time we got involved, that s what John was working from. He 
had, for example, these islands he was going to build. 

Chall: Yes, for the plovers. 

Weissman: The plovers, nesting islands. He got this idea that you build 
these few islands and that s going to be the total haven for 
snowy plovers. Well, the Fish and Wildlife Service thought 
that was a laughable idea. First of all, we did research into 
other projects where people attempted to recreate plover 

We talked to the people at the Point Reyes Bird 
Observatory; there were some projects that they were familiar 
with. There was a project I believe in the Santa Cruz area, 
and there they had thought that they created all the elements 
of plover habitat and, in fact, plovers did come and nest there 
for one season and they never came back. They had no idea why, 
what went wrong. There was something missing, there was 
something about it. 

It was based on a sort of totally unproven hypothesis that 
you could even recreate plover habitat. And this idea of these 
islands, that didn t really resemble the existing habitat--it 
was just a completely flawed concept. At the time, we told 
John, "You need to re-think this whole thing." 

Chall: You were talking about the plover habitat. You felt that those 
little islands wouldn t work. 

Weissman: Right. 

Chall: Can you think of another suggestion? 

Weissman: Well, do you know the ornithologist Leora Feeney? 

Chall: Yes, I know who she is. John Thorpe called her the "plover 

Weissman: Right. She studied both plovers and least terns. 
Chall: They were important too, the terns. 

Weissman: She did a multi-year study on the snowy plovers, which was just 
going on at the time we were working on this. I believe that 
the final mitigation strategy for snowy plovers was going to 


come out of what Leora found out, and her study was completed 
fairly late on in the process. At that time, the snowy plover 
had not yet been listed, but I think it was listed after that 
time, after this whole thing was over with. So, John was being 
forward thinking in knowing that he would have to address the 

Chall: The three that he really had to consider were the mouse-- 
Weissman: Right, the salt marsh harvest mouse. 

Chall: The salt marsh harvest mouse, the least tern, and the clapper 
rail. Those were the three because they were endangered 
species. Was there any way beyond what Murray and the others 
had indicated where you could solve those problems? 

Weissman: If you read this document, this was our approach. 5 It was sort 
of a multi-pronged approach because not only were we looking at 
mitigation, but we were looking at the actual impact of the 
project on the species. In other words, how important was that 
site to the species at the time, and would the development of 
the project interfere with the goals for survival and recovery 
of the species, irrespective of the mitigation? Was the impact 
reversible, and what would you have to do even in the absence 
of the project if you wanted to recover the values of that site 
for those species? 

In other words, trying to put the project into its proper 
perspective and not blow the impact of the project itself out 
of proportion. I think that the problem, the really basic 
problem was that here we had 750 acres of historic San 
Francisco Bay. John Thorpe wanted to put fill on 660 of them. 
It didn t matter if there wasn t one single plover or tern that 
had been seen there in the last fifty years, it was potential 
habitat that was going to be permanently converted to an upland 
condition and this was intolerable. 

The Concern for the Future of Wetlands 

Weissman: The service et al was not really as interested in the immediate 
and direct impacts as they were in the foreclosure of the 

5 Thomas Reid Associates, "Biological Assessment (revision)." 


He could have argued forever on the merits or lack of 
merits of the project, and the relative role of his project 
compared with anything else. The fact is that he was going to 
put fill on 660 acres of historic San Francisco Bay, most of 
which had been tidal wetlands and this was just intolerable. 

I mean that Peter Sorensen and people like him had made up 
their minds that there wasn t going to be one single acre of 
San Francisco Bay that was filled permanently ever again. We 
had to go in the other direction. We had all these studies by 
people who had done calculations on the relative amount of 
historic wetland that were left and how much had been 
destroyed: was it 9 percent or was it 12 percent left, or 
whatever it was. 

Whatever it was, it was a very small fraction of the 
original and this value was considered to be too high to 
sacrifice anything. In other words, if you want to build a 
project like the one John wanted to build, this was not the 
right place to build it. He really did not have any component 
of that project that was water-dependent. If you want to build 
a project, like a marina, or a port, or something that has to 
be on water, then the agencies are willing to say, "Okay, you 
can t have a port without being on the bay front. Then, we ll 
look at mitigation." 

This project didn t have to be on San Francisco Bay, on 
historic wetlands; it could have been anywhere. That s what we 
tried to tell him. "John, it doesn t matter." He used the 
phrase, "Put Hayward on the map. This project is going to put 
Hayward on the map." Restore Hayward to its former grandeur, 
or maybe the grandeur it never had. It had to be at this sort 
of gateway location at the end of Eden Landing Road, that was 

What we tried to do was inject reason into both sides of 
the process, and tried to get John to recognize what it was 
that he had to face to get over the hurdles that were 
insurmountable. On the other side, we tried to convince the 
agency people like Peter Sorensen that there was a solution 
that met their objectives. 

Chall: What was it? I haven t read your material, but what was your 

solution? It looked already impossible. You were dealing with 
whom, just Peter Sorensen? You didn t have to worry about Carl 
Wilcox or the Fish and Game people? 

Weissman: Well, there were people from Fish and Game, Paul Kelly. 






Any of the Leslie Salt people? 
Salt land. 

He would have had to buy Leslie 

Well, he mainly negotiated. The real estate end of things was 
really not our concern so much. I have a list in here of who 
we talked to; Gail Kobetich was the supervisor [Fish and 
Wildlife Service], Peggy Kohl was involved, a biologist, and 
Ted Rado also, and then Karen Miller from the Division of 
Ecological Services. They were all participants in this thing. 
The heavy hitter was Peter Sorensen. He was really the major 
one. He was the one who probably actually wrote the biological 

How did that happen? Was he just there at the right place at 
the right time, or the right place at the wrong time, or what? 

I think that they assigned this project to him. San Francisco 
Bay wetlands was his jurisdiction. It was what he was supposed 
to deal with. His role was to oversee projects that had 
impacts on San Francisco Bay endangered species. He was the 
appropriate person with the appropriate expertise. He did have 
a lot of expertise. 

Attempts to Control Predation of the Clapper Rails 

Weissman: To encapsulate, what finally happened, I think what was really 
the death of this, was that with the racetrack, there was the 
issue about predators from the racetrack preying on the 
endangered species. They were very, very worried about the 
clapper rails. Even though there were no clapper rails close 
to the project and they were not directly impacted by any of 
what John Thorpe was going to build, the issue was that there 
was going to be a huge concentration of new predators 
associated with the development, primarily the racetrack. They 
were worried about rats and feral cats. 

Peter Sorensen was convinced that there was no way that any 
human could construct any barrier that would prevent these 
animals from getting out, going into the marsh, and increasing 
predation pressure on the clapper rails. They had been doing 
studies of the clapper rails and apparently the main area that 
was thought to be the refuge for clapper rails, where there was 
any hope of recovery, was in the South Bay. This was part of 
the South Bay and it was very precious. 



The clapper rails were declining in numbers. Every time 
they went out to census them there were fewer of them and they 
noted predation by rats and also by red fox. Red fox was a 
major problem, and I guess it still is. There was no problem 
with red fox associated with the project. In fact, I think one 
of the things John wanted to do was to help eradicate the red 
fox as a source of predation as a way of compensating for 
whatever they were worried about from his project. 

The whole thing about the predator enclosure was part of 
that predation pressure issue, showing that you could build 
something to prevent the predators from getting out. It turned 
out it was very instructive that that was done because it 
showed just exactly how difficult it was to design something 
that would keep predators from getting out. 

You did try to make something? 

Well, WESCO did. This is the thing that I wanted to show you 
the photos of. If you can see this. It will be very 
interesting for you to see this. They actually built this 
thing. They had to modify it repeatedly to get it to work. 
What they did was they built it initially and it had twelve- 
foot high, heavy-duty chain link, with a cement, concrete 
barrier that went underground as well. I think they also had a 
moat around it . 

Chall: Yes, they were supposed to have a moat. 

Weissman: There was a moat. Then, they put a cat in the enclosure. The 
cat got out immediately. [laughter] The cat went right over 
the corner. This was so funny because WESCO had to do a report 
on what happened with their experiments with these animals, 
[laughter] The cat just got right out. The cat wasn t in 
there for five minutes. 

Chall: Were you there watching? 

Weissman: No, we didn t see this. Then, they had to modify this. They 
had to put wire going inward, like barbed wire. When they 
finally got it to work, they sheathed the top of the fence with 
sheets of aluminum to deny any animal any foothold, and they 
may have also placed all around the circumference an area of 
barbed wire. It was probably five feet going in. San Quentin 
looked like a palace compared to this place. We couldn t 
imagine you could really build something like this. People 
were going, "What is this? Am I ever going to get out?" 


They finally got to the point where this poor cat could not 
get out anymore. The cat must have escaped a dozen times 
before they finally modified it to keep the cat in. We were 
glad that the SPCA never came out and saw this poor, mangy 
animal, and the couple of pieces of metal that they put in 
there for a shelter. This poor thing; I guess they gave him 
food. They finally established that, yes, if you did this, it 
wouldn t get out. 

Then, they put in rats. That was really hilarious because 
I think they managed to catch something like four rats and put 
them in this thing. They were eating each other, of course. 
Finally, one of them disappeared. The big rat disappeared. 
They don t know what happened to it; it was just amazing. They 
said, "This is impossible, what happened to this rat?" They 
had to dredge the moat, trying to find the rat. They dug, they 
could not find it; so that wasn t really a very good result. 
It really was not showing that this was going to work. This 
was essentially a fiasco. 

It was very interesting because I don t think that has been 
done very often that somebody actually tries to do a field 
trial of something like this. 

Chall: You have to give John credit because he really did try. 

Weissman: He did, he tried everything. Did you hear this story? We just 
heard the story about the time he went into the city council 
chambers in Hayward with a lion or a tiger. 

Chall: Right, I did see the press reports on that. It was a tiger. 
Weissman: I didn t understand what the purpose of the tiger was. 

Chall: I think, before the racetrack or also along with the racetrack, 
he planned to put Marine World Africa-USA there. Marine World 
finally realized that putting it there, while they might 
eventually succeed, it was going to have to go through all 
these hoops. The land was available in Vallejo, so they 
finally just backed down from the Baumberg Tract and went off 
to Vallejo because they couldn t wait. Then John just went 
ahead with the racetrack. I think it was at that period when 
he was still considering the project. 

Weissman: Okay, well, that makes more sense. [laughter] 

Chall: In Karen Holzmeister s report s- -she s the reporter who covered 
most of this for many years for the Hayward Daily Reviewshe 


occasionally referred to him as flamboyant. He is an 
interesting person. When you found out you couldn t keep the 
predators out--. 

Weissman: Right, the last thing that we did was to look for recognized 
predator control experts and try to bring them in. People 
whose business it was to prevent predators from getting into 
open space lands or wildlife habitat, or to control pests at 
places like racetracks. I can t remember the name of the 
person. We got some wildlife biologist from the Central 
Valley, whose name escapes me but I could find it if you need 
to know. 6 

Also, we talked to Crane, the pest control company. What 
they said was very persuasive to us, which was that they had 
actually had experience at a number of racetracks, including 
Golden Gate Fields. They believed that it was possible to 
essentially prevent almost all of whatever animals were in 
there from going out on the marsh by rodent proofing the 
facilities so there weren t a lot of places were they could 
escape . 

The point that they made was that if you have a racetrack 
where there are animals, and there s feed, and there s safe 
haven that the rats are going to stay there because that s 
comfort. They ve got everything they need there; they have 
food, they have shelter, they have water. It s a safe haven 
compared to going out in the marsh where they have to be 
exposed to the elements and there s not a lot of food. So why 
go all the way out to the bay lands and try to find some poor 
clapper rail egg when you ve got troughs full of food. 

In their experience, that was the case. What the Crane 
people said was that the facility itself would be an 
attractant. In other words, the rats that were in the marsh 
would go in, rather than the other way around and there really 
wouldn t be a problem. That was their conclusion as experts. 
We were convinced. Here were people who had years of 
experience in dealing with this very problem. It made sense, 
but that did not convince Peter Sorensen. He said, "No, 
there s always going to be the occasional rat that s going to 
get out." 

Also, if you find that there s a rat infestation in the 
stable area, what are they going to do? They are going to try 

6 Lee R. Martin, principal biologist, Wildlife Control Technology, 
Inc., Fresno, California. See following pages. 



June 26, 1990 TECHNOLOGY, 

Mori 6. Hall 

The Shorelends Corporation 
21800 Hesperian Blvd. 
Haywerd. CA 94540 

Dear Mrs Hall, 

Subject Predetor/prey relationship update 
Reference: June 22 on-site observation and discussion 

Results of the June 22 field inspection revealed that predators end 
roden .s competitive with SMHM have incr eased in numbers since 
completion of the 19E5 Held report. Population dynamics end inUrspecies 
relationships have shifted to the extent that the composition of the ShHn 
population may be much altered. The number of predators observed by our 
6/22 group and those documented by Leora Feeney suggest that there has 
been a significant change in the predator/prey relationship since 1985. 
The Shorelands Project needs to know: 

1 . Predator and prey species currently using the project site 
2 Estimated numbers of predators and range on the project site 
3. Locations of rodent populations as defined by burrow and runway 


Date is to be collected by four technicians and one supervisor walking the 
project site and maping details of all rodent and predator activity (mama) 
and avian) Identification of species from habitat use patterns is not 
difficult if one knows the species present. Data will not be definitive in 
itself but will allow one to visualize the extent of rodent and predator use 
areas The maping will make it possible (if found necessary) to live trap in 
high and low predation areas to determine the presence and extent of 
as compared to the 19B5 data. 


90" "~12:~i:~ 


07-03/90 12: 17 002 

Fees Phase I 

2 Cays and 2 nights walk-thru and observations. Final report to be in 
map form plus a list of species and any unusual sightings. 

Schedule. 4arr.-10pm and 4pm- 10pm 

Technicians 12hrs/dey - 2 days - 4 men - $40/hr - $3840. 
Supervisor- 12hrs/day -2 days - Iman - $80/hr = $1920. 

Total -$5760. 

f^rvire Fees P 

This phase to be unite,- taken only if deemed necessary. WCT hes no 
permit to wor* wiU". SMHM. live traps would he-^e to be provided by 
Sticr elands for this phase. 

Technicians: 8hrs/nigr.t - 4 nights - 2 men - $40/hr -$2S60. 

Supervisor- Bhrs/night 4 nights - 1 man - $60/hr $2560. 

Total -$5120 

Note, fees incluoe travel time and perdierm 


Lee R Martin 
Principal Biologist 









to eradicate the rats and they are going to remove the food 
source, or the piles of hay or whatever it is that they re 
living in and that s going to drive them out into the marsh. 
It just turned into a debate from which there really was no 

At that point, we didn t know what to do. We figured, 
"Okay, we have tried to solicit the best scientific information 
we can get to track this problem. That was our approach, to 
find the highest level of scientific expertise on the subject 
and see if that would be persuasive. It should have been, but 
it wasn t because Peter Sorensen was just intractable on the 
point, and there was no one who was going to overrule him. I 
think at that point, John started to run out money. 

I guess he owed lots of people money, at the end. 
Right, we were among the last to--. 

Yes, the creditors. You said that your particular task was as 
the liaison with the Fish and Wildlife Service and John Thorpe? 

And the Corps of Engineers. 

With whom were you dealing in the corps? 

Sharon Moreland was one of the people. Scott Minor, Radford S. 
(Skid) Hall, Colonel Calvin Fong. 

The Second Draft Jeopardy Opinion Means Defeat for the 
Shorelands Project 

Weissman: Finally, it was Calvin Fong, the one who actually had to sign 
off on the document at the corps. 

Chall: The most important person then would have been Sorensen. 

Weissman: I think so. Sorensen was the most influential in what actually 
happened, the outcome of that whole thing. He was the one who 
wrote the jeopardy opinion for the servicethe second jeopardy 
opinion. When that second jeopardy opinion came out as a 
draft, at that point, John had nowhere to turn. It was at that 
point we were then struggling to determine what the next step 
was, how to get beyond that. At that point, that s when the 
whole thing started to fall apart and he ran out of money. 


Chall: Yes, lie gave up sometime in 1990. I think, also, there was a 
problem of a road that he wasn t about to accept. I think, 
then, he got into some difficulty. He claims that he actually 
could pass, and did, the jeopardy opinion but that then he had 
problems with the city [Hayward], They had to grant the final 
permit and they wouldn t do it. I m not sure about that. 

Weissman: He didn t even get to that point because he had to completely 
redo his environmental impact statement to incorporate all of 
the changes that he had made in the project from the time that 
we got involved. That was also going to require sign off by 
the city of Hayward, so it was a joint EIR-EIS [Environmental 
Impact Report-Impact Statement], and he never even got to the 
point of re-releasing that document. The project access road 
was just one of the things, and the freeway interchange- -how 
that was going to be designed. My memory of some of this--. ] 
apologize. It s because it was a long time ago. 

Chall: No, I think you ve done very well. It s one project you 
probably won t forget in terms of the story. 

Weissman: Yes, the story, the highlights of it. 

The Frustration of a Consultant Failing to Reach the Desired 

Chall: How frustrating was it for you to be dealing with people who 

couldn t be convinced that you might be on the right track, or 
that there was a possibility? 

Weissman: Well, it was frustrating to not make the type of progress that 
we hoped to make because that has been the hallmark of our 
success as a consultant that we usually are able to produce a 
successful result in a negotiation. We ve worked on a lot of 
habitat conservation plans for endangered species and projects 
where there is a conflict between like a private sector, 
landowner interests, resource agency interests, conservation 
groups, public, so on. In many instances, we ve been able to 
bring that to a "win-win." The first habitat conservation plan 
we worked on was the San Bruno Mountain. I don t know if your 
familiar with that one. 

Chall: Yes. 

Weissman: Most people considered that to be a major success story. We 
were the scientific advisor through that whole process. Our 


actual title that we had when we worked for John was the "Non- 
Federal Representative" to the Corps of Engineers. That s what 
we were called so it s the same role basically. It was very 
frustrating to see that the efforts that we were going to were 
not producing a result and we were getting to the point where 
we were running out of options as well. 

The point is that if you have the best possible evidence to 
show something and the other party refuses to accept it and to 
the point where it s no longer based on science but it becomes 
more conviction or prejudice, something like that, there s 
nothing you can do with that. The only way that Peter Sorensen 
could have been circumvented is if someone above him had said, 
"No, we don t accept your conclusion. We are going to take 
this role away from you. Somebody else is going to make the 
decision." That didn t happen because the people above him 
supported him. Gale Kobetich was his supervisor, and Wayne 
White, who was then in the Portland office. 

He did not have any opposition from within his own agency. 
Basically, all the people there were willing to delegate the 
responsibility of whatever decisions were made to Peter 
Sorensen. They all signed off on the biological opinion that 
he wrote. There was nothing to counteract that. 

The Current Status of the Baumberg Tract 

Chall: You probably know that it s now going to be a wildlife 

Weissman: Who was it that actually acquired it? 

Chall: The state Wildlife Conservation Board. It was acquired through 
mitigation, the result of mitigating Highway 880 widening in 
Fremont and Milpitas, and some sewer system improvements in San 
Jose. Money came also from Proposition 70 funds. [See 
Glossary] They have another year or so to develop it as a 
restored wetland with habitat for the endangered species, and 
some trails for hiking. Steve Foreman is the lead person. 


Weissman: He worked for WE SCO at the -.:ime. 

Chall: He s in charge now, with Resources Management International. 7 

Weissman: Did they acquire all of the Baumberg Tract? 

Chall: I think they are working on 835 acres. 

Weissman: Did they pay for it per acre, because that was a big issue as 

Chall: They paid $12.5 million. There were people who felt they paid 
more than they should have, of course. 

Weissman: There are some interesting things in here among the papers I 
brought in. There s a letter on pest control. 

Chall: I d like to have this material available to put into the volume 
and/or into the archives that go along with the volume. We put 
everything that we collect into The Bancroft Library. If you 
find anything that you think would be useful and you re willing 
to copy it, I would certainly appreciate it. 

Examining the Processes Required to Restart the Proiect 

Chall: I wanted to ask you some questions regarding a letter from Skid 
Hall, whom you mentioned before. 8 

Chall: Skid Hall was writing to Martin Storm, the chief of program 

planning for the city of Hayward. Did you ever talk to any of 
those Hayward people? 

Weissman: I think we did. 

With LSA Associates, Inc., since April 1998. 

"Memorandum from Radford (Skid) Hall to Martin Storm, "Review of 
Shorelands Project Status," September 25, 1990. See following pages for 
Skid Hall memorandum and excerpt from Karen Weissman memorandum on the same 
subject. The complete documents can be found in The Bancroft Library. 

239a SEP 2 7 J590 


Land Planning and Permlriing Oorulultdiru- 

TO: Martin Storm, Chief, Program Planning 
City of Hayward 

FROM: Skid HaJl DATE: Sept. 25, 1990 

SUBJECT: Review of Shorelands Project Status 

1. As requested by your letters of September 17, and 19, 1990, 1 
have reviewed the various materials provided and am providing an 
analysis of the current status of the Shorelands Project with 
particular reference to the Preliminary Biological Opinion and the 
future processing of a new application through the federal 
regulatory programs. 

2. It is to be clearly noted that these comments are purely my own 
inierpretaiion of the current situtation as requested by the city, and 
as such they cannot and do not represent those of any agency, 
applicant or private firm other than my own. nor can they be 
interpreted to commit any other entity to a particular course of 

3. Initially 1 would state that the Summary of Prior Events and 
Present Status of Shorelands Project, which 1 was provided appears 
to be quite comprehensive, accurate and well done. At the time of 
withdrawal of the initial Shorelands application (Dec. 14, 1987), the 
Corps of Engineers indicated that a criteria for acceptance of a new 
application would be the removal of the USF&WS Section 7 jeopardy 
opinion. On this basis, "early consultation" (pre-application) was 
initiated on the revised project. This process was concluded with 
the issuance of the Preliminary Biological Opinion (PBO) on August 
31, 1990. The PBO again found jeopardy but included a specific 
"Reasonable and Prudent Alternative" (R&PA), which the Service 
"believes would avoid the likelihood of" jeopardy. One can thus 
assume that if the R&PA were accepted, jeopardy is lifted and a new 
application could ensue. 

At this time it appears that Shorelands finds the R&PA to be 
manageable, but are unable to accept it totally at face value and axe 
initiating a negotiation process with the Service to reach an 
agreement on specific definition of the R&PA which Shorelands can 

100 Fosicr Ciiy Blvd., Suite 101. Foster City, CA 94404 
(415)573-9465 . FAX (415) 573-9471 


accept and insure implementation. This negotiation process appears 
legitimate as the regulations clearly state the R&PA must be 
economically and technologically feasible". Clearly in terms of 
economics and perhaps technologically (through their consultants) it 
seems appropriate for the applicant to discuss areas of an R&PA 
where they may have concerns. 1 am unable to speculate upon the 
timing and outcome of this process as to my knowledge similar 
negotiations have not occurred in the Bay area and I do not know how 
willing the F&WS is to reconsider its stated conditions. The 
applicant has suggested and seems comfortable should the city wish 
to inquire of the F&WS their position on negotiating the details of 
the R&PA and that might be the best way for the city to get a feel 
for the timing and likelihood of success. This is important for the 
city as 1 would expect, based on their stated position, the Corps 
would not be likely to accept and initiate processing of a new 
application until the details of the R&PA were worked out and 
accepted and the jeopardy was indeed lifted. 

4. The following activities will occur or be required for the 
processing of a new permit application: 

a. Preparation, submittal and acceptance of a new Shorelands 
Corps of Engineers permit application based on the current project, 
mitigation and R&PA. The application will of course require project 
description and drawings. 

b. Reinitiation of the EIR/EIS process. Although much of the 
information in the exisitng document will be useful, as the project 
is revised 1 would expect some significant work will need to be 
done to arrive at a new draft document and then the review 
processes (both ciry-CEQA and Corps-NEPA) will need to begin again. 
I would not anticipate a revision in preparer would be a problem and 
would asume the Corps would work with any consultant the city 
contracts with to prepare the document. 

Based on recent conversations, the applicant has indicated that 
the Corps might allow initiation of work on a revised EIR/EIS prior 
to acceptance of a new application. Initiation of the EIR/EIS work 
prior to application is sensitive as the Corps clearly plays a role in 
the scoping, formatting, content and eventual processing of the 
document (ie: the EIS actually becomes a Corps document ). Thus, if 
initiation prior to an accepted application is contemplated, my 
feeling is that the city and the applicant would want to have the 


pfe^:v or p S formally state their support for the approach and commit to 

participation in required activities to insure that the ultimate 

document being prepared under a city contract complies with Corps 
directives and needs. 

c . A revised altemati v es__an _al_ysj j_ ( A A) ., _wil l_be_igqu i red u mJej 
the 404(b)(l) Guidelines relating to the current project and will 

"need tcT be Tubmiued to the Corps along with the application or 
shortly thereafter. In this instance, since the work to be done is 
completely by and at the direction of the applicant, and as stated, 
should be available near the time of application, initiation of work 
prior to applying is the prudent thing to do. The Corps commonly 
conducts the Guidelines review concurrent with the other elements 
of Corps processing (ie: NEPA and public interest review), thus it is 
unlikely the opportunity would exist for the city to delay action 
pending the outcome of the Guidelines review. 

The 404(b)(l) aspect of the federal process has taken on increasing 
importance in recent years (witness the recent Apanolio/Ox Mtn. 
landfill decision in San Mateo County). The guidance for evaluation 
under the Guidelines has also become more stringent. On the original 
application. 1 believe the Corps had stated 404(b)(l) compliance for 
the racetrack only, with unresolved questions remaining regarding 
the commercial/industrial components and the overall connections 
of the Shorelands project. EPA was concerned with all the various 
aspects of the project in terms of compliance with the Guidelines. 
Clearly this will be a major requirement for the applicant to 
address. Although the 404(b)(l) call rests with the Corps and EPA. 
other agencies most notably the F&WS and the RegionaJ Water 
Quality Control Board now integrate it into their reviews as well. 

1 am not familiar enough with the requirements and limitations of 
retail auto uses to accurately speculate on the impact substitution 
of such a use might have on the Guidelines analysis. If those uses 
have very site specific needs which are uniquely served by the 
Shorelands location then they might be favorable to Guidelines 
compliance. It would be the task of the AA to demonstrate this, if 
indeed it is the case. In any event the AA document will need to be 
succinct and in keeping with current guidance and thinking on 
Guidelines review and compliance. 

d. The application will also need to include the mitigation plan 
developed for the project. Again this is a critical element of the 


project and has become more important in recent years (witness the 
emphasis on the "no net loss" policy). Clearly this will also be an 
issue with reviewing agencies. The F&WS, you ll note already 
alluded to their probable objection over wetlands in the PBO (page 


e. Upon receipt and acceptance of the application by the Corps, 
a new Public Notice would be issued and a 30-day comment period 
would begin. While this woi ld generate an initial set of agency and 
public responses, the process would likely remain unresolved until 
the draft EIS/E1R was distributed for review and comment. In 
conjunction with this review, the F&WS would be requested to 
convert the PBO to a Final Opinion, a process which will depend upon 
the project and impacts remaining as considered in the early 
consultation process. The issuance of a Final Non-jeporady Opinion 
is required prior to any permit approval. 

5. Prior to any final decision, and keeping in mind the processes 
described in 3 and 4 above, any required State of California 
approvals must be obtained. Although the extent of jurisdiction, 
permit requirements and appropriate processes are potentially in 
dispute, the two agencies which are most directly involved are the 
Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) and the 
Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB). The city should 
maintain communication with these agencies to insure that it is 
aware of their requirements and timeframes with respect to 
Shorelands so that any activities can be accomplished in a 
consistent and timely fashion. It would be expected that these 
agencies would look directly toward the city CEQA process as 
meeting their own necessary compliance with CEQA (ie: they may 
choose not to initiate action on required permits until the city CEQA 
process has been completed). 

6. Other items to be considered include, the potential for a Corps 
public hearing (always an option which can be requested by the 
public in a Corps 404 public notice issue) which might be considered 
a strong possibility in a project as significant as Shorelands and the 
appeal and/or veto processes afforded the various federal agencies 
in the event they object to a Corps intention to issue a permit. 

7. To attempt to summarize this, I would say that the issuance of 
the PBO and R&PA was a major step forward for the applicant and if 
the R&PA can be agreed upon, the way should be clear for a renewed 


application. In that event, much of the material already available, 
the project revisions and the mitigation plan should shorten the 
time required to accomplish the environmental and permit reviews. 
That said, it should be mad : clear that in effect the process starts 
aJl over" again and many difficult, time consuming and potentially 
controversial issues and processes will be involved. The city will 
need to constantly monitor activities in order remain current and 
consistent while not expending time and money needlessly or getting 
to far out in front of other activities. I hope this evaluation is 
helpful and if yo-i have questions or need further explanations on 
individual issues please let me know and I ll do my best to respond. 

Radford (Skid) Hall Ph.D. 






Negotiation strategy for Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives 
as stated in Preliminary Biological Opinion 


September 11, 1990 

Karen G. Weissman, 

Ph.D., Tom Reid 

First page of 8-page memo; 
entire memo will be deposited 
in The Bancroft Library. 

TO: Mr. John Thorpe, Mr. Richard Bail in 
The Shorelands Corporation 
21800 Hesperian Boulevard 
Hayward, CA 94541-7004 

Tom Reid and I have reviewed the August 31, 1990 Preliminary Biological 
Opinion (PBO) The new Opinion is a major improvement over the first draft in 
terms of documentation and specificity with regard to project features. Its 
principal author, Peter Sorenson, also responded to many of the criticisms 
raised in our formal comments. However, the PBO still contains many logical 
inconsistencies, as well as undocumented pseudo-scientific conjecture. Not 
all of our substantive comments received a response or resulted in needed 
revisions to the earlier document. 

All in all, it is our opinion that another round of formal comment on 
the PBO would serve only one purpose: reinforcement of the record to be used 
in a lawsuit against the USFWS. Otherwise, I think you should concentrate on 
the Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives as the only 
non-judicial means to reverse the Jeopardy Opinion. 

The Reasonable and Prudent Alternative lists 8 major actions (plus sub- 
actions) which must be taken to eliminate the jeopardy to listed endangered 
species. In this memo, we have broken these down into 19 distinct parts which 
we address individually. In our opinion, these actions fall into three 

1) "Reasonable": actions which are entirely do-able, reasonable and 
cost-effective, and should be agreed to by Shorelands unchanged 

2) "Negotiable": actions which are apparently reasonable, but require 
further clarification as to what has already been done, and what further 
needs to be done to satisfy the USFWS concerns; Shorelands should 
negotiate before agreeing to a list of specific items 

3) "Difficult": actions which are not reasonable by reason of legality, 
enforceabil ity or excessive economic impact on the project; 
Shorelands should negotiate to have these items modified 
substantially or dropped. 

I provide an analysis of each item as listed under the Reasonable and 
Prudent Alternatives, with recommendations for how to proceed: 

Thomas Reid Associates | 505 Hamilton Ave., Suite 201 (Post Box 880) | Palo Alto, CA 94301 
Tel: 415-327-0429 Fax: 415-327-4024 


Chall: He talked about the current status of the Shorelands Project, 
particularly with reference to the Preliminary Biological 
Opinion. Is that what you came up with or is that somebody 
else s? 

Weissman: That is the jeopardy opinion that Peter Sorensen wrote. 

Chall: I see, the Preliminary Biological Opinion [PBO] . He had been 

asked by Mr. Storm to review it and "the future processing of a 
new application through the federal regulatory programs." He 
writes, "It is to be clearly noted that these comments are 
purely my own interpretation..." His letterhead reads Land 
Planning and Permitting Consultant. I thought that this would 
indicate that he was in a private practice. 

Weissman: That s correct, he left the corps during the course of this and 
became a wetlands permitting consultant. 

Chall: I see. He found that the PBO issued on August 31, 1990, 

"included a specific Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (R&PA) , 
which the Service believes would avoid the likelihood of 
jeopardy. One can thus assume that if the R&PA were accepted, 
jeopardy is lifted and a new application could ensue." He goes 
on to discuss what might be done about that. Thorpe would have 
to go through the whole EIR/EIS process again, et cetera. 

He talks also about the revised Alternatives Analysis, AA. 
What does that mean? 

Weissman: That is probably part of the Environmental Impact Statement. 

Chall: That "will require under the 404(b)(I) Guidelines, relating to 
the current project..." Is that another hurdle? 

Weissman: That s what EIS was in support of. They were applying for a 
permit from the Corps of Engineers to fill wetlands, to place 
fill in a wetland. That s what Section 404, the Clean Water 
Act, relates to is fill in wetlands. So, 404(b)(I) guidelines 
is what they had to follow to comply with the requirements to 
get that permit, and that requires an Alternatives Analysis. 

Chall: I see. My word, there just seem to be so many hurdles to go 
through beyond the jeopardy opinion. 

Weissman: Right, and the jeopardy opinion was--if they didn t get passed 
the jeopardy opinion, then the rest of it--. 










Just goes. 

I understand, then, that even if Thorpe were to go through all 
the work and time required regarding the Reasonable and Prudent 
Alternatives, he would still need corps and the city of Hayward 
approval. Corps, under the Guidelines of the Clean Water Act, 
and Hayward, because of an interchange on Highway 92 he would 
need to connect with his project. 

There was no assurance that they were going to get through that 
first part of the process. That was going to be very difficult 
as well because of the fact that the project was not a water- 
dependent use. It didn t have to be in a watered environment. 
There were other hurdles coming, but the proximate one, the one 
that just stopped them dead was that--. 

The jeopardy. 

Right. Here s a critique we wrote of this. 10 

I guess you were the last consultant then to deal with this 
whole project, and the last potential mitigation to be 
considered. I understand he tried many times to mitigate in so 
many different ways that he finally just had to give it up. He 
probably gave it up because he didn t have anymore money, and I 
think some of his investors pulled the rug out from under him 
and set up their own little corporation so that they wouldn t 
be involved in the bankruptcy suit. 

Right. Well, it amazed us that he was able to stay in the game 
as long as he did with the adverse circumstances because it was 
costing him so much money to continue. What was so surprising 
was that the investors had so little assurance that they were 
going to see that money again, that they were willing to put 
that money up . 

With the record of the number of iterations, the number of 
cycles that he had gone through and just been turned down and 

Memorandum from City Manager Louis Garcia to members of the city 
council, "Status Report on the Proposed Shorelands Project," October 2, 

"Memorandum from Karen Weissman to John Thorpe, "Critique of Draft 
Biological Opinion," May 14, 1990. See following page for excerpt of 
memorandum. Complete document can be found in The Bancroft Library. 

SUBJECT: Critique of Draft Biological Opinion 


DATE: May 14, 1990 
FROM: Karen 

First page of a 7-page memo; 
entire memo will be deposited 
in The Bancroft Library. 

TO: Mr. John Thorpe 

The Shorelands Corporation 
21800 Hesperian Boulevard 
Hayward, CA 94541-7004 

We have reviewed the Draft Biological Opinion for the Early Consultation 
on the Shorelands Project, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species 
Act. We believe the Opinion, in its present form, is scientifically 
unsupportable since many of its conclusions are pure opinion, unsupported by 
factual documentation. The Opinion also contains much irrelevant information, 
and omits key issues that it should have contained, such a discussion of 
onsite reasonable and prude n t alternatives, and a discussion of the 
feasibility and cost of restoring the project site within the foreseeable 
future. The Biological Assessment, as you know, contained a lengthy 
discussion of this latter issue, and the Service should have evaluated, and 
responded to the arguments given in that Assessment. 

Most extraordinary is that the Opinion is generic, and has almost 
entirely avoided any consideration of the 1989 Biological Assessment and 
Mitigation Plan, and the Supplement Report submitted in January 1990. In 
particular, the revised Biological Assessment and Mitigation Plan were a 

1987 Jeopardy Opinion, and a specific effort to respond to all 
raised in that Opinion. The new plan contains many elements 

response to the 
of the concerns 

specifically requested by the Service. Among these are: 

o Greater than 2:1 compensation for loss of both existing and 

"emerging" mouse habitat 
o Phasing of the restoration of pickleweed marsh in advance of 

the impact 
o Detailed criteria for the success of marsh restoration (and as 

revised in the January, 1990 supplemental report 

o A 100-foot wide mouse corridor connecting the proposed mitigation 
lands on Oliver/Perry with existing mouse habitat in downstream 
Mt. Eden Creek, to prevent the genetic isolation of the 
Oliver/Perry population 

o A predator barrier fence and water buffer, 
results of as-built fence tests, 
USFWS. At the Service s request, 

minimum separation of 100 feet between the perimeter hiking 
trail and the adjacent salt ponds. 

o An integrated system of predator control, by experienced, reputable 

, whose design is based on 
specifically requested by 
this is to provide a 

rhomas Reid Associates | 5C5 Hamilton Ave., Suite 201 (Post Box 880) | Palo Alto. CA 94301 
Tel: 415-327-0429 Fax: 415-327-4024 


yet they were willing to say, "This time it s going to work, 
we ve figured it out, we ve got mastery, we know the tricks 
that you have to play to get through these things. We ve 
figured out what they pitfalls were, and we can avoid them this 


The fact that he was able to persuade people repeatedly to 
bankroll the project--! don t know, maybe in some ways it s not 
so surprising because we ve encountered other projects where 
there were, for example, Asian investors, Japanese investors 
who have poured huge amounts of money into California, into 
very speculative projects, with no information. It s like 
they re completely ignorant of the regulatory context, what it 
takes to get a project permitted and actually built in 
California. It is so onerous. There is probably a list of a 
thousand places where you could put your money before you would 
put your money in these real estate projects, and yet they have 
done it. 

Critique of Government Environmental Regulations in General and 
on the Shorelands Project in Particular 

Chall: Yes they have, and many times have lost. What is your opinion 
of the regulations, which seem to be at times onerous, and at 
other times, depending on how you look at it, wise in terms of 
saving wetlands and saving rivers and creeks, and all the rest 
of it? You have to deal with these all the time and they do 
keep changing. What is your general opinion of the hurdles, as 
it were, the rules, the regulations? 

Weissman: You mean do I think they re appropriate or do I think that 
they re overly harsh? 

Chall: Yes. 

Weissman: Well, I personally think that environmental regulation is a 
good idea. I wholeheartedly endorse it, and I disapprove of 
all of these attempts on the part of the Republicans to 
dismantle environmental laws. I think that people have found 
when they have done studies that actually the net cost is less 
if environmental laws are followed, and that endangered 
species, per se, have not prevented developments from going 

All of the horror stories you hear are not really true. 
But on a case-by-case basis, I think that there are instances 


where, like this one, people have misused the regulatory basis 
that they re operating from. In this case, it s hard to judge, 
On the face of it, the project didn t really seem to be such a 
good idea. When you looked at it objectively, from the point 
of view of all the constraints and all the regulatory problems 
that were faced and the type of project that it was, a rational 
business person would have opted to do something different. 

I don t think it was really that John was just ground under 
by the weight of environmental law. I think that most people 
would have realized that what he was attempting was 

Chall: Not good for the environment, or unrealistic from that point of 
view, or from a business point of view, or any point of view? 

Weissman: Well, I think that if you get down to the details of could he 
have mitigated for this, and mitigated for that, I think at 
that level he probably could have mitigated for a lot of what 
his direct impacts were. But the larger issue was whether one 
should be putting that magnitude of that development in that 
location. He wanted us to revise his EIS, and I have a feeling 
that had that happened there would have been other 
environmental issues that had significant unavoidable impacts, 
such as traffic. 

Traffic would have been probably equal to, or worse than 
biology as a project stopper. [laughs] There was no way doing 
any kind of cumulative traffic projection that anybody would 
want to put a huge development at the end of the San Mateo 
Bridge, in that location. So, there were a lot of 
environmental problems with that project the way it was 

I think that the environmental laws were working correctly 
in that when you had everything together in sum, the project 
would have either had to have been turned down as it was, or it 
would have had to have been heavily modified to be able to fit 
into that setting. Somebody else with a different project 
could probably succeed, but it wouldn t be easy for anybody. 

Chall: The racetrack really doomed it. This has been a very 
interesting hour with you. I thank for your time. 

Transcribed by Quandra McGrue 
Final Typed by Shannon Page 


Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

California Water Resources Oral History Series 


Peter C. Sorensen 


An Interview conducted by 

Malca Chall 

in 1998 

Copyright C 2000 by The Regents of the University of California 

Peter Sorensen. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS- -Peter C. Sorensen 




Background: Education and Career with the U.S. Fish and 

Wildlife Service 249 

The Shorelands Project: Interagency and Other Contacts 250 
Mitigation Concerns for Shorelands: Legal and Scientific 

Considerations 253 

Reviewing the Environmental Impact Report /Statement 254 

What Constitutes Jeopardy of an Endangered Species? 255 

Predation: Everyone s Concern 257 
Response to Arguments Regarding Non-Jurisdiction on the 

Baumberg Tract 258 

Analyzing the Government s Role in Protecting the Environment 259 

Jeopardy Opinions and the Process, 1987, 1990 261 
Looking Back on the Shorelands Project and the Ramifications 

for the Bay Area Environment 265 


Peter Sorensen graduated from Humboldt State University in 1976, 
with a degree in wildlife management. After working four years for the 
Bureau of Land Management, he was transferred in 1980 to the Endangered 
Species Office of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and was 
assigned to handle all San Francisco Bay Area wetlands endangered 
species issues. As a result, he became the point man for the Fish and 
Wildlife Service to analyze the Shorelands Project and determine whether 
or not it would jeopardize endangered species on the Baumberg Tract. 
His course of action was discussed critically by John Thorpe and Karen 
Weissman, and elliptically by Robert Douglass, in their interviews. 

Mr. Sorensen is currently with the Fish and Wildlife Service in 
Carlsbad, California, where he is concerned with endangered species in 
desert habitats. He agreed to talk, by phone, about the Shorelands 
Project and his reasons for determining that it would jeopardize 
endangered wildlife. Regulations, he claimed, do not allow a person to 
come into a project with a predetermined position. It is only the 
preparation and completion of the formal consultation and biological 
opinion that determines whether of not there is jeopardy. It is his 
responsibility, therefore, to analyze the biological assessment in the 
EIR/EIS to ensure that a project avoids jeopardy. This was how he 
determined jeopardy on the Shorelands Project. 

He carefully responded to Karen Weissman s criticism of his draft 
jeopardy opinion, which was the instrument that convinced Mr. Thorpe to 
finally withdraw his permit application to build Shorelands. One of Mr. 
Sorensen s specific concerns was that it was difficult to reconcile 
continued incremental losses of habitat for a population of species 
which had been declining; this was especially a concern on large-scale 
projects like the proposed Shorelands Project. 

Responding to Mr. Douglass s criticism that the Fish and Wildlife 
Service had mistreated Mr. Thorpe by sending him on wild goose chases in 
order to seek approval for a project that the service knew they would 
never give him, Sorensen claims that the service allows a developer to 
amend and resubmit his or her planning statement and try to pass 
jeopardy; there is no agency conspiracy against developers and private 
investors. Yet, he admits that the mechanism for approvals seems 
complicated and onerous. That is because the American public is 
afforded an opportunity to participatea step in the process which he 
and other interviewees in this series consider essential and useful. 
Some projects are more complex than others, and as such require more 
time to conclude. The Shorelands Project was one of these. 


When reviewing his edited transcript, Mr. Sorensen answered two 
questions I added, questions that occurred to me after we concluded our 
one-hour telephone interview on June 10, 1998. Mr. Sorensen s 
articulate and candid responses to the criticisms leveled against the 
endangered species office and his role in issuing the jeopardy opinions 
against Shorelands are important segments of this history of the 
Baumberg Tract. 

The Regional Oral History Office was established in 1954 to 
augment through tape-recorded memoirs the Library s materials on the 
history of California and the West. Copies of all interviews are 
available for research use in The Bancroft Library and in the UCLA 
Department of Special Collections. The office is under the direction of 
Willa K. Baum, Division Head, and the administrative direction of 
Charles B. Faulhaber, James D. Hart Director of The Bancroft Library, 
University of California, Berkeley. 

Malca Chall 
Interviewer Editor 

January 2000 

Regional Oral History Office 

University of California at Berkeley 


Regional Oral History Office 
Room 486 The Bancroft Library 

University of California 
Berkeley, California 94720 

(Please write clearly. Use black ink.) 
Your full name Tg T C. - 3 

Date of birth ^ * 5" 5~0 
Father s full name 


Birthplace I QLUO^ 

Mother s full name 


Occupation /~Wt C<MJ 
Your spouse L ( 50. . 





5(7 H Ffq <1 C ( $C 

Your children 

A/ (A 6- 

b*^- S < 

Where did you grow up? /. r\ (j 
Present community \J j 5TCL 


<W 1 

( frC 


Areas of expertise_ & 


Other interests or activities 


_q TTg i/^-U 


Organizations in which you are active (/L/&5 T^/V? fuifaf Or ft tJTltfjF} CSTS 




[Date of Interview: June 10, 1998] ft 1 

BackRround: Education and Career with the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service 

Chall: Before we get into the Baumberg Tract or the Shorelands 

Project, I d like to have a little information about your own 
personal background, something about your education and career 
path to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. So tell me 
something about where you got your initial education, where you 
grew up. 2 

Sorensen: Well, I was born here in California. 

Chall: Where, here? 

Sorensen: Southern California-- [coughs] I ve got a cold, as you can hear. 

Chall: All right, we ll manage. 

Sorensen: Southern California. Went to junior college down here, then I 
went to Humboldt State University, got a bachelor s degree in 
wildlife management. And I was pretty tired of school at that 
point and went to work for the Bureau of Land Management back 
in Colorado and worked there for four years before coming to 
Sacramento to work for the Fish and Wildlife Service in the 
Endangered Species Office. 

Chall: When was that? 

l ii This symbol indicates that a tape or tape segment has begun or 
ended. A guide to the tapes follows the transcript. 

2 This interview was recorded by telephone. 


Sorensen: In December, 1980. And then I worked in Sacramento exclusively 
on endangered species until 1995 when I came down here to 
Carlsbad [California]. 

Chall: What are you working on now? 

Sorensen: Oh, actually I am working on desert issues: desert tortoise, 

big horn sheep, and big regional habitat conservation plans out 
there. Doing a lot of work with the BLM [Bureau of Land 
Management ] . 

Chall: But you re still with the Fish and Wildlife Service? 
Sorensen: Yes. 

Chall: And is your concern again with endangered species, or is this a 
different kind of assignment? 

Sorensen: It s 99 percent endangered species. 
Chall: Is that the so-called Section 7? 

Sorensen: And you know HCPs under Section 10(a). HCP--Habitat 
Conservation Plan. I ll try not to use acronyms. 

Chall: That s all right, I ll just ask you to fill them in. 

The Shorelands Project ; Interagency and Other Contacts 

Chall: So, when you were with the Fish and Wildlife Service in the 
Endangered Species Office in Sacramento in 1985, were you 
assigned the Shorelands Project? 

Sorensen: Yes, I worked on all Bay Area wetlands endangered species 

issues involving clapper rail, harvest mice, least terns, and 
you know, various other species as well. 

Chall: I see, so this was definitely in your bailiwick, as it were? 
Sorensen: Yes, that was my territory. 

Chall: So you worked there throughout this whole period, then, from 

1985 through 1990 when that was the main problem? I mean, that 
was one of the concerns of the Shorelands development. 

Sorensen: Right. 














Was your position as lead person in the office? Were you 
assigned something special to do with respect to Shorelands? 

Well all the endangered species part of the project was my 
responsibility. The other 404 wetlands issues involving 
migratory birdsyou know, water fowl, shorebirds, general 
wetlands-type issueswere in a different program that I 
closely coordinated with. 

I see. And who--I have the names of about three other people 
in the off ice- -Gail Kobetich--is that how it s pronounced? 

Yes, he was the field supervisor for the Endangered Species 

And Ted Rado--R-A-D-0? 

No, Ted Rado was not involved at all. 

He wasn t? 


Okay, and how about Peggy Kohl? 

Yes, Peggy headed up the 404 wetlands shop that I just 
described, dealing with the non-endangered specieswetlands , 
waterfowl, shorebirds, fisheries. And under Peggy, Karen 
Miller. And I think Ruth Pratt may have gotten involved a 
little bit, but Karen Miller was my main counterpart for the 
non-endangered species wetlands issues. 

Hers was the non-endangered species? 

That was Karen Miller s assignment and mine was the endangered 
species . 

So you worked closely then with these people? 

Right. Yes, everything we did was closely coordinated in the 
Shorelands review, as on all other projects. 

In your interaction and your contacts with other persons as you 
were doing this study would you have been in contact with the 
Corps of Engineers--Scott Miner, Skid Hall, Vicki Reynolds, 
people whose names I have from the corpswere you in close 
contact with them throughout this project? 


Sorensen: Yes. We attended a lot of meetings together and we talked on 
the phone a lot. We coordinated fairly closely, I would say. 

Chall: I ll probably get back to some of these contacts, I m just 
trying to get some of these ideasthe grid outlined. How 
about the city of Hayward--were you in touch with those people 
--Mark Storm or any of the other members of the city, either 
the council or the administration? 

Sorensen: Well, the city had approved the EIRs and all and I think we 

probably commented on--yes, it was an EIS/EIR and Karen Miller 
had the lead on that. But, no, we didn t coordinate nearly as 
closely with the city as we did with the corps, and with 
developers . 

Chall: How about BCDC [Bay Conservation and Development Commission] 
and the Regional Water Quality Control Board? 

Sorensen: No, they really weren t players. I mean, they were players, 
but not in the context of our involvement through the corps. 

Chall: That s really what I m trying to find out. 
Sorensen: Right. 

Chall: Then, the so-called third party folks, like Steve Foreman who 
was writing the biological assessment, Karen Weissman of TRA 
[Thomas Reid Associates] who revised it laterdid you 
coordinate with them at allbeyond reading their studies? Did 
you talk to them about what they were doing at the time that 
they were making their assessments and how they were going 
about it? 

Sorensen: Yes, I recall attending numerous meetings with them, or all 
three of them, and talking about coordinating or scoping out 
the kinds of studies that should be done to satisfactorily 
address our concerns. 

Chall: Yes, because their main problem, in effect, was meeting your 
concerns in this area with endangered species. 

Sorensen: Yes, our issues were difficult ones. Sometimes there s 
feasibility problems as to whether or not you can really 
address some of these issues. 

Chall: Now, what about John Thorpe and Richard Murray of the 
Shorelands Project? 

Sorensen: Yes. Again, we had many meetings with them. 


Mitigation Concerns For Shorelands; Leeal and Scientific 

Chall: Tell me something about those meetings. What kind of meetings 
were they like? I mean, were you trying to explain what you 
wanted them to cover, how you wanted them to deal with the 
issues that you had concerns with, and checking what they were 

Sorensen: Yes, well, basically I think the meetings came down to: they 
had a definite proposal that they were trying to sell us on. 
They were pretty much convinced in their own mind that their 
mitigation program that they and their consultants had come up 
with was adequate and were trying to convince us of that. And 
of course we had different views. We didn t think their 
mitigation went as far as it needed to, to offset the impacts 
to the point of avoiding jeopardy. And so there was a lot of 
room for disagreement, discussion, and emotionsthe whole 
gamut . 

Chall: What was your chief scientific and legal concern with the 
Shorelands Project? 

Sorensen: Well there were impacts of three different species. The salt 

marsh harvest mouse. I guess one of the major concerns was the 
loss and the same is true for clapper rails the loss for 
marsh restoration potential in the South Bay where so much 
habitat had been lost historically. The recovery plan 
identified that area as a Priority One Recovery Task which 
means that failure to restore habitat in the area could 
jeopardize or result in an irreversible population decline for 
the species. So that was kind of the approach we were bringing 
to the issue. But then there were all kinds of other impacts, 
too, to both those species involving indirect effects of the 
project through predation you know, predators: cats, rats, all 
that sort of thing. 

Chall: Right. 

Sorensen: And then for least terns I guess predation was the big concern 
there, too, because their nesting colonies out on those narrow 
little salt pond levees were quite vulnerable. 

Chall: Yes. When you start a project of this kind, and you see its 

size and scope, do you already have in mind certain regulations 
and scientific /legal concerns that almost predetermine a 
project of this type? Do you start out a project like 
Shorelands with a set position? For example, "I see what 


you re planning here, but I just know from my point of view 
that it won t fly?" or are you willing to just sit back and 
wait until you get the EIR/EIS? 

Sorensen: I d say the latter scenario. I mean, it varies from individual 
to individual, but the [Endangered Species] Act and our 
regulations really do not allow us to come in with 
predetermined positions. It s the preparation and completion 
of our formal consultation and biological opinion that is the 
instrument for determining whether the project works or not 
biologically. In other words, whether or not there is a 
jeopardy. And personally, I ve always approached projects 
operating under the assumption that it s possible and 
mitigatable, they just have to show me how they re going to 
accomplish that. 

Chall: Of course, it had been noted, I guess, through my own research 
and the press and elsewhere, that some people Paul Kelly, for 
example- -seemed to be opposed from the start. I just wondered 
whether that was your opinion, as well. 

Sorensen: We were suspect about their ability to adequately mitigate the 
impact, but nonetheless we gave them every opportunity to 
demonstrate that they could do that. And under the Endangered 
Species Act, under Section 7, it s the other federal agency and 
the permit applicant that bear the burden for demonstrating 
that their project avoids jeopardy. 

Chall: Is it possible that if some other person or persons were in 

your position in the federal Fish and Wildlife Service that the 
outcome could be different? Do you think that any of that 
depends on the persons who are in charge? 

Sorensen: Yes, I think it definitely does. 

Reviewing the Environmental Impact Report /Statement 

Chall: When the EIR/EIS is received by the Fish and Wildlife Service, 
your office, what do you do with it? It s very complicated. 
I ve gone through some of it on Shorelands. What do you first 
do with it? By this time you would already know what had been 
going on. You were in touch with the people who were writing 
it , I imagine . 

Sorensen: Right. But nonetheless, that isn t relieving us from the need 
or the responsibility to thoroughly analyze this document to 

Audubon.^ptember-October 1991 



The US. Fish and Wildlifi Semce ap- 
; pisrs a bit srhirophremc about Peter 
i Sour..-en. a bioiv-cist in!sKjd. Csl:- 
! fotnia. who studies end.;n;v:t vi .pccies 

And identifies threats to tiuii i \iMencc. 

The regional directors i..i\e aiw.ivs 

! h;>ted l- ete with a pasMon. dec! ,n-s one 

| of his colleagues. On the othei Lind. in; 

immediate bosses have ,ii.i\> deier.dcd 

him like sow grizzlies. His ii::;int field 

I supervisor. Ken Bere. is no i \. i rtior.. 
l *- 

"1 ete has had to be the K.i:ci of Kid 

:.ew5. he >svs. "You re not popular when 
vnu tell sornebodv that his proposed 
project is not compatible with .", species s 
survival." Somehow Soren-er, h.i^ kip: his 
job for 19 years. 

In 19S5 he got "fired" (i.e.. dismissed 
from current responsibilities) by the re 
gional office. But only for an hour. His 
supervisors Gail Kobetich and Jim 
McKevitt had him back on the job be 
fore he knew he was gone. He d offended 
a former Interior official who was work 
ing for a firm proposing a housing devel 
opment in Newark, California. Recalls 
Sorensen. "It was a hundred-twcnry-five- 
acrc project site on a diverse and produc 
tive habitat that supported hifhcr num 
bers of [endangered] salt marsh harvest 
mice than we d ever seen. We basically 
told them. Look, you guys don t have a 
project unless you redesign it. They 
weren t willing to do that." Eventually the 
Fish and Wildlife Service bought the 
land, and it is now part of the San Fran 
cisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. 

"Some people feel that southern Cali 
fornia is a write-off, so thev talk instead 
of ;:!. s.ivs Art Davenport, a biologist 
in Sorenscn s office. "We have a phrase 
for it: virtual consm-alien. Pete is not of 

thru ilk." Sorenscn s collc.igucs sny he gets 
into trouble because he writes "jeopardy 
opinions" is, he scientifically 
demonstrates just how a development 
will jeopardize an endangered species. 
Jeopardy opinions, which must be ap 
proved by the regional office, require de 
velopers to submit a "reasonable and 
prudent alternative." If they arc well con 
nected, as they arc in southern Califor 
nia, the recional director gets rcnsted by 
angry politicians. That s why issuing 
jeopardy opinions is aberrant behavior 
for the Fish and Wildlife Service. 

In 1995 Sonnscn was banned bv the 
regional office from working in Oiinge 

Peter Sotensen, US. Fish and Wildlife Service. 
County. Although he declines to talk 
about it. his associates arc less reticent. 
They ce>ntcnd that he offended land- 
br,irs bv telling them their development 
plans might be influenced by the agency s 
concerns for the endangered Qumo 
chi-ckerspot butterfly. "These guys are so 
powerful they can basically dictate who 
federal and state agencies assign to work 
on their projects," remarks one biologist. 
Currently Sorensen is fighting for the 
peninsular bighorn sheep, listed as en 
dangered in March. In 1997, while listing 
was under way, he and his team wrote 
a jeopardy opinion on a golf course and 
residential development in the Coachella 
Valley, which already has 91 golf cours 
es roughly one for every sheep. The de- 
vclopei would not agree to the scaled- 
back alternative proposed by the Fish 
and Wildlife Service. Now Sorensen has 
to persuade the agency to stand firm. It s 
never casv. !> 

fcr rih-ri information, (all Forest Ser\uc lmpl?\- 
tt: fcr I mircnmental Ethics at 5^1-484-2692, 
Pnhh: Empljvrrs /or Environmental Rc:pe>isit<ili- 
t\ at 202-265-7337, or tht Gevtrr.ment Ac- 
lv Prcjrcl at 202-408-003-1 


determine its accuracy, you know, as far the factual background 
and biological resources that it lays out, and then also 
critique its interpretation and conclusions based on the facts 
that are presented. Then look at the impacts and mitigation 
and make a judgment as to whether their reasoning and 
conclusions were sound and whether they had successfully 
mitigated to a point that we could approve the project. And 
then of course, you know, we write all that up. Then the 
Department of the Interior responds to the EIS, to the Corps of 
Engineers. And I can t remember what happened with the final 
EIS on Shorelands; we may have commented on that, too. 

Chall: So the initial one in 1987 is the one that John--. Well, I 

guess he withdrew his application at that time and handed over 
to TRA the assignment to draw up another biological assessment. 
It gets very complicated. 

Sorensen: That was the second round [1987-1992]. 

What Constitutes Jeopardy of an Endangered Species? 

Chall: That was the second round, that s right. Now, in terms of 
mitigation, except for the harvest mouse, there hadn t been 
very much wildlife, endangered species, on that Shorelands 

Here, I just want to quote a bit from the assessment of 
TRA. She [Karen Weissman] writes, "The loss of the site, per 
se , in its present condition will have only a minor effect on 
the current populations of endangered species, particularly if 
these impacts are mitigated locally, as Shorelands proposes. . 
. . If successful, the project mitigation plan will create 123 
acres of salt marsh harvest mouse habitat for the 64 acres 
destroyeda net gain of 59 acres." 

But, she continues, "The project would definitely add to 
the cumulative loss of restoration potential on former 
tidelands. It is the cumulative loss of restoration potential 
on such former tidelands that may make recovery of the San 
Francisco Bay wetland endangered species impossible." 3 

3 "Biological Assessment for the Proposed Shorelands Project," 
Originally prepared by Western Ecological Service Company [WESCO] , revised 
by Thomas Reid Associates, August 1989, p. 48. 




Although at the end, she--TRA--r.hat s Karei Weissman--felt 
that mitigation over time was possible. Apparently, it s the 
cumulative loss of habitat that was the concern. 

And also, Steve Foreman said in his interview, "There was a 
potential with enough money and resources to develop a system 
that would replace the use and values that would have been lost 
from water birds, for endangered species. It would have been, 
I think, certainly feasible to go out to restore enough habitat 
to show a net benefit to the species over time, based on what 
they have now with no changes and continued degradation of 
existing habitat."* 

However, he said, "The issue that couldn t be addressed 
which I still believe is valuable is that he could never 
replace that space, that element for recovery, the acreage. 
That was something that he could not replace or did not try to 
address. " 5 

And are these the concerns that you had? 

Yes. Yes, that s a pretty balanced account, I guess, of the 
spectrum of perspectives and angles to the whole dilemma there. 
And like I said earlier, the entire site, in fact, the Baumberg 
Tract in its entirety which is well beyond the 700 acres was 
designated in the recovery plan as a Priority One Task. And I 
guess that s what they were alluding to, but without making 
specific reference to it, regarding the restoration potential 
and the inherent acreage of spatial values of the site itself. 

Now your recovery plan that you talk about, that antedated the 
Shorelands application? 

Sorensen: It came before. 

Chall: Yes, it was something that was already intact. 

Sorensen: Yes, I think 1984 was the date on that plan. 

Chall: Of your recovery plan? And that was just about the time that 
John Thorpe began his work on his application. 

Sorensen: Right. 

See interview with Steve Foreman, this volume, p. 235. 
5 ibid. 


Predation: Everyone s Concern 

Chall: Now, with respect to predation, which was a problem, the 

predator fence: it creates both a great deal ofwell, how 
shall I put it?--laughter and grief. Was this a serious 
problem? I think that it was felt by some that it could over 
time have been corrected. 

Sorensen: Well, we viewed predation as a serious problem, but their 

experimental approach in that fenced enclosure, as I recall 
was--. You know, they tried to get our concurrence on it, but 
I don t think we ever committed or agreed to that experimental 
approach to determine whether fencing could effectively 
mitigate the effects of predation. That was something that 
they insisted on demonstrating, regardless of whether or not 
the agencies approved of the experiment. I think they were 
just willing to gamble that they could show us and force us to 
accept that by virtue of the results that they anticipated from 
their experiment. 

Chall: As you might expect, the Leslie Salt peopleRobert Douglass-- 
whom I have interviewed- -when I asked him about the predator 
fence and the moats and all of that, he said, "The predator 
fence was probably one of the worst examples of how the 
agencies mistreated John, just by sending him on these wild 
goose chases. I m sure the individuals within the agencies 
think they acted honorably, but basically there was if not a 
public strategy then certainly informal strategies to drain 
John, to send him down corridors with wild goose chases and 
continually chase project approval but knowing full well they 
were never going to give him project approval." 6 

How do you respond to that? 

Sorensen: Well, I think my response earlier in the conversation addresses 
that. We don t come in with predetermined outcomes for 
reviewing these projects. And also what I said earlier, too, I 
believe it s accurate that we didn t recommend that they 
conduct this fencing experiment. That was entirely their idea. 

Chall: So if they come in with an idea and say, "Perhaps we can work 

it out in a certain way, let s try this," you just agree to let 
them try? 

6 See interview with Robert Douglass in this volume, p. 162. 


Sorensen: Well, we couldn t stop themwe would have ifand that s how I 
remember it going down: it was their idea, that we never 
condoned. 1 think they probably asked us to approve it but I 
don t think any of the agencies ever did. 

Chall: Yes, I don t think they did. There were so many hurdles in 

front of him that it was remarkable, 1 think in some ways, that 
he held on as long as he did. 

Sorensen: Yes. So basically, just to round out my response to Douglass s 
comment, no, there was not a conspiracy or a strategy to sap 
him of his resources by sending him off on wild goose chases; 
that is not accurate at all. 

Response to Arguments Regarding non-Jurisdiction on the 

Baumberg Tract 

Chall: I see. Leslie Salt the company, from the beginning, felt that 
the corps and therefore the Fish and Wildlife Service had no 
jurisdiction over Shorelands, and they early wrote letters to 
the corps. Let s see, I have a letter here. In 1985, they 
wrote to Andrew Perkins, Jr., who was Lieutenant Colonel for 
the San Francisco District Corps of Engineers, outlining the 
fact that they felt that the corps had no jurisdiction over 
Section 10. Then again in 1987. There was a letter from the 
Leslie Salt Company to Marvin Plenert, regional director of the 
United States Fish and Wildlife Service, who was in Portland, 
with a very carefully analyzed brief from an attorney with the 
same arguments that the corps had no jurisdiction over either 
Section 7 or Section 404, both of them. 7 

How do the agencies respond to letters of that kind? 

Sorensen: Well, I can t recall how or whether we responded to that since 
it was mainly a legal trust responsibility involving the Corps 
of Engineers, and EPA secondarily, you know, in whether or not 
there is 404 jurisdiction. The Fish and Wildlife Service 
through the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act has some 
influence on those jurisdictional calls, but it s advisory only 
with the ultimate responsibility lying with the other two 
federal agencies. 


7 See letters to Marvin Plenert in Robert Douglass interview, page 


Chall: These were letters sent to the heads of the agencies. Would 
they contact you and ask you how you were going about your 
studies, or was there any obligation on your part to respond to 

Sorensen: You mean from EPA? 

Chall: Yes, or Plenert? Did they just assume that you re carrying on 
your work as you re supposed to? 

Sorensen: You know, depending on the relationships among the staff 

working for the respective agencies on a given project there 
could be quite a bit of coordination or there might not be. It 
just depends on those personality dynamics among the staff. 
But in this case we had a good relationship with Vicki Reynolds 
of the corps and I m sure that we talked to her and provided 
her with information and things like that, you know, of 
background information. And through informal discussions 
trying to influence what the corps 404 call should be. 

Our main expertise, of course, is wildlife. And under the 
commerce clause of the Constitution, use by migratory birds can 
be a deciding factor in corps jurisdiction, although I think 
that more pertains to isolated waters and not tidal wetlands. 
And you know, I m not a real authority on 404 jurisdiction. 

Analyzing the Government s Role in Protecting the Environment 

Chall: Okay, we re on again. All right. Let s see where I am now. 

Well, let me say this about the material that I ve seen: 
the EIR/EIS that Carolyn Cole let me have on loan, the material 
that Karen Weissman from TRA let me have, a considerable amount 
of background material that I got on loan from Howard Cogswell, 
and some updated material from Janice and Frank Delfino who 
saved quite a bitit shows a very, very complicated process 
going through the EIR/EIS and then dealing again with all of 
the various steps that an applicant has to go through, 
particularly to gain non-jeopardy. I m just amazed at what 
needs to be done. All of this would appear to be expensive, 
perhaps frustrating, time consuming, and, on the part of the 
developer and maybe even those who have to draw up all this 
material, onerous. 


What do you have to say about the regulations that protect 
the environment? All that a developer or anybody else has to 
go through in order to gain permission, and permits to go on 
with a development in any part of the environment, whether it s 
wetlands or the desert or a local hill, where we need to have a 




Well, just speaking strictly from the standpoint of the Fish 
and Wildlife Service, even where there are no overlapping 
wetlands regulations which is typically the case for endangered 
species in upland areas where the sole federal jurisdiction is 
Section 10(a) and the incidental take and habitat conservation 
plan provisions of the Endangered Species Act, you know, even 
in a relatively simple case like that where there is no Section 
7 nexus--which actually provides us a streamlined project 
review mechanismthat s just the way it is. [See Glossary] 

But the reason why it can be complicated, time-consuming, 
and onerous is the fact that the American public is afforded an 
opportunity to comment and participate in these processes. And 
I think that s a great virtue of the system in the sense that 
excluding the public would truly short-circuit the ability of 
agencies to make informed decisions. I m continually impressed 
at the depth of information that does come out through the 
public comment periods and the opportunities for public review 
in these decision making and regulatory processes. And the 
public has an opportunity to comment under NEPA [National 
Environmental Policy Act] and CEQA [California Environmental 
Quality Act], you know, for the EIR/EIS as well as through the 
corps public interest review under 404 where the projects go 
out on public notice. So there s at least three opportunities 
right there for the public to weigh-in on the issue. And 
that s what adds most of the time to these processes. 

Is the public weighing in the issue? 

By the public whom do you 

Both the public, you know, the general John Q. Public at large, 
as well as local state and federal agencies are all afforded 
opportunities to comment on these project proposals. And what 
adds to the expense and the onerousness and things like that is 
when you have a big project and you get overwhelming public 
input. Because there s so many issues and so many 
contradictions and conflicts and so forth, it truly is a 
formidable task sorting out the factual background versus 


interpretations of facts and misinterpretations and all that 
sort of thingjust to come up with a clear picture of what the 
basis of the decision should be. 

Chall: And is it your responsibility to sift through all of this 
material and try to indicate where the Act itself and the 
regulations pertain? 

Sorensen: Yes, I think that s a good way to put it. Under the Endangered 
Species Act we re supposed to use the best available scientific 
and commercial information. And we avail ourselves of those 
public and agency comments that are received through the NEPA 
and 404 process in formulating our biological opinions under 
Section 7. 

Chall: Now, you are the person who wrote the jeopardy opinion 

[Shorelands Project]. At least your name comes up as the 
person who wrote it. Is that correct? 

Sorensen: Yes. 

Chall: And you wrote it in 1987? 

Sorensen: Yes, there s two. 

Chall: There were two, right. The second came out in 1990, I think. 

Sorensen: I don t remember the dates of both. 

Chall: When John withdrew his application in 1987 and then brought 

material back in 1990, then again, apparently, you submitted a 
draft biological opinion--! guess that s what it s called? 

Sorensen: It s probably a preliminary biological opinion under the early 
consultation process. 

Jeopardy Opinions and the Process. 1987, 1990 

Chall: What does the process mean at that point? 
Sorensen: The early? 

Chall: The early consultation? That s part of a regulation, that s 
part of the process that must be gone through, is it? 


Sorensen: Well, early consultation is seldom used. That s the only one 
I ve ever been involved in. In fact, it may be the only one 
that I ve ever heard about being used. Even though it s in the 
regulations and is available, it s seldom used. I m not 
exactly sure why except that it has the effect of prolonging 
the process because it s invoked before the project proponent 
is necessarily serious or committed enough to, you know, to go 
through the official permit application and decision-making 


I see . 


There s a communication from Karen Weissman to John Thorpe 
about your Draft Biological Opinion dated May 14, 1990. It s a 
seven page assessment in which she writes, "We believe the 
Opinion, in its present form, is scientifically insupportable 
since many of its conclusions are pure opinion, unsupported by 
factual documentation." 8 

Which opinion was she critiquing--the first one? 

She calls it the "Draft Biological Opinion for the Early 
Consultation on the Shorelands Project, pursuant to Section 
7. .. ." 

Sorensen: That would have been the second one then. 

Chall: Yes. Then in a second memo, a letter dated September 1 1 to 

John Thorpe, she says, "Tom Reid and I have reviewed the August 
31, 1990 Preliminary Biological Opinion [PBO] . The new Opinion 
is a major improvement over the first draft in terms of 
documentation and specificity with regard to project features. 
Its principal author, Peter Sorensen, also responded to many of 
the criticisms raised in our formal comments. However, the PBO 
still contains many logical inconsistencies, as well as 
undocumented pseudo-scientific conjecture. Not all of our 
substantive comments received a response or resulted in needed 
revisions to the earlier document." 9 

Memorandum by Karen Weissman of Thomas Reid Associates to John Thorpe 
of The Shorelands Corporation, Subject: Critique of Draft Biological 
Opinion, May 14, 1990. 

Memorandum from Karen Weissman of Thomas Reid Associates to John 
Thorpe and Richard Bailin of The Shorelands Corporation, Subject: 
Negotiation Strategy for Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives as stated in 
Preliminary Biological Opinion, September 11, 1990. 








Then she continues, "All in all, it is our opinion that 
another round of formal comment on the PBO would serve only one 
purpose: reinforcement of the record to be used in a lawsuit 
against the USFWS. Otherwise, I think you should concentrate 
on the Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives as the only non- 
judicial means to reverse the Jeopardy Opinion." 

And now, then, after that there s this whole area called 

Reasonable and prudent alternatives? 

Reasonable and prudent alternatives! 
that s an incredible set of steps. 

[laughs] You know, 

Well, that s part of our biological opinion or our early 
opinion or whatever. Well, I mean, under Section 7, whether 
it s a conference for a proposed species, a formal consultation 
for a listed species, or an early consultation for a listed 
species, if we determine likelihood of jeopardy then the 
service, pursuant to the law, itself requires that we formulate 
reasonable and prudent alternatives if any are available that 
avoids the likelihood of jeopardy but yet allow for the primary 
intended purpose of the project. 

[What steps did you take to respond to the serious critiques of 
TRA which never actually satisfied them? 10 

The service gave full consideration to all comments and 
incorporated changes as appropriate in the final opinion. I 
cannot remember the specific issues that TRA may have disagreed 
withexcept the general effectiveness of their proposed 
predator management program. 

She suggested the possibility of a lawsuit, 
they against the Fish and Wildlife Service? 
to do if there is a suit? 

How common are 
What do you have 

The service is seldom sued over Section 7 issues, or even 
served with sixty-day notices, a requirement before a suit may 
be filed. In the seven states within the FWS s Region 1 , I am 
aware of only one suit in about twenty years. If sued, we must 
coordinate with the Department of the Interior s Solicitor s 
Office and the Department of Justice in compiling an 
administrative record for the case before it goes to court.] 

10 This and the following question and answer were added during the 
editing process. 




Chall: I guess John withdrew before he went through any of these 

steps, but he claims that there were some changes in management 
of the service at the top with Wayne White. He claims that he 
did receive eventually a non- jeopardy opinion but by that time 
it was too late for him, and that the city of Hayward refused 
the final permit. Have you any recollection or knowledge about 
whether any of this went through, whether there was a change in 
management with Wayne White and others that would have brought 
about non- jeopardy? 

Well, there probably was a change because this was going on, 
you know, over what--three-four years? 


The Fish and Wildlife Service about that time--I don t know the 
exact dates, but it sounds accurate, that our field office 
there was reorganized in a way that the Endangered Species 
Office was subsumed within the Ecological Services Office. 
Gail Kobetich, who was the previous field supervisor for the 
Endangered Species Office then became the head of the 
endangered species program within the larger Ecological 
Services Office that was headed up by Wayne White. He became 
the field supervisor over the combined program. So that was 
strictly an internal reorganizational thing. And then there 
were new colonels, I suspect, with the Corps of Engineers. 
They usually only stick around for two years. 

Chall: Yes. So as far as you know John didn t receive a permit? He 
didn t pass the jeopardy, even with that change? 

Sorensen: No, I don t recall changing our jeopardy opinion. 
Chall: You were there during this change of administration? 
Sorensen: Right. 

Chall: So his claim is probably not totally accurate. Although he 
does claim that it was the city that made it impossible to 
finally receive the permit. There were additional problems 
that had to do with the interchange routes 880/92--I think a 
couple of thosethe roads that would get people into his 
development if it were passed. 

Sorensen: Yes, that s right. That was something that came along towards 
the end. The access infrastructure wasn t contemplated 
earlier, so that added a new element of complexity to the whole 
thing. And that was more of a city issue, I think. But 
ultimately, our "final" preliminary biological opinion did 



offer a reasonable and prudent alternative that allowed for a 
racetrack project along with coiimensurate jmpact avoidance and 
other mitigation measures. However, for whatever reasons, the 
corps never issued a 404 permit. Although I recall it even 
involved reviewing these new roadway plans to access- 
Yes, that s probably because it had something to do with the 
wetlands . 

Sorensen: Yes. 

Looking Back on the Shorelands Project and the Ramifications 
for the Bay Area Environment 

Chall: I think those are basically all the questions that I have to 
ask you about this project. 

We do have some time and some tape left over here and I 
would like to know whether you want to add anything to this 
story that I probably haven t covered. There are probably some 
things that might have come up in your own recollections that 
you might want to cover? 

Sorensen: Oh, I don t know. I have a hard time sometimes with open-ended 
questions, especially on a big, complicated project like this-- 
it went on for so long. 

Chall: Was this one of the more or most complicated projects that you 
had been handling at that particular time? 

Sorensen: Yes, that s a fair statement, I think. It s one of the bigger 
ones I ve ever [laughs] enjoyed working on. There were a 
number of other big ones, though, like Cullinan Ranch. 

Chall: Yes, oh, yes. 

Sorensen: That was a very interesting case study, too, but it wasn t 

quite as complicated as Shorelands because it only went through 
one round, you know, instead of two rounds of review through 
the corps and the EIS process. 

Chall: I can t recall now whether that was approved or not. 

Sorensen: No, the corps actually denied that permit. And that was pretty 
interesting because the developer, the sponsor in that project 
came in kind of beating his chest, from southern California, 







Sorensen : 




proudly proclaiming that he had never had a project stopped and 
he would be darned if he was going to let anybody stop this 
project, too. 

You know, in the same way, John Thorpe--you ve probably 
heard this, it s hearsay coming from me because I wasn t at the 
meetingthat he apparently threatened to commit suicide if his 
project wasn t approved. 

No, I hadn t heard that one. 
upbeat . 

Because he s usually pretty 

Yes, at a public meeting involving the environmental groups. I 
could probably name some names if you wanted to get first-hand 
verification. But you know that s all kind of a peripheral and 
interesting human element. 

Yes, well, he usually was successful, too, in what he did. 

So, generally, then, you were concerned that there would be a 
loss of habitat. That the loss of habitat for the endangered 
species was an important factor in not permitting this project 
to go through because there was so little habitat for the 
endangered species, those species, particularly, around the Bay 

That was an important part of it, but the other just as 
important aspect was that at that point in time the population 
levels for those species had been declining and had been 
declining for a long time. And when you ve got something 
sliding towards extinction, you know, it s kind of hard to 
reconcile the continued incremental losses, especially on the 
large scale that these larger projects involve. 

Now did you know that the California Conservation Wildlife 
Board has taken over 835 acres of the Baumberg Tract and is 
going to restore it? 

Yes, and possibly involving mitigation funds from the city of 
San Jose required by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water 
Quality Control Board for marsh conversion impacts from the 
city s wastewater discharge. 

Yes, that s right. 

Yes, so it was kind of a joint acquisition that was-- 


Chall: That s right. It s based on mitigation for I guess a sewer 

line and the expansion of the highway 880 into the marsh all in 
the Fremont, Milpitas, San Jose areas. They put some funds 
into mitigating those problems and it was decided that they 
would use the Baumberg Tract for it. 

Sorensen: I didn t hear about the highway connection, but it sounds like 
it was a pot of money from a variety of sources? 

Chall: Including the East Bay Regional Park District for extending 
their trail system. 

Sorensen: Well, it sounds like it had a good ending then from the 
standpoint of what the recovery plan objectives were for 
restoring those areas. 

Chall: Now they just have to balance it out. They have to work out 

how they ll get these various species to recover on this tract. 

Sorensen: They have competing habitat needs. 

Chall: Exactly. They have some real problems. Steve Foreman is more 
or less in charge of this with Carl Wilcox. 

Sorensen: Oh, yes. 

Chall: So it s back to square one in a sense that they have to go 
through the same regulatory hurdles that John Thorpe went 
through to make sure that they re going to pass the jeopardy. 

Sorensen: Boy, Steve Foreman s going to make a career out of this 
project. From the beginning to the very end. 

Chall: [laughs] Right. He s been on Baumberg all the way through. 
And I think he s enjoying it very much. 

Sorensen: Yes. 

Chall: Well, I thank you very much for the time you ve given to this. 
Your interview will go into a volume that deals with the 
history of the Baumberg Tract. I do appreciate your being 
willing to be contribute a chapter to that volume. 


Sorensen: Well, I appreciate the invitation. I hope this benefited in 
some respect. 

Chall: I think so. Thank you very much, Mr. Sorensen. 
Sorensen: Thank you, you re welcome. 

Transcribed by Amelia Archer 
Final Typed by Shannon Page 


Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

California Water Resources Oral History Series 


Carl G. Wilcox 


An Interview conducted by 

Malca Chall 

in 1998 

Copyright c 2000 by The Regents of the University of California 





Background: Education and Career Path to the California State 

Department of Fish and Game 274 
Department of Fish and Game: Lead Manager for Review of the 

Shorelands Project 275 

The Shorelands Project: An Ill-Conceived Plan 277 

Developers and Environmental Regulations 279 

Development Plans for the Oliver Property 281 
The Baumberg Tract Wetlands Restoration Project: Carl Wilcox, 

Project Manager 282 

Site Selection 283 

Fixed Commitments for the Species Habitats 284 

Funding for Restoration and Long-term Management 287 

Additional Constraints 288 

The Public Comment 290 

The San Francisco Bay Area Wetlands Goals Project 292 

Historic Preservation and the Baumberg Tract 294 


Carl Wilcox graduated from Sacramento State University in 1974, 
with a degree in biological conservation, and from New Mexico Highlands 
University in 1976, with an M.A. in biology. Since 1980 he has worked 
in various departments of the state Department of Fish and Game [DFG] , 
in the Central Coast Region since 1986. As an environmental specialist 
working on wetlands issues, he was lead manager for review of the 
Shorelands Project. Currently, as regional environmental services 
supervisor, he is a manager of the Wetlands Restoration Project on the 
Baumberg Tract. With an in-depth knowledge, therefore, he could discuss 
the two Baumberg Tract projects. Moreover, because he was one of the 
final persons interviewed in the series of Baumberg Tract oral 
histories, he could tie together many of the issues raised by other 
interviewees . 

Mr. Wilcox talked with me by phone for one hour on July 20, 1998, 
from his office in Yountville. I was interested, at the outset, in the 
role of the state DFG in the regulatory process for the Shorelands 
Project, their contribution to background research on the tract, and the 
state s regulations on wetlands and endangered species. I also wanted 
to know about the relationships between the DFG and the Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Shorelands Project personnel, and Hayward area 
environmentalists. Finally, I wanted the latest information available, 
at that time, on the ongoing restoration plans. 

Mr. Wilcox began by explaining the role of the state government in 
relation to compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act 
[CEQA] and the federal Clean Water Act [CWA] . The Shorelands Project, 
he felt, did not meet the state s "no net loss of wetland acreage and/or 
habitat functions and values," and, he continued, the project "was 
proposing as mitigation the conversion or alteration of existing 
wetlands, not the creation or restoration of new wetlands." With the 
benefit of hindsight, Mr Wilcox claimed that Shorelands was an ill- 
conceived project, one that "no one would propose. . .today. " 

In response to concerns that the environmental regulations seem 
complex and onerous, he admitted that there is "a high degree of 
layering," but that nothing makes them insurmountable. Public comment 
following the publication of the EIR/EIS takes time, but it is an aspect 
of the process that he and others involved in the preparation and review 
process, whether professionals or grassroots activists, consider 
important. He claims to value the comments made by grassroots 
activists, although, as he points out, he may not always agree with 


Today, as project manager with the overall responsibility for the 
Baumberg Restoration Project, Mr. Wilcox carried forward the narrative 
begun by Steve Foreman in an earlier interview. Mr. Wilcox carefully 
explained the problems he identified in developing a plan that meets 
state and federal Clean Water Act regulations, adheres to mitigation 
constraints set into the project, and which is confined by limited 
funding. He made it clear why the complex restoration plan schedules 
which had been initially projected might be delayed in the future. As 
the Baumberg Tract example illustrates, the restoration of wetlands 
involves a delicate balancing of many interlocking concerns. 

Mr. Wilcox added information and clarified answers when he 
reviewed his lightly edited transcript. By linking the Shorelands 
Project and the Baumberg Tract Restoration Project, he broadened our 
understanding of San Francisco Bay s past and current wetlands issues, 
and the problems faced by developers and environmentalists trying to 
implement environmental laws and regulations. 

The Regional Oral History Office was established in 1954 to 
augment through tape-recorded memoirs the Library s materials on the 
history of California and the West. Copies of all interviews are 
available for research use in The Bancroft Library and in the UCLA 
Department of Special Collections. The office is under the direction of 
Willa K. Baum, Division Head, and the administrative direction of 
Charles B. Faulhaber, James D. Hart Director of The Bancroft Library, 
University of California, Berkeley. 

Malca Chall 
Interviewer /Editor 

January 2000 

Regional Oral History Office 

University of California at Berkeley 


Regional Oral History Office 
Room 486 The Bancroft Library 

University of California 
Berkeley, California 94720 

(Please write clearly. Use black ink.) 
Your full name C-iAr-l ^1 filzA t^V 10 t\ C K / 

Date of birth Qcj, 


Father s full name 

Occupation MvJ S 1C 1 j6 JHLJ/L.ELJ2 Birthplace 

Birthplace JJ& \fjLh R-S . 



Mother s full name 

Occupation C M^rlig U. 1jg^A-cix 
Your spouse 



Your children 

(Lf A 

Where did you grow up? /\NlTLCg,U^ L.A 

Present community 

Areas of expertise 


Other interests or activities 

Organizations in which you are active 

I fig- 




[Date of Interview: July 20, 1998] I* 1 

Background: Education and Career Path to the California State 
Department of Fish and Game 

Chall: Could you tell me about your educational background and how it led 
you to your career with the Department of Fish and Game? 2 

Wilcox: Okay. I have a bachelor of science degree in biological 

conservation from Sacramento State University and a master of 
science degree in biology from New Mexico Highlands University. I 
graduated from Sacramento State in 1974 and from Highlands in 
1976. Following that, I worked for the California Department of 
Fish and Game as a seasonal aide, and then California Conservation 
Corp from 1977 to 1980. In 1980, I was employed by the department 
as an ecological reserve manager at Upper Newport Bay, ecological 
reserve in Orange County. I was there until 1986, when I 
transferred to the Central Coast Region Office as an environmental 
specialist working on wetlands issues in the Central Coast Region, 
which runs from San Luis Obispo to Mendocino County. I m 
currently the regional environmental services supervisor. 

Chall: Well, between 1984 and 1987 and even up to 1992 when the Baumberg 
Tract was being considered for development by the Shorelands 
Project, were you involved in any way in that activity, in that 

Wilcox: Yes, when I came to the region in 1986, one of my responsibilities 
was working on projects that affected wetlands and we were 
involved in the CEQA compliance process, the California 

## This symbol indicates that a tape or tape segment has begun or 
ended. A guide to the tapes follows the transcript. 

2 This interview was recorded by telephone. 



Environmental Quality Act. So I was involved in the project from 
a review of the environmental document as well as the review and 
comment on the permit application under Section 404 of the federal 
Clean Water Act. We were also involved in the endangered species 
permitting issues since several species affected by that project 
were also state listed as well as federally listed. 

I see, so the state was as involved then as the federal in those 

Department of Fish and Game: Lead Manager for Review of the 
Shorelands Project 

Wilcox: Yes. When I came in 86, I assumed involvement in the project 
from Paul Kelly who had been the unit manager down in that area 
and had worked on the project. Paul was instrumental in focusing 
attention upon the potential adverse effects of the project on 
seasonal wetlands and wildlife. 

Chall: He was no longer unit manager? 

Wilcox: Shortly after my arrival, he transferred and went to work for our 
divisional staff in Sacramento. 

Chall: And, he no longer had any involvement with the Baumberg Tract? 
Wilcox: No direct involvement as a department representative. 

Chall: I noticed in the biological study that he was listed along with 
Leora Feeney. So was John Gustafson. What would have been his 
role? 3 

Wilcox: Well, as far as the biological study, Leora worked for Paul for a 
while as a seasonal aide doing seasonal wetland bird surveys in 
the South San Francisco Bay, which included some of the Baumberg 
Tract. John Gustafson works in the department s non-game birds 
and mammals office in Sacramento. He coordinated endangered 
species recovery activities and funding support for the work Leora 

3 "Biological Assessment for the Proposed Shorelands Project." 
Prepared by Western Ecological Services Company (WESCO), June 1987. 













Actually the first jeopardy opinion was coming out in 1987, so you 
really had just about one year on Baumberg. 


In that one year, were your contacts with Steve Foreman, or John 
Thorpe; who were your contacts in this project? 

Primarily the consultants in the form of Steve Foreman and then--. 

Carolyn Cole of Cole/Mills? 

Yes, and there was an architect or somebody. 

Richard Murray. 

Yes, Richard Murray. I met with them on several occasions and 
coordinated with the Fish and Wildlife Service. I think Pete 
Sorensen was the lead person for the service. 

Right. What would you have been doing? Were you in contact also 
with John Thorpe or with Richard Murray for John Thorpe? 

We worked primarily with his consultants in the form of Mr. 
Murray, and there was a young woman that worked for Mr. Thorpe as 
an assistant. 

Yes, Nori G. Hall. When you were in contact or consulting with 
them, what was your general point of view? 

Well, there was a great deal of skepticism about the feasibility 
of their mitigation for endangered species in particular and how 
they would mitigate for wetlands in general. They basically were 
not proposing things that were consistent with existing department 
policy in the wetlands mitigation arena. Basically, the 
department, at that time, had what is called a no net loss 
wetlands policy, which required no net loss of wetland acreage 
and /or habitat functions and values. Most of what this Shorelands 
Project was proposing as mitigation was conversion or alteration 
of existing wetlands, not creation or restoration of new wetlands. 

I see . 

Which didn t meet our policy requirements. There were a lot of 
concerns about predator issues with regard to endangered species 
and then some pretty hokey mitigation proposals for snowy plover 


Chall: So were you consulting with them about your feelings of skepticism 
at the time that they were making these proposals or were you just 
allowing them to try them out to see if they would work perhaps? 

Wilcox: We were commenting on their proposals, generally in a fairly 

negative manner. The mitigation activities that I mentioned were, 
in most cases, not consistent with policy and just not things we 
were going to approve or accept. 

Chall: That you recognized right away even before you read the EIR/EIS? 

Wilcox: EIR/EIS. It was somewhat of an iterative process in that the 

department would comment on the document. Shorelands received the 
comments, and then they came back and tried to address the issues 
and revise things, so there was a period of consultation following 
the initial round of comments on the environmental document. 

Chall: Otherwise, prior to that, do you simply wait to see what the 
EIR/EIS has to say before you make comments that might be 
considered negative to the project? 

Wilcox: Right, oft times, unless somebody comes to us and consults in 

advance. There wasn t a whole lot of that as I remember in the 
first go around. 

Chall: I sometimes wonder whether, if different people were in charge of 
the project or, let s say, in your place, the results might be 
different in terms of the final decisions. 

The Shorelands Project: An Ill-Conceived Plan 

Wilcox: Well, they can be. But from the perspective of wetland issues, 
the Shorelands Project was ill-conceived to start out with. No 
one would propose it today. It s the kind of thing where somebody 
has an idea and looks at a site as a barren wasteland and doesn t 
really consider the public perception and acceptance of it. When 
that project was formulated, I think in--. 

Chall: In about 1983 or so when it was first conceived, I guess. 

Wilcox: Yes, things were different in the way people looked at development 
around the edge of the Bay. You were getting to the point where 
people startedparticularly projects of that sizebecoming 
concerned about the loss of these historic baylands, these diked 
bayland areas, and the loss of the values that were associated 
with them. There was kind of a paradigm shift in the community in 



that the environmental community was becoming much more aware of 
wetland issues in San Francisco Bay, and the South Bay in 

Paul Kelly was, I think, a real mover or force in developing 
that consciousness in the environmental community, educating 
people about those wetland areas, and getting them interested in 
them. It was kind of the start of a new era in wetlands 
permitting. There s a lot more scrutiny of projects as a result 
of this increased understanding of the seasonal wetlands around 
the Bay. 

So that was another shift from simply CEQA to the whole concept of 
the Clean Water Act and the endangered species. These regulations 
did come along at different times, but in a continuum of a kind. 

Wilcox: Right. 

Chall: Then, in 1987, John Thorpe removed his project so that he did not 
have to accept the jeopardy and went on to revise his mitigation 
plans. He assigned another round to TRA, Thomas Reid Associates. 
Were you in any way consulted by Karen Weissman who worked with 
Thomas Reid on the next go round? 

Wilcox: We were to some degree, but the issue never really got much 
better. They were still proposing the same kinds of things. 
There were still outstanding issues about whether or not things 
were wetland or not, whether they were going to mitigate. The 
project never got to a point where the department would have 
removed any of its objections. 

Chall: And your objections- -how important, in a way, were your 

objections? I know that the jeopardy opinion from the Fish and 
Wildlife Service was paramount. Was yours of equal stature? 

Wilcox: No, really the driver in that instance was the federal endangered 
species. Obtaining endangered species approval was critical in 
obtaining the corps permit. If they approved the project, that 
was the real controlling factor on whether or not they could get a 
permit, short of legal action against the city of Hayward and/or 
the corps. 

Chall: So, you were not as involved in comments and consultation? 

Wilcox: Not directly, although, during that period we did coordinate with 
the service. It s interesting. We were still trying to figure 
out how to implement the state Endangered Species Act. One of the 
things we found out subsequently is that we have overlapping code 


sections, and the harvest mouse is what is considered a fully 
protected animal, and that project would have resulted in the take 
of the animal which is totally prohibited by state law. 

Chall: I see. 

Wilcox: So, if we knew what we know today, they would have had an even 

more difficult time getting permits to do what they were going to 

Chall: When you say if we knew what we know today, you re looking at it 
and considering your work with the restoration project or 
something else about the law? 

Wilcox: No, this is the interpretation of the state Endangered Species Act 
and other code sections in the Fish and Game code. 

Chall: And that s because what the courts have ruled or are you just 
interpreting the laws differently? 

Wilcox: We re interpreting laws differently. It s an old law that nobody 
really paid all that much attention to until somebody challenged 
us in court under the state Endangered Species Act and issuing 
incidental take permits, or what we call 2081 permits. All of a 
sudden somebody looked at this older law that predated the state 
Endangered Species Act and basically preempts it, which prohibits 
any take of a certain list of species of which the salt marsh 
harvest is one. So, it s something we re having to struggle with 
right now. 

ChalJ : You mean right now in your restoration plan? 

Wilcox: Well, the restoration plan, but it also involves other instances 

where we have to authorize or deal with projects that might result 
in taking. 

Chall: So there are others around the Bay here that you re now struggling 
with or are concerned with? 

Wilcox: Yes. 

Developers and Environmental Regulations 

Chall: There are people who would say that all these regulations are 

terribly difficult to adhere to, and it s onerous, particularly 
for developers, and also perhaps for people who have to write the 


EIR and all the regulations. How do you come down on that? Do 
you think sometimes these regulations are getting to be too 
difficult to deal with? The mouse may not be all that important 
in all these little spots where people want to develop? You may 
lose a mouse, or four hundred mice. How do you look at that 
aspect of the regulations? 

Wilcox: I think the take on regulations is that certainly there s a high 
degree of layering. There s nothing necessarily in the 
regulations that makes them insurmountable. Projects get approved 
on a regular basis, but you have, certainly, different levels of 
interest. You have local politics that have their own set of 
requirements for local approval, and then you move up through the 
process to different levels of jurisdiction. Without regulations 
like the state and federal endangered species acts, you wouldn t 
see any protection measures, or very limited, or haphazard 
protection measures for endangered species. While there are 
substantial hurdles to overcome, they are manageable if you do 
your homework as a developer. In retrospect, nobody would propose 
a project like that today. 

John Thorpe s? 

Right. From my perspective, it was a bad project to start out 

And projects today are not as widespread, as damaging, you think? 

Well, certainly things have changed around the edge of the Bay. 
People aren t coming in to develop large tracts of land, or what 
we call the Bay lands, which are the diked historic areas of the 
Bay. There are very few of those kinds of projects anymore. Ever 
since the creation of the Bay Conservation and Development 
Commission [BCDC] and people s renewed interest in active 
enforcement of the Federal Clean Water Act under Section 404, this 
Bay filling has substantially been reduced. 

Chall: That s right. Each attempt to build or develop is certainly 
critically looked at by BCDC, the state, and the federal 
government all these projects. 

Wilcox: This has set the stage for, you know, both the state and the 

federal government, and, in some cases, some of the local agencies 
in moving forward and protecting a lot of these lands. 
Development projects face such hurdles and public opposition that 
means are provided to acquire the property and protect them. 
Developments also are often scaled back to avoid and protect 
wetlands. An example is the Citation Homes project at Roberts 
Landing in San Leandro. 




Development Plans for the Oliver Property 

Chall: There s a new project being considered on the old Oliver Tract 

[West] near Baumberg, which will be primarily housing. [See Map 
1] Is the Department of Fish and Game involved in the EIR for 
that? [Proposition HH. See Appendix D] 

Wilcox: Yes, the department has commented on the EIR. 
Chall: The EIR has already been prepared? 

Wilcox: The draft; and I think it has been certified. The issue there, 
while it s within the historic bay lands, there aren t a lot of 
what are considered jurisdictional wetlands on the site. 

Chall: Oh, I see. 

Wilcox: So, we haven t had, let s say, outstanding concerns relative to 

that project. We would probably prefer it didn t occur, but, from 
a biological perspective, it doesn t have great existing 
biological value. It s primarily an old hay field, and it s been 
farmed, and there s very little wildlife value. 

Chall: There s no habitat being destroyed that hasn t been destroyed 
years ago or could be restored? 

Wilcox: Our main concerns focus on the specifics of their minimal wetland 
mitigation, and issues about buffers. 

Chall: And fill. I guess many people are concerned with that. 

Wilcox: Yes, on the other hand, it has substantial local opposition. 

Chall: Yes. 

Wilcox: It will ultimately be decided by the voters. 

Chall: So there s no impact with respect to the Baumberg Restoration 

Wilcox: Not any direct impact. In fact, there might be some opportunities 
to cooperate as far as the development project taking some fill 
material that we have to remove from the site. 


The Baumberg Tract Wetlands Restoration Project: Carl Wilcox, 
Project Manager 

Chall: Which they will need for building up land for the housing. Could 
we turn, then, to the Baumberg Restoration Project? 

Wilcox: Sure. 

Chall: All right, because I think we ve taken care of John Thorpe s 

Shorelands Project. I didn t ask you about your interaction with 
John Thorpe. How well did you work with him? 

Wilcox: Well, I only met him, I think, two or three times. Myself and 

John Schmidt, the executive officer of the Wildlife Conservation 
Board, met with him. I think this was in the very late eighties 
or early nineties. I talked to him about the possible sale of the 
property to the state. I think it was shortly after passage of 
Prop. [Proposition] 70, which was an open-space bond measure that 
specifically earmarked money for acquisition in the south of San 
Francisco Bay. [See Glossary] 

Chall: He really had only an option on that land, so he couldn t have 
sold it anyway. It was really Cargill s property. 

Wilcox: Yes, but we met with him to talk with him about stepping out of 
the way and that type of thing. 

Chall: Well, by that time, I think he had already received the jeopardy 
opinion, had he not? This was 1990? 

Wilcox: This was probably about 1988, 1989. 

Chall: Oh, 1 see. That was just before he gave up the option. Prop. 70 
was--. I don t remember the date of that. Do you off-hand? 

Wilcox: It was, I think, June, 1988. 

Chall: He had option on 736 acres of land, and you purchased 835, so I 
was trying to figure where that extra 99 acres came in. 

Wilcox: It s out towards what s considered the Whale s Tail. We didn t 
acquire the Whale s Tail. We ve acquired, I think, part of what 
used to be known as Pond 11. 

Chall: So it wasn t the Whale s Tail. 
Wilcox: No, Cargill still owns that. 


Chall: Oh, I see. I m trying to figure out from the maps that I have 

here, but it s a little difficult for me. I knew that there was 
nearly 100 acres difference, and I couldn t figure out just 
exactly what you had been able to get that John didn t have or 
have an option on. So that was it, Pond 11. [labeled Inner 11 on 
Map 1] 

Site Selection 

Chall: So the Wildlife Conservation Board purchased this from Cargill on 
the basis of mitigation. Did you have anything to do with any of 
those early decisions about where this mitigation would go? To 
the Baumberg Tract rather than someplace else? 

Wilcox: Yes. I ve been involved in the city of San Jose s issues since 
the mid 1980s as far as the water board [Regional Water Quality 
Control Board] requirements for mitigation for marsh conversion 

Chall: Oh, this was for the sewer. 

Wilcox: This was for the waste water discharge and the conversion issues 
down there. Originally, those requirements had been set for an 
undesignated site. Most everybody anticipated that it would be 
Bair Island, if and when it was purchased or made available. We 
got into a situation where there were several things going on. 
The ten-year life of Prop. 70 was about to pass. Basically, there 
were terms in Prop. 70 that said that if funds hadn t been 
expended within ten years then they could be reallocated at the 
discretion of the legislature. So there was an emphasis, since we 
had a willing seller in Cargill and the apparent lack of any 
potential activity with regard to Bair Island, to move forward 
with the Baumberg acquisition. [See Appendix C] 

Chall: Yes. Well, the Japanese controlling it were not about to sell it 
at that point. 

Wilcox: Yes, and the fact that the city of San Jose had gone on for five 

or six years without doing any of the mitigation. So, it was time 
that they did something and got something going. Since Baumberg 
became available, then we worked with the Fish and Wildlife 
Service and the regional board to designate the funds to the 
Baumberg acquisition. 

Chall: And then there was also a mitigation needed by the cities of 
Milpitas and Fremont on Caltrans? 



Right, yes, and those were for the Dixon Landing overpass 
article, following page] 


I m just about ready to run out of tape, so maybe I ll stop for a 
moment and turn it over. 

Wilcox: Okay. 

Fixed Commitments for the Species Habitats 

Chall: Now, I ve noticed in the material that I have received from you, 
when I ve gone to some of your meetings, that when you purchased 
the Baumberg Tract your commitment was a restoration of 350 acres 
of tidal salt marsh for the salt marsh harvest mouse and clapper 
rail habitat, 17.5 acres of new jurisdictional wetlands including 
12.6 acres of the salt marsh harvest mouse habitat. Then there is 
restoration of tidal salt marsh and enhancement of seasonal 
wetlands. Also you must provide access to the East Bay Regional 
Park District for continuation of the bay trail. 

Now, in terms of the work that you need to do, are you 
committed exactly to 350 acres of tidal salt marsh for the harvest 
mouse and clapper rail? Could it be less if you aren t able to 
work it out conveniently? Because I know you have some problems, 
I was wondering whether those commitments are absolute. 

Wilcox: Those mitigation commitments are absolute. 
Chall: So you must have 350 acres and the 17.5 acres. 
Wilcox: Right, and our objective is to have more. 

Chall: When the California Wildlife Conservation Board purchased this, it 
was known that the Department of Fish and Game would be 
responsible for the restoration project. How was it that you were 
assigned to direct the project? Do you have a title? 

Wilcox: Project manager. I was assigned to it because I was involved in 
the ongoing efforts to acquire it, and/or restore it, and that s 
one of my areas of expertise. 

Chall: Restoration? 

Wilcox: Yes. 

Chall: I see. You, then, asked Steve Foreman and his group--? 


WEDNESDAY, April 28, 1999 


By Mary Nauman 

Plans that require filling in 
more than 17 acres of wetlands 
10 widen the DLxon Landing 
Rcrid inlerrhange are expected 
to lace tough scrutiny from envi 
ronmental groups, officials say. 

The wider interchange, which 
has been planned by Fremont 
and Milpitas since the 1980s, is 
needed to ease congestion and 
compensate for the new Inter 
state 880 car-pool lane planned 
between Mission and CaJaveras 

One hurdle, however. Is that 
the new interchange will require 
filling in 17.8 acres of wetlands. 
The U.S. Army Corps of Engi 
neers is accepting public com 
ment on the project until May 

"We re anticipating a lot of 
environmental agencies and In 
dividuals to comment on this," 
corps spokesman Doug Ma- 
kilt en said. "The review period 
has Just begun, but I know from 
talking with folks that we have 
already gotten calls on this sub 
ject. " 

Donna Olsen of Tri-Clty 
Ecology declined to comment on 
.the project because she had not 
read the corps report. 

According to a public notice 
released by the corps, the 
project will replace the current 
overcrossing with a wider one. 
add a new bridge at Penitencia 
Creek and modify the easting 
on- and off-ramps to prevent 
congestion on the city streets. ^ 

If It Is approved, the CaTi-1 
fornia Department of Transpor- 
tation will compensate for filling 
In the wetlands by preserving an 
equal number of acres on the] 
Baumberg Tract, an 800-acrej 
restoration project In Haywarj^ 

Colin Jones, spokesman for 
Caltrans. said the new Dixon 
Landing Road interchange is an 
environmentally sensitive 
project, but the plans to pre 
serve other wetlands should 
make the approval process 

Construction is expected to 
begin next summer, he said. 

"We don t expect the wet 
lands to be a big problem be 
cause off-site mitigation is going 
to be provided," Jones said. "It 
can get pretty complicated, but 
It s still going to happen." 

Ttie final envirownoital im 
pact study on the Dizon 
Landing inlercluiitge project is 
available at tte Milpitas and 
Fremont libraries, or by con 
tacting tltf CaUrans Information 
Center at 111 Grand Ave. in 


Wilcox: We contracted--. 

Chall: Contracted with--. What was it then? 

Wilcox: RMI, Resource Management International. 

Chall: His present study differs in some way from the original study that 
he had to do for the Shorelands Project. Now, you are required to 
restore rather than to check on what would be lost. 

Wilcox: Right, as part of that, we re doing resource inventories to 

facilitate the planning so we don t seriously impact existing 
uses. Certainly, the site functions as a seasonal wetland in that 
it ponds water during the winter months and provides habitats for 
shore birds and some water fowl. Then, also, it has an historic 
use by the threatened western snowy plover. As part of the 
restoration plan, we have to incorporate the needs of those 
species into the restoration plan. 

Chall: As I understand it, the clapper rail and the harvest mouse use the 
same kind of habitat, but the snowy plover uses a different kind, 
and you have to provide for each. 

Wilcox: Right, and we have an interesting problem there. The mouse and 

the rail, I think, have been listed ever since the early seventies 
and the authorization of the Endangered Species Act. The Baumberg 
Tract, in the current recovery plan, is listed or identified as 
essential habitat for their recovery, so we have a mandate through 
that recovery plan to restore tidal marsh. But then we have 
another endangered or threatened species that s using the habitat 
so we have to account for that also as well as try to address the 
existing wildlife values of the site. 

Chall: You ve also had to deal, then, with problems of hydrology? 
Wilcox: Yes. 

Chall: There are quite a few problems that you are concerned about, but 

mainly it s this difference in habitat--is that it--and how you re 
going to arrive at the balance? 

Wilcox: Right, it s developing a plan that creates habitat that makes 

sense for clapper rails and harvest mice but also addresses the 
needs of snowy plovers, and shore birds, and water fowl. One of 
the things that we ve found doing our survey work over the last 
couple of years since acquiring the site is that the snowy plover 
use on the site has shifted dramatically. The areas that they 
used to use have changed in vegetative character to the point 


where the plovers aren t using them too much anymore and have 
moved to different areas on the site more to their liking. 

Chall: You have to retain that kind of habitat then? 

Wilcox: Right. In a way, it has worked out pretty well for us in that now 
we re able to consolidate the snowy plover management areas, and 
we re not having to look at trying to get the plovers to move. 

Chall: Oh, they re doing it on their own. 

Wilcox: They re doing it on their own and going to a good place for them 
and freeing up an area that was really problematic from a 
restoration perspective. It was right in the middle of where we 
wanted to put tidal marsh habitat, so, to some degree, they re 
helping us out. 

Chall: Well, that means that it probably was a good idea, though you 

might not have planned it that way, to have had some time to wait 
to see how the land would respond to the rains that we ve had 
recently and any other changes that have occurred. 

Wilcox: Yes, it hasn t been so much recent change but the ability to 
compare our data with work that was done for the Shorelands 
Project in the mid 1980s. 

Chall: Oh, ten years. 

Wilcox: Yes, and over that ten-year period, there has been a fairly 

substantial change in the area known as the pickle pond, which was 
where the plovers historically nested in greatest numbers. That 
has developed a lot of vegetation, vegetative cover, in the form 
of pickleweed and annual grasses and things. 

Chall: Where are they now? 

Wilcox: They ve moved out into what s called Inner 11 pond and Pond 15. 

Chall: All right, I ll check that on the map. Inner 11 and Pond 15? 

Wilcox: I think, in some of our documents, we call it Pond 16. [laughter] 

Chall: I have lots of maps, and it s very confusing. 

Wilcox: Yes, they re basically the two ponds kind of in the northwest 
portion of the site right next to the active salt ponds. [See 
Map 1] 


Funding for Restoration and Long-term Manaeement 

Chall: Now, aside from the constraints you have about the species, the 
habitat for the species, you have a constraint with respect to 
money, $1.3 million. Is that serious? 

Wilcox: Well, we don t know. We discovered we had more money. 
Chall: Oh, how does one discover that? [laughs] 

Wilcox: I was under the impression that we had only $1.3 million, but it 
turned out we had almost $1.7 million. 

Chall: Oh, that does add a bit. 

Wilcox: So, that s going to help, but we still don t know if it s enough 
or not. We have been working to kind of pare the project down to 
kind of do the minimum amount of site modification. At this 
point, I feel it s probably going to be enough. 

Chall: When you say enough, does this have to do not only with the 
technical work that needs to be done to prepare the habitat 
properly, dredging and whatever else is needed, but also for 
management, or does this not deal with management that might be 
necessary for a number years to ensure that the habitat remains 
the way you want it? 

Wilcox: This doesn t address long-term management. 
Chall: How will that be addressed? 

Wilcox: Well, we have addressed it to some degree through developing an 
endowment for the site. The city of San Jose, as part of their 
mitigation component has provided funds into an endowment as have 
the cities of Milpitas and Fremont. 

Chall: Oh, I see, and so you re assured that by, what--their annual 
budgets that there s money there? 

Wilcox: There will be money, yes. They re providing funds to the 
department that go into a dedicated account. 

Chall: I see. That gives you a little breathing space. 
Wilcox: Yes, it will be helpful. 


Additional Constraints 

Chall: Other problems. I noted when I sat in on your meetings that you 
had to deal with quite a few additional problems. I suppose John 
Thorpe must have had to deal with them too, but there were other 
things that seemed to be of greater concern. You had to deal with 
problems such as PG&E [Pacific Gas and Electric Company] and the 
power lines, CalTrans and some of their lines, and some sewer 
agencies--! don t know which ones they werewith respect to their 

Wilcox: We have the East Bay Municipal, what is it? 

Chall: East Bay Municipal Utility District. I don t know whether it s 
that one . 

Wilcox: No, the East Bay Dischargers Authority. 

Chall: That may be it. Then there s the Regional Water Quality Control 

Board, and Leslie Salt, and the Mosquito Abatement District, these 
are just some of them. When I listened to all the problems, I 
thought, mercy me, [chuckles] how do you even begin? You want to 
set up a habitat for these species, and then you have to be 
concerned about the underground pipes and the overhead power lines 
and all these other aspects? How are you doing? 

Wilcox: Well, I think we re doing pretty well. We re trying to 

incorporate those needs into the design so that, with regard to 
the PG&E towers on the eastern portion of the site, they already 
have a boardwalk put in so access to those isn t a big problem. 
We re incorporating a berm design into the project to provide 
access to the sewer. From a planning and design aspect, it seems 
to be working out pretty well. 

Chall: I see. 

Wilcox: Then, the snowy plover management area basically leaves the PG&E 
alignment through the northern portion of the property the way it 
is, so we re not going to have to do anything. We re not changing 
anything, so we don t have to deal with that. From an 
infrastructure perspective, we seem to be doing pretty well. The 
relocation of Cargill s facilities, I think, is going to be 

Chall: How have they been as a company to deal with? 

Wilcox: Oh, we have a good relationship with them. They ve been 

cooperative. They have an interest in seeing the project go 








forward and being, a success. They have committed to provide us 
assistance in doing some of the project implementation. 


By providing their dredge the Mallard, so that will be a really 
valuable contribution to the project. 

Somebody has to be going around working with all of these 
different agencies and their personnel. Who s doing that for you? 

Oh, that s Steve s job. 
Oh, I see. [laughs] 
That s why we pay him. 

Well, he knows most of these people by now, and he certainly knows 
the area that he s working on. That s an advantage. Are you 
feeling comfortable or optimistic that you re going to be able to 
get your plan, have it ready when it s supposed to be--the end of 
this year [1998] . 

Yes. The schedule has slipped a year, so I feel quite comfortable 
that we re able to be underway. 


Next year at this time [July 1999]. 

You ll be underway next year at this time? 

As far as construction is concerned, yes. The plan, at this 
point, should be coming out by the end of August, then we ll be 
doing the CEQA documents for the project and making the permit 
applications and going to final design. We have a contract with 
East Bay Regional parks now to do the final construction 
documents, and the contract bidding, and construction supervision. 

So, that has been successful for East Bay Regional parks to do 
that. I know, at one time, you were hoping they could. 

Wilcox: Yes. 

Mallard is the name of the dredge. It is a rather historical feature 
itself .--C.W. 


Chall: Is there a plan for the trail that the East Bay Regional Park 
District and other folks have wanted over the years? 

Wilcox: The alignment will be identified in the project s plan. We re not 
going to be constructing it. That s up to the park district, but 
I think they re going to be trying to get grant funding, or 
funding to construct it concurrent with the restoration project. 

Chall: Will this be a phased in plan? I know John Thorpe s was a plan 
that was going to be phased in over a number of years. Is your 
plan phased in some way? 

Wilcox: No, we hope not. The only reason it might be phased is if we 
don t have enough money to do all the construction. 

Chall: I see. So, once your plan is accepted and you begin work on it, 
you expect to just get it all done within a certain period of 

Wilcox: Yes, yes. 

The Public Comment 

Chall: What about public input? I know you have a Technical Advisory 

Committee, and they ve been meeting, but there are quite a number 
of local environmentalists who are quite concerned about all this 
and have been for years. 

Wilcox: Well, we also have a Public Advisory Committee, and so, when we ve 
met with the Technical Advisory Committee, then we generally have 
an evening meeting for them. We ve had, I think, two of those so 
far. We had an initial scoping meeting and then a meeting to 
present the project alternatives and things this winter. When the 
plan comes out, we will have another meeting to present the plan, 
then there will be an opportunity through the CEQA review for 
people to comment. It s our hope that we will have talked to 
people enough and that they will understand the plan, and we ll 
have addressed everybody s concerns by the time it comes out. 

Chall: Who are the people most concerned with whom you have dealt? I 

mean are there some local environmentalists who are more concerned 
than others, or more vocal than others? 

Wilcox: Yes. What do they call themselves? The Committee to Save 

Alameda s Last Marshlands. They re called CALM. The primary 
people involved in that are Frank and Janice Delfino. 


Chall: Right, I know tntim. 
Wilcox: And Ron Barklow. 
Chall: Oh, yes. 

Wilcox: And then the Hayward Area Shorelands Protection Agency [HASPA] 
also has concerns about how what we re doing fits in with their 
plan. Then the Citizens Committee to Complete the San Francisco 
Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Some of the members of that group 
have an interest, particularly Phil LaRiviere from a hydrologic 
perspective. He s going to be, I m sure, making comments on the 
hydrology. That s why we re spending so much time trying to get 
the hydrology right. 

Chall: Yes. I know the Delfinos and Barklows for many years have been 

quite concerned about local wetlands and almost anything having to 
do with the environment locally. They do collect a lot of 
information. You are concerned about their concern? 

Wilcox: Oh, very much. I try to keep them as up to date as possible, and 
provide them with all the information, and try to get their 
comment, and try to address their concerns as part of the designs. 

Chall: Are their concerns by and large valid concerns that you yourself 
learn something from? 

Wilcox: Yes. Janice and Frank are very bright and committed people. I 
think they re certainly able to develop a lot of information 
relative to development projects. I don t know that they really 
have too much specific concern about the project per se. I think 
they re going to be particularly interested in how we deal with 
the snowy plovers and the seasonal wetlands on the site. And, is 
there going to be enough and that kind of thing? And they re 
concerned that we re not getting bamboozled by Cargill--that kind 
of thing. 1 think they--. [laughs] Well, I saw them last week, 
and they wanted us to delay the project in anticipation of San 
Francisco International Airport buying out Cargill. 1 don t think 
we re going to do that. Nothing we re proposing would preclude 
future restoration in the area if Cargill were to give up any of 
their surrounding ponds. [See Appendix B] 

Chall: That s far into the future. 

Wilcox: Yes, and I just think it s too important to get this under way. 
If you listen to Cargill, they want to stay in business. 

Chall: That s what they say. That s right. 


Wilcox: I don t have the luxury of anticipating people. 
Chall: A great second guess there. 

Wilcox: Right, so I think--. Recently, the Regional Wetlands Goals 
Project issued its report. It calls for the maintenance of 
substantial areas of salt ponds in the South Bay--. Even if 
Cargill were to go away, to manage those in the absence of 
somebody making salt is going to be really difficult. Cargill s 
continued existence in the South Bay is probably not a totally bad 
thing. Salt ponds provide substantial habitat value for 
waterbirds . 

Chall: It s not totally negative, 
to stick around. 

I mean you obviously would like them 

Wilcox: Yes, from a management perspective. I think people like myself 
and Marge Kolar would say, "If you re going to have salt ponds, 
keep them in business." We might like to see the conversion of 
more salt ponds into tidal marshes, and that may happen down the 
line, but I don t think we re saying, you know, eliminate salt 
production totally. 

The San Francisco Bay Area Wetlands Goals Project 

Chall: Well, you just brought up a subject that I wanted to discuss with 
you before we ended: the Regional Wetlands Goal Project. I 
noticed that you are co-chairman of the San Francisco Bay 
Ecosystems Goals Project. You put out recently a draft called the 
Regional Wetlands Goals. [June 26, 1998] Was that it? 

Wilcox: Yes. 

Chall: Can you tell me what it means to be co-chairman of this project? 
I don t know who the other co-chair is. 

Wilcox: The other co-chair is Mike Monroe with the U.S. EPA [Environmental 
Protection Agency]. Basically, the project is an effort to just 
focus on the fish and wildlife, the biological needs of the San 
Francisco Bay Estuary into the future and make recommendations 
about how much of the various habitat types there should be and 
provide guidance on where it should be. 

Chall: My, it looks like a tremendous project. I was visiting Dr. Howard 
Cogswell the other day, and he showed me the report. It had 
absolutely spectacular graphics. I m sure there was a great deal 


of substance in it as well . But I was quite taken by the fact 
that there s so much going on of this kind where people are really 
looking into every aspect of the Bay that one could possibly look 
into. Not always the same people involved. It seemed to me you 
had enough to do with the Baumberg Tract, but I suppose it all 
fits in. It s part of your area of expertise. 

Wilcox: Yes. One of the driving forces behind this is that it s an effort 
to start to address, on a baywide basis, how you deal with 
recovering endangered species while accounting for the needs of a 
lot of species which, while they re not endangered, depend on the 
habitats of the altered baylands. We currently have ongoing 
internal wars between the agencies over restoration projects and 
whether or not you should mitigate for restoration work. It was 
spawned particularly by the Sonoma Baylands Project. The Goals is 
an effort to look at everything together and make recommendations 
that would balance the needs of the various species groups. 

Chall: How is it working out? 

Wilcox: Well, at this point, I think it s worked out very well. 

Chall: At least you re talking to each other. 

Wilcox: Oh yes, and 1 think there s probably a lot of agreement about what 
the goals say or the objectives of the goals. There is certainly 
a lot of concern about how they would be implemented because 
basically we ve called for all of the baylands to be protected and 
that includes a lot of private property. We called for about 
60,000 acres of tidal marsh restoration, which is going to require 
substantial land acquisition, and conversion of some of the 
existing wetlands types to tidal marsh in the Suisun Bay Area. 

Chall: That s a cost. 

Wilcox: Yes, there s cost and there s people s existing interest and 
attachment to the land they own and use. 

Chall: That s right. 

Wilcox: If you go to the Suisun Marsh, it s almost all managed wetlands 
for water fowl, so we had four public meetings last week. The 
last one was in Benicia, and we had, by far, the largest turnout-- 
the angry duck hunters. [laughter] 

Chall: Well, there you are. When you just look at what s happening with 
CALFED [California-Federal Bay Delta Program], you can understand 
this perhaps looks even more difficult. [See Glossary] 


Wilcox: Right. We feel that the Goals that we ve developed are much more 
sound from a biological perspective than what CALFED has done in 
their document. They re primarily focused on the Delta and 
upstream, and their treatment of San Francisco Bay and the lower 
estuary is really poor. 

Chall: It s not their concern? 

Wilcox: Scientific expertise and understanding about the estuary is very 
poor. We re hoping the goals will be able to inform the public 
and decision makers about the diverse biological issues in the 

Chall: That s interesting because it seems to be all tied in when you 
start looking at the Delta here and the estuary. There are so 
many groups the CVPIA [Central Valley Project Improvement Act], 
and CALFED, and yours, just to name three --that you wonder how 
they re all going to be able to work these things out and still 
save the Bay. [See Glossary] 

Wilcox: Yes, that s an interesting thing in that, while they re all 

connected, you have kind of the Bay perspective and then you have 
the Delta and the water interests. Everybody always talks about 
the Bay-Delta, but they re very different things. 

Chall: Yes, and very different people concerned. 
Wilcox: Very different constituencies. 

Chall: Yes, the so-called stakeholders. Well, I think I ve come just 

about to the end of my tape here. If there is anything else you 
want to add to this interview, you re welcome to do it when you 
read the transcript. I really do appreciate the time you ve given 
to me as well as a lot of good information. Thank you very much. 

Historic Preservation and the Baumberg Tract 

Wilcox: Sure. I don t know if, when you talked to Steve [Foreman], he 

brought up the issue of the historic preservation in restoration 
of the Baumberg site. 

Chall: All right, tell me about the historic aspects of the Baumberg 


Wilcox: Well, basically, the site, or the property, includes the old Eden 
Landing harbor site, which was a port back in the period from the 
1850s through the early 1900s. It was a shipment point 
particularly for agricultural products to San Francisco. The 
schooners like the Alma used to go in there to transfer freight. 
So, we have that site. CalTrans and past historic investigations, 
or archaeological investigations, of the site have indicated that 
the port site is a potential site for listing on the historic 

Chall: Oh, my. 

Wilcox: So, we have been working to assess the site and try to work around 
it because, if we do work that s going to adversely affect it, 
then we re going to have to get into a substantial investigation 
of the site, which can be very costly. So, we re trying to plan 
around it. Unfortunately, it s right in the middle of one of our 
key channel locations. 

Chall: What does it mean to work around it? Does it mean you have to 

leave old pilings or a dock or something that looks like it there? 

Wilcox: Yes, you can t, on the surface, really see anything of the site, 
but there is a lot of buried material on site, lots of bottles, 
and probably old pilings, and possibly foundations, some of the 
fill. You can still see the turning basin for the port facility. 
The easiest way to deal with it is to avoid it, so we re having to 
incorporate that into the project design. 

Chall: Would some of the work that you do to get water into the site, or 
whatever you re doing with dredging, et cetera, for habitat, would 
it mess it up in some way? 1 mean would it change it? 

Wilcox: Yes, well, that s part of what we re assessing in our 

archaeological report right now is how best to address the Eden 
Landing port site. Depending on how we have to treat the site, it 
limits our ability to restore the channel that could come up Mt. 
Eden Slough. To some degree, you know, we may be able to kind of 
restore the historic character of the port site by bringing the 
slough through its historic alignment, and we re hoping that will 
be considered an avoidance measure and possibly even an 
enhancement . 

Chall: Is there another problem of that kind on your site? 

Wilcox: Fortunately not. Having historical features on sites is a 

complicated issue to deal with. People think about environmental 
constraints being fish and wildlife, but historical can be equally 
as difficult to deal with. 


Chall: No, Steve hadn t told me about that. That s really quite 

interesting because most of the time we think about historical 
sites as being old buildings and not leftover lost ports, docks, 
and things of this kind. Well, there they are. I suppose there 
may have been others that you encountered in your Regional 
Wetlands Goals Project? 

Wilcox: Well, we re not that detailed in that aspect with the Goals. 
Chall: I see, so no one has had to bring that up to you. 

Wilcox: No, but I m sure for other restoration sites it will be an issue. 
On the Baumberg site, we have the port site, and then there are 
two prehistoric midden sites on the site. Fortunately, we re able 
to totally avoid those. 

Chall: Yes, I noticed you had an archaeologist on your task force for 
that reason. 

Wilcox: Yes, right. CalTrans has been very involved because they have to 
use our historical assessment in their Environmental Impact 
Report. We re basically doing the historical compliance aspect of 
the Dixon Landing Road project, so they ve had somebody 
participating, and RMI has an historian archaeology sub-consultant 
too to work for us. 

Chall: There s quite a bit involved that one doesn t usually think about 
on projects of any kind, particularly this kind. That s really 
very interesting, and I m glad you brought that up. I wouldn t 
want to lose that story. Is there anything else? 

Wilcox: I think that s it. 

Chall: All right, thank you very much. 

Wilcox: Sure enough. 

Chall: Goodbye. 

Wilcox: Goodbye. 

Transcribed by Quandra McGrue 
Final Typed by Shannon Page 


Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

California Water Resources Oral History Series 


Roberta G. Cooper 


An Interview conducted by 

Malca Chall 

in 1998 

Copyright c 2000 by The Regents of the University of California 

Roberta Cooper, 1996. 

Photo by Steve Rubiolo. 


TABLE OF CONTENTS Roberta G. Cooper 




Background: Education, Career and Route to Mayor of Hayward 301 

The Shorelands Project 393 

Early Considerations 304 

Final Decisions of the City Council 307 
The Ballot Measure HH and Land Use Plan on the Weber Tract and 

Oliver Properties 308 

The Role of the City Managers and the Shorelands Project 310 



Roberta Cooper has had close ties to Hayward s government since 1985, 
when she served on the task force of the General Plan Revision Committee. 
Her interest in city planning and governance prompted her to run for a seat 
on the city council in 1988. She won; she won again in 1992. In mid-term, 
1994, she ran for and was elected mayor. She began her second term as mayor 
of the city of Hayward in 1998. 

These years roughly coincided with those when John Thorpe was applying 
to both the federal government and to the city of Hayward for approval of 
his Shorelands Project development plans. Although several other present 
city council members served between 1984 and 1992, when John Thorpe s 
project was active, I chose to interview Roberta Cooper because she is 
currently the mayor, and because her role in the city s final negative 
decision on the project was mentioned by John Thorpe in his oral history 
interview. The views of Mayor Cooper s fellow city council members have 
been well documented in the Hayward Daily Review. 

Mayor Roberta Cooper agreed to participate in this project, and the 
interview was conducted in her office on October 14, 1998. Although she 
apologized for not recalling all the events and intricacies related to the 
Shorelands Project, she clarified ambiguous statements made by Mr. Thorpe 
and other interviewees. She also moved the ongoing Hayward shoreline/ 
wetlands debate forward to the controversy over Proposition HH--the housing 
and recreation issue facing Hayward voters on November 3, 1998, just weeks 
after our interview. Several other interviewees also discussed Proposition 
HH. Material from the Hayward City Clerk s files about Proposition HH are 
gathered together as Appendix D in this volume. This interview has provided 
an important link between the Shorelands Project and the ongoing concern 
with the development of open space close to the shoreline, a current "hot 
button" issue which was discussed by other interviewees. 

Mayor Cooper is an articulate woman who speaks softly, but with care. 
She answered the questions I posed to her fully, and returned her lightly 
edited transcript to me without changes, other than substituting the pronoun 
"he" for "I" in one case. I am pleased to include this interesting and 
timely interview in this volume on the history of the Baumberg Tract. 

The Regional Oral History Office was established in 1954 to augment 
through tape-recorded memoirs the Library s materials on the history of 
California and the West. Copies of all interviews are available for 
research use in The Bancroft Library and in the UCLA Department of Special 
Collections. The office is under the direction of Willa K. Baum, Division 
Head, and the administrative direction of Charles B. Faulhaber, James D. 
Hart Director of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. 

Malca Chall 

January 2000 Interviewer/Editor 

Regional Oral History Office 
University of California at Berkeley 


Regional Oral History Office 
Room 486 The Bancroft Library 

University of California 
Berkeley, California 94720 

Your full name 

(Please write clearly. Use black ink.) 
(j. L0 

Date of birth ^- / g - 3 7 

Father s full name 

Mother s full name 

Your spouse 


Your children \/4 y s*. 

Birthplace .5*. ^ 





Where did you grow 
Present community_ 
Education ?. /?. 

// #. /??f 


Areas of expertise 

Other interests or activities 

Organizations in which you are active 




Background: Education, Career and Route to Mayor of Hayward 

[Date of Interview: October 14, 1998] ft 1 

Chall: Before we get into the Baumberg Tract, I d like just a thumbnail 

sketch of your background: something about where you grew up, your 
education and your career, and how you got into city work. I m 
sure you have quite a bit of material around to answer those 
questions, but you can give me a thumbnail sketch. 

Cooper: All right. I d be happy to give you a thumbnail sketch. My name 
is Roberta Cooper. I am the mayor of the City of Hayward. I am 
starting my second term of office. Each term is of four years. I 
came to Hayward in 1962, after getting married in San Francisco to 
a person who, like I, had been born and raised in San Francisco. 
We moved to Hayward in 1962 and have remained in Hayward since 
that time. As I mentioned, my husband and I are both native San 

I attended school in San Francisco--went to Commodore Sloat, 
went to St. Monica s, Lincoln, and spent the last two years of 
high school at the old Lowell. I went on to City College in San 
Francisco, received an A. A. and then went to UC Berkeley where I 
received a B.A. in American History and much later went back to 
school and received a master s degree from the University of San 

Chall: In what field? 
Cooper: Education. 

## This symbol indicates that a tape or tape segment has begun or ended, 
A guide to the tapes follows the trancripts. 


Chall: Then did you become a teacher? 

Cooper: I was trained as a teacher and entered the teaching profession in 
1959, left it for some years, and then went back to it in 1969, 
and then retired from the Hayward school district in 1994 after 
twenty-six years. 

Chall: Were you active in city government prior to your going onto the 
city council? 

Cooper: No. I had been appointed to the Human Services Commission and the 
personnel board, had served as a task force member on the General 
Plan Revision Committee-- 

Chall: And your city council membership began- - 
Cooper: Nineteen eighty-eight. 

Chall: So the task force of the General Plan Revision Committee was 
earlier than that, I guess. 

Cooper: Yes. 

Chall: I think that was 84, wasn t it? I think I have 1984 in my notes. 

Cooper: It was either 84 or 85, I think. And not too long. 

Chall: About two years, I think. 

Cooper: It was about eighteen months. 

Chall: So how did you happen to be asked to go on a committee of that 

Cooper: I applied. 

Chall: Oh, I see. [laughter] Simple enough. They were happy to have 

Cooper: I hope so. 

Chall: What interested you in city planning? 

Cooper: Well, I had become very interested in what was going on in Hayward 
and it just seemed another opportunity not only to become involved 
but to learn more of how the city functions. 

Chall: Shortly after that, then, you decided to go on the city council? 





Yes. It was really a direct relationship to the experience on the 
General Plan Revision Committee to my running. I was going to run 
in 1986 but then was encouraged to run in 1988, which I did, and 

And you remained on the city council, but ran for mayor in 1994 ? 2 

Yes, they were four-year terms. I ran again in 1992 [for the 
council] and won and in 1994 I ran for mayor and won and then won 
in 1998. 

So you left your city council position term in mid-term? 
Right. And Olden Benson was appointed in my place. 

The Shorelands Project 






Now, let s see, if you came onto the city council in 1988, that 
was sort of mid-way--we re going on to the Baumberg Tract, now- 
mid-way in the planning for the Shorelands Project. Because John 
Thorpe had initiated it in about 1982. 

Oh, yes. 

So when you were on the General Plan Revision Committee did the 
Shorelands come up at all? 

Seems to me that that was one of the questions that I was asked 
when I was being interviewed for the General Plan Revision 
Committee--what was my stand on Shorelands. I think it was, "Do 
you approve of gambling?" But it really was because of the 
racetrack that was proposed there. 


You know, I really don t recall any significant discussions about 
that, but that area and the Walpert Ridge were two areas of 
contention as I came on that task force. 

And did you have any mindset at all on either of these at the 

2 In Hayward the elected mayor is also a member of the city council. 


Cooper: No, but I certainly learned a lot and came away with a lack of 
support for both of them. 

Chall: After- 
Cooper: After learning what I did on the revision task force. 

Chall: So the revision task force actually set you on a path? Is that 

Cooper: Yes, it did. It was a wonderful opportunity. 

Chall: Was it against certain types of planning, or types of planning in 
certain places? Or, development I mean, not planning, but 

Early Considerations 

Cooper: I think it was, for the Shorelands. Not that I totally understood 
it, but for its supposed comprehensive use of the land. And yet, 
I came to learn that financially it would not be as presented: 
industrial would go in first to pay then for all of theseyou 
know, the racetrack, et cetera. And that just didn t seem like an 
awfully good idea. And it would have impacted traffic just 
awfully. In terms of Walpert Ridge, it was, "Now what do we do 
with the last vestiges of wonderful open space?" If it is to be 
housing, how can it be accommodated? And that was what we never 
went into at that time. 

Chall: But the Shorelands, per se, the fact that it was on wetlands- 
there was some concern about the environment at that point. That 
was not your concern; your concern had mainly to do with the 
economics of it? 

Cooper: I think it had to do a lot with the environment, but obviously the 
economics of the project entered into many discussions. 

Chall: In terms of where the various members of the city council were 
during this period, in 1988 to 1991--or 92 when it all ended-- 
there were members of the council who I think approved the 
project . 

Cooper: Oh, and were very enthusiastic and really supportive. 
Chall: And there were those others of you who were not supportive. 


Cocper : 




Cooper : 
Cooper : 

Correct. It really wasn t until 1990, when Michael Sweeney was 
elected mayor, that there was enough of a majority on council to 
begin to slow down the development and look at some of these 
community hot buttons and deal with them. 

I have interviewed John Thorpe for this oral history projectof 
course, there wouldn t be one without him. But he feels that 
politicians were afraid of the size of the project, and they were 
afraid of political and environmental squawk. Eventually he had 
the approval of all federal agencies, he claims, and he needed the 
city s approval before he got the final federal permit from, I 
guess, the Corps of Engineers. He feels that some city managers 
were sympathetic with his planDon Blubaugh, for examplebut by 
the time it got to Jesus Armas he had no real help. City 
managers, he feels, really had a lot of control over the city 
council. During the mayoral terms it varied: in the Giuliani era 
he had city support, during the Sweeney era it was neutral, and 
during the Cooper era it was the tail-endno help whatsoever. 3 

I don t recall by the time I became mayor that it was a feasible 
project. I remember going to a meeting at his garage remember 
the Shorelands building? 


And there was a discussion actually it was a diatribe by John 
against the city, when I got up and left. 

In 1994 he was pretty well finished, was he not? 

Either he had already declared bankruptcy or he was close to it. 

I think he declared bankruptcy in 1991 [July, 1991]. 

Okay, well, then it basically 

It may have been when you were on the council. 

Yes, I think so. 

Rather than being mayor? 

Right, I think it was. And it might have been we were discussing 
the Zucchini Festival, I think. By that time John was not 
rational in any discussion about the city of Hayward. 

3 Alex Giuliani, mayor 1982-1990. Michael Sweeney, mayor 1990-1994 
Roberta Cooper, mayor 1994-present . 


Chall: I see. He felt that you council members or those of you who 

opposed him (and there were always a few who didn t) --were really 
blocking him. Was that right? Blocking his proposal? 

Cooper: We were hoping that it wouldn t go through. I wish I can remember 
the years more clearly now, but I think there was a majority of us 
on council who were not supportive, feeling that the impact- -not 
necessarily the commercial development, but the industrial 
development and the racetrack--! think the racetrack was always 
the glitch in the plan. 

Chall: I see. 

Cooper: What the racetrack would have to do in terms of the environment 
the traffic, clean air, public safety. There were a myriad of 
reasons that I think are perfectly justifiable. 

Chall: About all the city could do at that time or any time was, as I 

understand it, determine where the interchange would bewhether 
it would be the Whitesell or another interchange [Cabot], one of 
which would be more expensive than the other. And you weren t 
able to make a final decision on it until you got the Corps of 
Engineers permit approval, was that it? 

Cooper: It may have been. I can t say for sure. 

Chall: But your concern was the interchange the cost of the traffic, the 

Cooper: Well, yes. And as I recall, Mr. Thorpe at that time was promising 
everything to everybody. And I don t think he had much 
credibility at that time. It was an issue by some people in the 
community. It was certainly supported by the Chamber [of 
Commerce] and the business leaders of the community, but there are 
a lot of other folks who didn t feel that it would be the best 
project for that area and for the city. 

Chall: Now you had probably Mr. [Bill] Ward and 

Cooper: Mr. [Matt] Jimenez. 

Chall: The five on the council- - 

Cooper: Seven. 

Chall: Seven. So that Ward and Jimenez, who were for it 

Cooper: Somehow I don t think Shirley was in support of it. 







October 2, 1990 

Mayor and City Council 

City Manager 



Rex iev the attached materials and request any additional information 

you may wish at subject work session. 


Attached hereto is: 

1. A "Summary of Prior Events and Present Status of Shorelands 

Project" by the Shorelands Corporation. 




A letter dated September 2/f, 1990 from "Skid" Hall (Retired, 
Chief of Permit Review Section, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San 
Francisco District, 1977-1990) concerning the status of the 
Shorelands project in the federal review process. 

A letter dated August 31, 1990 from the Fish and Wildlife Service 
to the Corps of Engineers setting forth a Preliminary Biological 
Opinion (PBO) on the Shorelands project. 

A letter dated September 7, 1990 from the Shorelands 
to the Fish and Wildlife Service responding to the 
Biological Opinion (PBO) . 


Based on the Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (R fc PA) contained 
in the PBO, or an alternative R & PA as may be negotiated, Shorelands 
will be able to file a new permit application with the Corps of 
Engineers and will be ready to likewise amend their City of Hayvard 
permit request to reflect their present proposals. 


Submission of the applications will then also necessitate rev^ ions 
in the previously prepared DE1S/DEIR. It is the Corps practice to 
initiate the preparation of any required environmental documents at 
such time as an application for Corps permits is filed. This is done 
so that the information contained in the environmental documents can 
be used to evaluate the mitigation plan for the project approval 
(this is the "no net loss" mitigations, as well as the mitigations 
needed to avoid impacts on endangered species) and the Alternative 
Sites Analysis required for a federal permit to fill wetlands. 

Jt is the purpose of the Alternative Sites Analysis to demonstrate 
that there are no sites that could be used for the Shorelands project 
(a non-water-dependent use) that do not impact wetlands. If 
Shorelands does not provide this evidence, federal authorizations 
will be withheld. 

Jf Shorelands successfully satisfies this Alternative Sites Analysis, 
then the question of whether a Cabot Boulevard interchange with Route 
92 should be built, instead of a Whitesell interchange, becomes most 
relevant . 

The Whitesell interchange is $2.3 to 4.8 million cheaper (depending 
on options) than the Cabot Boulevard interchange; it does not impact 
wetlands and thus, does not require related federal authorization; 
and has been shown to satisfactorily serve traffic needs as studied 
(without Shorelands). If the Shorelands is to be built and if it is 
determined that the Khitesell interchange will still handle the 
traffic from that project as well, then the Whitesell interchange 
would remain the obvious choice. If, however, it is determined that 
there are no alternative sites for the Shorelands project and that a 
Cabot Boulevard interchange is instead needed to handle the traffic 
from it and other sources, then the resulting project for which there 
would be no alternatives would be a Shorelands/Cabot Boulevard 
interchange project. 

Increased costs for constructing the alternative Cabot interchange 
and the costs associated with mitigating the impacts of that 
alternative facility would all be attributable to the Shorelands 

Louis N. Garcia, City Manager 




Chall: Shirley Campbell? 
Cooper: Right. 

Final Decisions of the City Council 

Chall: There was a period of time in 1990 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service had claimed that if he were to lop off some sixty acres 
from his plan, they might be willing to consider it again. And at 
that time, according to this article in the Hayward Daily Review 
of September 10, 1999, "The City Council is largely undecided 
about how it felt about the Shorelands project.... Councilman Matt 
Jimenez said he has been in favor of the project from the 
beginning. Council members Roberta Cooper and Shirley Campbell 
said last week that they were largely undecided and uninformed 
about the project. Mayor Michael Sweeney said he was concerned 
about the project and that he would ask some tough questions 
before forming an opinion." 

And then later, there was the discussion, the argument, over 
a period of about a month or so, whether towhat would you call 
it--pull a file, I mean, close a file. The city council after a 
period of a month or so decided that they would not have the staff 
close the filewould leave it open, even though the staff 
objected. Staff felt it was time to clear it off the books. He 
was already in bankruptcy and nothing had been going for quite 
some time. 

Cooper: Right. You know what, I vaguely remember that. 

Chall: Well, what would have caused you to decide after a month or so to 
keep the the file open? 

Cooper: Maybe it was just time to be middle of the road and not make, in 
essence, any final decision. 

Chall: Because it s really up to him to reopen the permit process. 
Cooper: Yes, and he never could. 

Chall: [Reading from the same article) "But at that time Councilmen 
Jimenez and Bill Ward said that the Shorelands file should be 


Hayward Daily Review, August 14, 1991; September 14, 1991; October 



reopened. Council members Shirley- Campbell, Roberta Cooper, and 
Nick Randall said they wanted to discuss the procedural aspects of 
processing all projects, not just Thorpe s development. And 
council member Doris Rodriguez said Hayward owed Thorpe a hearing 
as a form of respect because he has contributed to or paid for 
many community events including the city s Fourth of July 
fireworks. " 

Oh, well. [laughter] 

So that was the pretty much the end of the city council s activity 
with respect to the Shorelands. 

Cooper: Yes, until relatively recently. 

The Ballot Measure HH and Land Use Plan on the Weber Tract and 
Oliver Properties 




Okay, now you have this new project which is in contention? 
you thinking about the one that is ballot measure HH? 




Well, that is the area that s east of the railroad tracks. The 
area to the west of the tracks is buildable without permission 
from the residents of Hayward. 

Oh, I see, so that the HH concerns only that which is west of the 
tracks at the Weber property and the adjoining Oliver property? 
[See Map 1 and Appendix D] 

West of the tracks, you re right. 

That is close to the Baumberg Tract. In fact, those are parcels 
that Mr. Thorpe would have liked to have used for mitigation, at 
least. But the city feels that is a viable project? Are you 
going to build on that part of it? 

Well, we re not going to build anything on it. We ve done a 
specific plan for that area, council has adopted it, the heirs to 
the Oliver fortunethe United Church of Christ and the Hayward 
Historical Societywill be kind of the grand masters in terms of 
deciding on developers and all of that. It won t be any of our 

Oh, I see. 

That s not what we do. What we do is to make sure that the land 
use is appropriate. And we ve approved the land use. Now, there 


are interesting arguments on both sides of HH and we ll have to 
wait until November to see which one-- 

Chall: I see. As far as the city is concerned, the plan has total 

Cooper: Yes. I think there was only oneRon Hulten--who voted against 

Chall: How do you look at that portion of the tract? Now, we re talking 
about the part that is west of the railroad tracks. 

Cooper: Eight hundred acres of that has been sold by Cargill Salt to the 
state California Wildlife Conservation Board. 

Chall: Yes, that s the Baumberg Tract as we call it. 
Cooper: Is that what it is? 
Chall: Yes. 

Cooper: The fact of the matter is, that s a significant amount of acreage 
of that western area, so that whatever is developed is not even 
going to be on the Bay, it s going to be a distance back. A part 
of the concern has been that there s going to be a lot of fill 
west . 

Chall: Yes. 

Cooper: I ve asked the staff to look at how much fill Foster City has, 

because not only did they use fill, Foster City was not damaged at 
all in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. And so with the pristine 
view about not using fillthe fact is that we ve seen significant 
development in the bay region using fill. The 800 acres is 
proposed to be used for the Pacific Flyway, for the birds, so the 
fact is that not only do they have that, but the interpretive 
center area [Hayward Area Shoreline] adds up to a reasonable 
amount of land devoted to restoring the marsh and encouraging 
healthy wildlife. 

Chall: So you feel that there s enough of it there already? 

Cooper: Yes. Well, I don t believe there s enough there, but I think 

there s been a good faith effort. And life changes in terms of 
how we perceive things and we can t be so parochial that nothing 
happens. Community is a dynamic organism and if it isn t allowed 
to grow and restructure, it dies. And I don t think any of us 
wants Hayward to die. 


Chall: Now, in John Thorpe s development, there had to be an EIS as well 

as an EIR and he had to get approval from the federal Fish and 

Wildlife Service and the Corps of Engineers. In this project you 
did not need that? 

Cooper: Oh, [laughs] yes, indeed. 

Chall: Oh, you did? 

Cooper: Oh, yes! 

Chall: And you did get it? 

Cooper: You know, I have no--I don t recall, but yes, all those permits 
were needed because there are wetlands on the Weber property. 
[See article, following page] 

Chall: Right, so you passed the jeopardy. That s what they call it. 

Cooper: Pretty much. 

Chall: When you say pretty much, what does that mean? 

Cooper: Well, I m hedging my bets. I m just not sure. I think that 
they re still working through the feds. 

Chall: I see, I see. But what would stop it altogether would be a 
negative vote? 

Cooper: Probably. 

The Role of the City Managers and the Shorelands Project 

Chall: Going back to Baumberg and Shorelands. Let me ask you another 

question that comes up. The attitude of city managers. John, for 
example, thinks that Don Blubaugh was supportive and that Jesus 
Armas was not and that they really helped formulate how the city 
council feels or felt. 

Cooper: That s not true. It works just the opposite. Good city managers 
read the council. If you recall when Don Blubaugh was here, 
Barbara Bradley was on the council, Julio Bras, Bill Ward, Matt 
Jimenez --we 11, if you count, that s a majority. And so when you 
have that, plain and simple, you ve got a city manager who has his 
path planned out for him. And so what the message is, you will do 
all that you can do in order to make this a go. When Jesus came 


Oakland Tribune, September 23, 


Baylands project OK d in Hayward 

One of largest 
in the city s history 

By Karen Holzmeister 


HAYWARD The City Council on 
Tuesday endorsed final plans to build a 
massive residential and business develop 
ment that ranks among the largest projects 
In the city s history, on baylands near the 
Hayward-i nion City border. 

The council s 6-1 vote came nearly a year 
alter voters gave general approval to the 
complex of 535 homes, a business park, 
light manufacturing, a small commercial 
center, a 25-acre sports park and two 
smaller parks in November 1998. Coun 
cilman Kevin Dowling was the lone dis 

. Nels Nelson, who supports the project. 
quoted a historian in noting that "govern 
ment exists for the greatest good and the 
greatest number. There is a lot of good to 

be done here (with the project.) There are 
more good things than objectionable 

The development will be constructed 
during the next 10 to 15 years south of 
Highway 92. the Hayward-San Mateo Bridge 
entry, and east of Hesperian Boulevard. 

The 251 -acre project covered in Tues 
day s vote is Hay-ward s largest remaining 
undeveloped flatlands area. The issue of de 
veloping this land was complicated during 
the last six years by the site s proximity 
about 2 /: miles east to the Haywaid 

Evelyn Cormier of Havward said. "There 
is no good reason to build housing in a wet 
lands area. What makes our area unique 
and wonderful, in addition to the weather, 
are things controlled by the bay." 

Council members adopted a subdivision 
map and approved, for first reading, a de 
velopment agreement for the project. The 
development agreement will be adopied in 
the next month or two. 

The council first agreed to the overall 
project in February 1998. subject to voter 

approval on land use changes In a 155.5- 
acre section of the 251 -acre project. 

Development of the entire project hinged 
on a majority of voters agreeing as they 
did last November that the 155.5 acres 
should be changed from open space to resi 
dential, industrial corridor and parks and 
recreation uses. 

There were 25 speakers during the two- 
hour public hearing Tuesday, Including 13 
for the project, seven against It, and five 
commenting on It In general. More than 100 
people attended the meeting, but only 65 
were left in the council chambers when the 
vote took place at 10:40 p.m. 

Development plans originated in 1993 
when the city- authorized -studies for about 
1.200 acres "south of Highway 92 and west 
of Hesperian. 

The present project began taking shape 
after 835 acres south of Highway 92 were 
sold in 1996 by Cargill Salt. Co. to the Cali 
fornia Wildlife Conservation Board for per 
manent open space. 


back--I don t know where he gets Jesus-- Jesus left "ery soon after 
Don Blubaugh. 

Chall: You had Louis Garcia for a while. 

Cooper: Yes, and then Jesus came back, I think, in 93. 

Chall: And by that time it [Shorelands] was finished. 

Cooper: By that time the majority had changed and this was not what we 
wanted to do. And city managers who are worth their salt take 
that into serious consideration. 

Chall: And from your old contacts with John Thorpe, you feel that he 

might have been just upset in general because his plan didn t go 

Cooper: I would suspect that he s a very angry man. 

Chall: All right. So, unless you have something to say that might wrap 

up this discussion- 
Cooper: I appreciate your coming. 
Chall: Well, I thank you very much for your time. 

Cooper: You re welcome. I m sorry that I don t have more accurate 

information, but a lot of those battles, et cetera had gone on 
through the eighties. 

Chall: I just wanted to get one city council member s slant on this 
project . 

Transcribed by Amelia Archer 
Final Typed by Shannon Page 


Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

California Water Resources Oral History Series 


Janice Delfino 


An Interview conducted by 

Malca Chall 

in 1998 

Copyright 2000 by The Regents of the University of California 

Frank and Janice Delfino, 1998, 

TABLE OF CONTENTS--Janice Delfino 




Education and Career in Nursing 317 
Genesis of Activism for the Environment 319 

The Hayward Area Shoreline Planning Agency [HASPA] 323 
John Thorpe and the Shorelands Project 324 
The Public Trust Issue 329 
The Eventual Purchase of the Baumberg Tract for the Wildlife 

Restoration Project 330 

Analyzing the Restoration Project 332 

The Value of Vernal Pools 339 
Opposition to "Re-creating" Creeks 340 
Roberts Landing: The Toxic Soil Issue 342 
Citizens for Alameda s Last Marshlands [CALM] 345 
The Suit Against Leslie (Cargill) Salt Company 346 
Save San Francisco Bay Association, The San Francisco Airport, 

and Other Matters 348 


I have known Janice Delfino since the mid 1960s, when our children 
attended the same elementary school in Castro Valley, California. Since 
1955, Janice and her husband Frank have lived in a modest home on two- 
thirds of an acre hillside in Castro Valley. They grow varieties of 
fruit, vegetables, almonds, and walnuts, as well as flowers to attract 
birds and butterflies. They joined the Ohlone Chapter of the Audubon 
Society in 1967, the year after the organization was founded. 
Eventually they became active in environmental issues dealing with the 
San Francisco Bay shoreline of southern Alameda County. Our paths 
occasionally crossed after I moved to Hayward in the early 1970s. 
Gradually I became aware of their activities thorough the local press or 
through the Ohlone Audubon Chapter s bulletin, the Kite Call. 

When I began my research on the Baumberg Tract I was unaware of 
the Delfinos 1 interest in and knowledge about Baumberg until Howard 
Cogswell told me about Janice s collection of old maps of the Hayward 
shoreline. I soon realized that Janice and Frank knew important parts 
of the history of the Baumberg Tract, and had themselves played an 
important part in the property s more recent history. When I asked 
Janice and Frank to participate in the oral history project, Janice 
agreed to be interviewed but Frank declined, preferring to spend his 
time working on their small farm and entrusting Janice to explain their 
unique activist partnership. As Janice discusses Frank s scientific 
background, one soon realizes that the couple has always worked closely 
as a team. 

We scheduled our interview for the morning of July 21, 1998. At 
the table in their large, old fashioned kitchen, overlooking a small 
grape arbor, we placed the tape recorder and an assortment of papers, 
press clippings, and other material which Janice thought would be 
useful. For many years she had been collecting and carefully filing 
innumerable old and current maps, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, 
environmental reports, and other material relevant to her area of 
concern. Janice generously provided copies of selected material for the 
volume, and for deposit in The Bancroft Library. Most of the maps in 
this volume are copied from her collection. We recorded for nearly 
three hours, with a lunch break, at which Frank joined us. 

The range of the Delfinos activities goes beyond the Baumberg 
Tract, and is closely linked to other wetlands projects around the Bay. 
Some are currently generating heated debate. These ties to other 
projects and organizations indicate the passion, hard work, and 
dedication to the environment which drive citizen activists like Janice 
and Frank Delfino. To some, this might be considered serious and 
unwarranted interference. Others may consider such action as providing 


the leadership that is necessary to maintain or enhance the integrity of 
the environment. Judgments vary widely. 

Janice knows her subject well and has strong opinions. Because 
she is so enthusiastic about her activities she discussed many of them 
in rapid succession. Among the topics we discussed were Shorelands, the 
Cargill Company, present plans for restoration of the Baumberg Tract, 
and the many other projects around the area with which she and Frank 
have been or are currently involved. She feels that she and Frank have 
been successful in preventing developments which would have harmed 
endangered plant and animal species. 

She reviewed her edited transcript, correcting spelling and adding 
details. Later, regardless of her busy schedule, she provided 
additional information whenever I asked for it. As the final chapter of 
this volume, Janice Delfino s interview links her untiring activism on 
behalf of the environment to the history of the Baumberg Tract and other 
related wetlands issues in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

The Regional Oral History Office was established in 1954 to 
augment through tape-recorded memoirs the Library s materials on the 
history of California and the West. Copies of all interviews are 
available for research use in The Bancroft Library and in the UCLA 
Department of Special Collections. The office is under the direction of 
Willa K. Baum, Division Head, and the administrative direction of 
Charles B. Faulhaber, James D. Hart Director of The Bancroft Library, 
University of California, Berkeley. 

Malca Chall 
Interviewer /Editor 

January 2000 

Regional Oral History Office 

University of California at Berkeley 


Regional Oral History Office University of California 

Room 486 The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 94720 

(Please write clearly. Use black ink.) 

Your full name TAHlCS. A-HH KiHSACCA "hLLHHO _ 
Date of birth QcT6BA <? II 2L _ Birthplace.Sazi/)/fj>. C 

Father s full name 

Occupation FftgmZO. _ Birthplace 
Mother s full name TtLU. enfitit 8iAHt.l 8/NSACeiA 

Occupation HQMLMftKEJL _ Birthplace S>LP/)-D. 
Your spouse 

Occupation CHLMlCAL ri&4HJL _ Birthplace Mf-HLO 
Your children Tttc/fl#$ A. 2>Lfjnc> fjJL . 

Where did you grow up? SC>LDAt> i CfiLlFo/tHi* OH A 
Present community <?/)g7RO 

Education />>y/^>gZ) UHIiSSlT7 5d#o0L >f- 

Occupation( s) 

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Other interests or activities u>E, +# Ft^TuH/tTf. To /t*n 


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Organizations in which you are active jTtZti5 e/HMj7f 7"o CQ/nPS 7*f fif.^^ 






[Date of Interview: July 21, 1998) it 1 

Education and Career in Nursing 

Chall: The first thing I d like to know, Janice, is your background-- 
your educational background- -and whatever career you had which 
did or didn t bring you into this activism which is now a major 
part of your life. 

Delfino: I am a registered nurse, with a B.S. degree from the Stanford 
University School of Nursing. And I think my concern about 
public healthnot that I m a public health nurse, but I think my 
concern about health, and especially the health of the Bay, is 
because people do eat fish and shellf ish--what they call finfish 
and shellf ish--from the Bay. I just think that I m concerned 
about of the health of the environment and how it affects our 
human beings. 

Chall: And you grew up where? In the central valley somewhere? 

Delfino: No, Soledad, California, out in the Mission district. That s out 
by the Soledad Mission in Salinas Valley. And we lived out in 
the country on a dairy farm. 

Chall: Oh, you were on a farm. 

Delfino: Oh, yes, yes. And then I went to San Jose State, took my two 
years of pre-nursing at San Jose State and then transferred to 
the Stanford School of Nursing. At that time the hospital, 
medical school, and the nursing school were in San Francisco. 

Chall: That s right. 

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Delfino: And I graduated in 1949. 

Chall: And then did you stay in nursing for a while? 

Delfino: Yes, at Herrick Hospital, Berkeley, California. I was in charge 
of the emergency department . 

Chall: Oh, really? 

Delfino: Until I married Frank and then we moved to Sacramento. Frank was 
working in enology with the wine department at UC Davis and he 
had his degree in chemical engineering, a B.S. degree in chemical 

Chall: From Davis? 

Delfino: No, no, from UC Berkeley, leaning toward the foodthe food 

processing. And we were there for two years, moved to New York 
well, we lived in west New York, New Jersey, but Frank was 
working in a winery in New York City! 

Chall: Is that so? 

Delfino: And then we came backwe moved here 1955. 

Chall: Right here on Reamer Road [Castro Valley]? 

Delfino: On Reamer Road in 1955. Frank was working, had a job again in 
the food business at Skippy Peanut Butter in Alameda. That was 
the original plant, the original Skippy Peanut Butter plant. 
They just tore down the building this spring; we were there. 

Chall: He worked there from 1955 until he retired? 

Delfino: He did not work just there. All the Skippy Peanut Butter plants 
in the country were built by Frank. He supervised the building 
of those and then he went to South America and Mexico to build 
to work on mayonnaise plants. See, then it was Best Foods. 

Chall: Oh. 

Delfino: I mean he was working with Best Foods- -Mexico and Argentina and 

Chall: Really! I remember that he used to be away a lot, but that was 
for Skippy. 

Delfino: Yes, that was for Skippy. They were putting in the sorting 
machines- -improving the peanuts that went intosorting the 


peanuts so you didn t get a bunch of bad ones. So anyway, Frank 
retired in 1986 and I retired in 1987. I was out of nursing 
twenty-five years and then I went back to nursing over at 
Fairmont Hospital in rehabilitation, you know, with stroke 
victims and the motorcycle accident victims. 

Chall: Oh, I didn t realize thatafter your boys were grown up and 

Delfino: Yes, I decided--oh, there was a shortage of nurses at that time 

and it s just over the hill, right? Fairmont Hospital, there. I 
really enjoyed the rehabilitation because you could see progress 
made by patients. That was very rewarding. 

Chall: Yes. What were those years? Can you recall that? 

Delfino: Nineteen-eighty . I took the RN [registered nurse] refresher 
course that Fairmont Hospital offered and then I worked until 

Chall: I see. Now during that time, let s see, Frank had retired so he 
was working on your farm here? 

Delfino: And doing some consulting work. Not on a regular basis, but he 
did do consulting work. 

Genesis of Activism for the Environment 

Delfino: But there was, you know, way back in the late sixties, a plan for 
a southern crossing, do you remember? 

Chall: Oh, yes. 

Delfino: I think it was the Southern Crossing! 

Chall: Well, there was a big campaign for the Southern Crossing, that 
was to be the newthe so-called Second Bay Bridgea parallel 
bridge to the Bay Bridge. 

Delfino: Yes, and it would have gone through Alameda and then curved 

around and would come down. The alignment would have been along 
the shoreline of San Leandro and Hayward--! mean, maybe 200 feet 
in, in some places. Well, we just couldn t stand that. 

Chall: I see. 













And so I think that was probably how we started. I mean, we were 

members of Ohlone Audubon Society and we worked on committees. 

Frank was field trip chairman and things like that, but, see, 

those are fun things. When you get down to the real hard work, 

it s going to meetings, writing letters. Well, anyway it finally 

went to a vote and the public voted down the Southern Crossing of 
San Francisco Bay. 

Yes, I recall that, now that you mention it. 
started then? 

So you really got 

In those days I was up at Parsons School in the library. You 
know, those things. I didn t go back to work until-- 

You said around 80. 

--until 1980, so I was out a long time. 

Well, you were rearing a couple of boys and you have a rather 
large piece of property here that you were farming. 

Oh, yes, yes. And with Frank away it was important that somebody 
be here. 

That s right. I remember that you were, as I was at that time-- 
housewives we were calledtaking care of our children. I think 
I was a volunteer at the library at Parsons School. 

You were. 

I tried to get you a number of times to make a committee report 
at Parents Club meetings. And you just said that you couldn t do 
it. I had to persuade you and persuade you to get up in front of 
the few people who attended meetings. 

I was scared. 

You just said you couldn t do it and I insisted that you do it. 
And then after a few years, I found that you were out there 
[laughter] declaiming broadly about all kinds of issues! And I 
thought, "What happened to Janice?" 

Well, you had set up the library- - 

--and then it was easy to take over. And then Lorraine Parr was 
another excellent mother and worker and volunteer at the library 
at Parsons School. Well, in those days, we stayed home. 











Yes, but still you were a shrinking violet in a sense. 

Oh, scared to death. 

So, what happened, Janice? 

Oh, maybe I know what happened. Remember Jo McLellan? 


You remember, she discovered that the Oakland Scavenger Company 
did not have a permit to go across the Hayward outfall channel to 
begin dumping on shoreline property. I guess it was at that time 
wetlands or marshlandprobably not the best salt marsh habitat, 
but Jo McLellan was really a good investigator. 2 


She does a great job, then she kind of falls back and gives up. 
And I remember going to the [Alameda County] board of supervisors 
to protest the board giving a permit to Oakland Scavenger Company 
to raise the height of their garbage dump. 

The Oakland Scavenger Company--! guess they did finally get 
a permit, but then they wanted to raise the height of the dump. 
Now this is the big dump at the end of West Winton, you know, the 
one that has all kinds of leachate problems now. Well, anyway I 
went to the board of supervisors to say that I want the board to 
deny giving the permit to Oakland Scavenger Company to raise the 
height of the dump--gosh, I don t remember how high. I m not 
certain of the additional height. 

That s okay, because all those kinds of figures can be found in 
the public record. 

Yes, yes. Anyway, John Murphy, Supervisor John Murphy was very 
cruel and he said what I had to say had no meaning. He just, you 
know, told me as if to say, "Go home and take care of your 
house." [laughter] And that made me very angry. And so I guess 
I was in tears. It was a rainy day and I could hardly see 
driving home, and I thought, "I ll get you John Murphy." 

Supervisor Joe Bort was a very considerate person. But 
anyway, Oakland Scavenger didn t get their way. And then we also 

2 The outfall channel was where the Hayward waste water treatment plant 
discharged treated water into the Bay. It is now a flood control channel. 







protested Oakland Scavenger Company using what is now the 
Cogswell Marsh. At that time it was a big flat area. They 
wanted to dump their cannery waste. They said they had lost 
their lease at the Port of Oakland. They would barge the cannery 
waste out into the ocean. You know. Well, you remember. 

Yes, there were many canneries around herein Hayward, 
Leandro, and Oakland. 


They would barge the cannery wastes beyond the Golden Gate. And 
what we had heard was that they dumped the cannery wastes on the 
larval crab beds and killed the larval crabs. 


I ve never seen that in writing but that was a possibility. 
Anyway, they lost their ability to dump--I mean, we protested 
that very strongly. We went to the board of supervisors. See, 
that was all in the county and this was no place to dump cannery 
waste. They did finally take the cannery wastes down to San 
Benito County or to the south end of Santa Clara County and 
spread them out in the fields and ground them up and such. But 
they wanted to use the Hayward shoreline. Well, it was close by. 
Look at all the canneries that were in Hayward. 

That s right, and San Leandro. 

Yes. So that allowed us to preserve shoreline property. 

Now, when you say "us," Janice, who were the "us" in those times? 

Barbara Shockley, Jo McLellan, Howard Cogswell- -HASPA had just 
started, I think- -Hayward Area of Shoreline Planning Agencyin 
1973. Before that I was appointed by Howard Cogswell to be on 
the Master Planyou know, the Citizens Group on the Master Plan 
for East Bay Regional Park District. 

Oh, yes. 

The park district had to come up with a master plan, you know? 
They were building things and you know, doing some dumb things. 
I was with Kay Kerr s shoreline committee. 

I think Harold [Chall] was on that committee, too. 

Yes. And Kay Kerr had the shoreline section, the shoreline 
committee. Anyway, then Howard Cogswell, who was still on the 
board of East Bay Regional Park District, appointed me to HASPA, 
on the citizen s advisory committee along with Phil Gordon. So 
we re some of the old timers. 



The Hayward Area Shoreline Planning Agency [HASPA] 

Delfino: And then we really went to work on the Hayward shoreline. 
Chall: You built the [Hayward Area Shoreline] Interpretive Center. 

Delfino: Well, that came later. But you see, you have to give credit to 

Ilene Weinreb. Mayor Ilene Weinreb [Hayward] and Martin Storm, a 
city planner [Hayward] --an excellent person. Ilene realized that 
we had an opportunity to use the Hayward shoreline as mitigation 
for filling in the eastern approach to Dumbarton Bridge. 

And this was mitigation so there was money to buy the 
property on the Hayward shoreline. And that was Ilene and Martin 
Storm s idea. Ilene said, "If you have a plan you can go forth 
with it. If you have some goalsbut mainly you have a plan." 
And so here was something close by. We needed to open that area, 
and I believe it was in 1981 when that parcel was open to Bay 
water. It was very costly, there was a lot of heavy equipment 
used, and there were complaints by various people, but it s 
operating, it has clapper rails. It is now the Cogswell Marsh. 3 

Chall: Well, it s certainly a great place for walking and birding. 

Delfino: Oh, yes. With the bridges over it you can be right above the 

little creatures in the marsh. So that all came about because of 
the Hayward Area Shoreline Planning Agency. 

Chall: I see. 

3 The Cogswell Marsh, a portion of the Hayward shoreline, was dedicated 
in honor of Howard Cogswell. Some 200 acres (three former salt ponds) from 
Johnson s Landing northward, opened to tidal action along the shore. 


Delfino: And the citizens advisory committee and the technical advisory 
people those were staff people from the agencies. 

Chall: This was HARD [Hayward Area Recreation and Park District], wasn t 

Delfino: HARD and East Bay Regional Park District and the various school 
districts- -Hayward and San Lorenzoand the city of Hayward. 
That was Martin Storm who staffed that. Staff people were 
considered technical people. 

Chall: I see. 

Delfino: And the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District was a member 
of the technical advisory committee to HASPA. 

John Thorpe and the Shorelands Project 

Delfino: We just plugged right along, doing very well. Then I guess it 
was 1980 or 81 or 82-- John Thorpe decided he wanted the--oh, 
the Africa-USA. 




Marine World? 

Marine World Africa-USA. They either were closing shop across 
the Bay or they lost their lease or something happened and John 
Thorpe thought it would be wonderful to use the oxidation ponds 
the Hayward treatment of waste water oxidation ponds. See, by 
that time, Super Sewer had come in and they didn t use the 
oxidation ponds. And I m not sure how many acres it is, but it s 
quite a large area; you see it from some of the trails. 

Probably, but I don t realize what it is. 

Yes, there were cells where they used to just evaporate the 
water, or put out their waste water and then finally it would go 
out the outfall channel. Anyway, John Thorpe thought that was a 
good place to have-- [laughter] --Africawell, anyway, the Marine 
World. And at one of the city council meetings he brought a 

Yes, 1 heard about that. 

You heard of that. A beautiful animal, 
and oh what a beautiful animal! 

And he came up the aisle 











No one s ever going to forget that scene. 

John Thorpe was such a--let me see, what is the word-- 

Flamboyant is often used. 

Yes, yes. And he would work to your visual senses, seeing this 
beautiful tiger. But anyway, he was told to look elsewhere and 
darn it if he didn t go south of [Route] 92. 

Oh, I see. He came first with the idea of the Africa-USA without 
having taken any option on any land yet? 

1 think that s right. And maybe Africa-USA felt that this was 
not the best place. I don t know what happened. We were not 
privileged to know what happened there. Then he decided he 
would--! guess he talked to Cargill about using Cargill s 
abandoned salt ponds. Here are these abandoned salt ponds: "My 
goodness! Well, we can t let this property go to waste." 
[laughs] And that s when he came up with the idea of the 
racetrack, although John said he knew nothing about racing. But 
he would have people who knew something about horse racing. 

Now when that began that was about 82, 83? 

Yes, yes. 

Did you immediately take action? 

Well, of course. 

The Ohlone Audubon Society? 

Well, I think Ohlone, but maybe HASPA, because many of the people 
who were in Ohlone Audubon are also at HASPA. So we decided, you 
know, this is no place for a racetrack. And one of the things 
that was interesting but devastating was that the waste from the 
horses had to be put into some type of holding pond. And John 
Thorpe came up with the idea of using water hyacinths. They are 
called hyacinths. Water hyacinths. 

The water hyacinths would use up the bacteria. They would 
digest the horse manure. John Thorpe said there was a waste 
water treatment facility project in the city of Hercules along 
the shoreline of San Pablo Bay where water hyacinths were being 
used to treat waste water. I have a copy of the document that 
proposed the use of water hyacinths and how wonderful the project 
would be. Well, what we found out when I did the investigation 








was that Hercules had a cover over the ponds that contained the 
water hyacinths, and when the wind blew, the wind [laughs] 
damaged the covers and the wind pushed all the water hyacinths to 
one side. And it was a mess. 

Then I also called Foster Farms [the chicken meat producer] . 
Somehow I found out that Foster Farms had a project using water 
hyacinths to treat their waste water. And they said, "Oh, well, 
we have space. We can do this. We can put the water hyacinths 
out in the field and grind them up, and they re not going to 
spread." I mean that s the problem. When water hyacinths spread 
or clog waterways, there is a major problem. 

That s right. 

So I presented that and made it known that this was a very bad 

waste water processing system. And we picked his project apart. 

He was going to have a hotel at the very end, it would be on pond 

Inner 11, the old Cargill pond, Inner 11. [Map 1] And it would 

be the gateway to Hayward--this big hotel with big Hayward sign, 
you know? 


[laughs] I mean he had grand plans for everythingit was 
probably a great idea, but the wrong place. And an RV park and 
commercial developments. 

The plans were shown in his brochure. [See Shorelands Project 
promotional brochure in envelope, back cover] 


So you had to come not only to meetings of the city council, but 
primarily what was it, the EIR/EIS commenting meetings? 

Oh, well, yes, and the agencies. We talked to the agencies not 
necessarily BCDC, but I don t know if we ever, or why we 
contacted BCDC. Sometimes I did all this, you know, on my own 
because if you gather information, then you can present it to 
HASPA in a meeting. The Corps of Engineers would have the final 

That s right. 

Fish and Wildlife Service, Fish and Game are advisory to the 
corps. And then EPA haswhat is it called? They can deny a 
project they could have the final say. There s a word or 
phrase EPA can elevate the project for further study. The Fish 


Delf ino : 

and Wildlife Service issued a jeopardy opinion. The clapper 
rails were not necessarily found on the property, but then it 
depended who was out there and who did the census, who did the 
surveys, and at what time. They issued a jeopardy opinion but we 
thought that the city of Hayward was waiting for the corps to 
make a decision and the corps was waiting for the city to deny 

Oh, really? 

So a decision was not made or a decision was not rendered by the 
corps or the city of Hayward. The jeopardy opinion just hung 

Chall: Even in 1992 or 1990, that last one? 

Delf ino: All I remember is that Pete Sorensen, who is the endangered 

species man at Fish and Wildlife Service, had issued a jeopardy 
opinion. Oh, and the mitigation- -oh, that s right, there was no 
mitigation for the loss of wetlands there on the property. John 
Thorpe said, "Well, I m going to buy the Oliver property." 

Chall: Yes. 

Delfino: But Mr. Oliver--! guess Alden had died. 

Chall: This was Gordon, I believe, with whom John Thorpe was 

Delfino: Gordon. There was no waywell, at that time Gordon knew that 

Thorpe couldn t buy the property. I mean, we didn t know it but 
it was going to go to the [Hayward Area Historical Society) 
historical society and the [Eden United Church of Christ] church. 
But John Thorpe had to cross Mr. Weber s property the way his 
Shoreland Boulevard was set, and he didn t buy that, or Mr. Weber 
wasn t selling it, so he had no way to provide access. But that 
didn t stop John! [Map 1] 

Chall: So if I understand it, you would do a lot of research, take the 
research to HASPA, HASPA would then take it to whatever agency 
was appropriate? 

Delfino: Well, yes. And of course the city was the main or the lead 

agency on this project because it s in the city s jurisdiction. 

Chall: But the city couldn t do anything until they received the 
information from the corps? 


Delfino: That s right. And see, it was dragging on, and I guess John 
Thorpe s partners bega.i to ask questions. 

Chall: Yes, it was expensive and losing money, I think. 

Delfino: Well, they never made it. They never made a cent. The money was 
going out. And, well, [laughs] John Thorpe finally had to give 

Chall: Yes. So you, in a sense, were working through HASPA? 

Delfino: Oh, yes. 

Chall: Did you contact directly people like Paul Kelly or Sorensen? 

Delfino: Well, Paul Kelly--that s interesting. Paul Kelly was the 

representative from Fish and Game on the Hayward Shoreline and a 
wetlands person and he s really terrific. 

Another person had said, "You don t put a racetrack on land 
like this." And the Mt. Eden Creek, which gets tidal action, has 
tidal action up to where flood control has a block at the end of 
Eden Landing Road. If you were to extend Eden Landing Road 
beyond the fence, beyond that gate, there s a block in the Mt . 
Eden Creek. There s a beautiful, beautiful salt marsh and that s 
where if there are clapper rails at that time we weren t certain 
there were clapper rails, but there was certainly salt marsh. 

Chall: The habitat was there for them. 

Delfino: Oh, yes, yes. The little mouse was there, but it was not on the 
property. But who knows, you know, they travel over the levees 
and there is salt marsh--! mean, pickleweed--on the inside, on 
the Baumberg side you know, the abandoned salt pond side and so 
apparently there waswe didn t realize it at the time, but the 
snowy plovers nested there. 

Chall: Yes. 

Delfino: They re there now so they must have been nesting before, but 
nobody was out doing surveys. 

Chall: I think Howard Cogswell had seen plovers. 

Delfino: And Leora Feeney was asked to do I guess she was paid by which 
agency I m not sure 

Chall: Department of Fish and Game, I think. 


Delfino: Oh, that s right. 

Chall: I m not sure, but I think she worked with Paul Kelly. 

Delfino: Yes. 

The Public Trust Issue 

Chall: So you were busy on the Shorelands Project? That came to an end, 
but over the years have you always had a certain amount of 
cynical respect, let s put it that way, for the Cargill or Leslie 
Salt Company? Have you always been a little uncertain about 
their motives? I know sometimes you ve been critical. 

Delfino: Well, in 1984, Judge [M.O.] Sabraw ruled that Cargill--it was 

still going under the name of Leslie Saltbut Cargill purchased 
Leslie Salt in--I thought it was 1978. The public trust issue 
had to be resolved on the Baumberg area. But Ned Washburn, or 
Edgar Washburn, the attorney for Leslie Saltyou know that name? 

Chall: Yes. 

Delfino: --the attorney for Cargill and the State Lands [Commission] 

worked together and State Lands gave up a huge amount of property 
in the Baumberg area. 

Chall: You were telling me about Edgar Washburn and the State Lands 

Delfino: Yes, and what is left in the public trust is Mt. Eden Creeka 
navigable waterway and 153 acres of Pond 10. Pond 10 the 153 
acres, once Cargill stops producing salt, will revert to State 
Lands Commission. [Map 1] 

Chall: How was this resolved? In whose court was this? 
Delfino: In the superior court in Hayward. 
Chall: And what year was that? 

Delfino: It was December 31, 1984. [laughs] Apparentlythat s 

interesting- -it had to be wrapped up before the end of the year. 



This is at the time that John Thorpe had his option and was 
considering mitigation? 

Delfino: Well, yes, and the public trust issue had to be resolved. 

The Eventual Purchase of the Baumberg Tract for the Wildlife 
Restoration Project 

Chall: Now at about the same time or later, I m not sure actually when 

this happened, but you said it was after John Thorpe lost or gave 
up in the nineties that the city of Hayward established a 
citizens committee? 

Delfino: The city council in or about 1993 appointed a group of citizens 

to be on this committee to establish or determine where the urban 
limit line on the west side should be. I know they also studied 
Walpert Ridge, but for this discussion we ll just talk about the 
west side of Hayward. And that committee determined that 
Hesperian Boulevard should be the western limit. 

Well, that s when the Oliver Trust, Mr. Weber, and Cargill 
decided that they didn t like that decision because they said 
they were left out of the decision. And of course HASPA was 
pleased [laughs] because that would keep the properties west of 
the railroad tracksee, HASPA s jurisdiction ends at the 
railroad trackthe rails of the railroad track. We do not have 
jurisdiction or we did not study Oliver East. 

But anyway, that s when the city said there had to be an 
EIR. The three property owners provided money for the EIR. And 
Cargill waited until there was a development plan on their 
property that meant industrial development, industrial buildings. 

Chall: So they were going into the Baumberg Tract area? 

Delfino: Oh, yes. And there were several alternatives as to how to 

develop the Baumberg Tract and still have wildlife habitat. And 
of course, looking at the maps, you don t put housing or 
industrial development and all that on bay mud! But that didn t 
stop the city of Hayward or even the consulting companies. 

You know, I have to fault those consulting companies. 
Chall: Do you know who it was at that time? 


Delfino: TRI--oh, golly. EIP Associates were EIR preparers; TJKM were 

transportation consultants. Of course then Cargill waited. As 
far as we could tell, Cargill waited until there was a 
development plan for their property. And of course all that 
would have to go through the regulatory agencies: the Corps of 
Engineers, and--oh, there was oversight--! think EPA has 
oversight over the corps, I think that s the phrase. It would 
have to go to all these agencies. 

Chall: The same as John Thorpe had co. 

Delfino: Yes, and so Cargill waited until there was a development plan. 
Then they decided, well, they were going to sell it and that s 
when the Wildlife Conservation Board gathered together money from 
various agencies and sources. Shall I list the sources of money? 

Chall: Yes. 

Delfino: The San Jose waste water treatment facility was converting a salt 
marsh habitat into brackish habitat and they had a penalty and 
that penalty amounted to over $6 million, so that money was put 
together with mitigation money from CalTrans--because CalTrans 
filled in wetlands in Milpitas and Fremont. Then there was 
Proposition 70 money. And the Wildlife Conservation Board was 
still scrambling for money. They were going to many sources and 
some of those sources denied them the money. Oh, I didn t 
mention earlier about the restoration: there s only $1.3 million 
for restoration and the consulting company has said that s really 
not enough because they plan to do some dredging to restore areas 
of the Baumberg Tract to bring in bay water. So Wildlife 
Conservation Board did buy the Baumberg property at $15,000 an 
acre--I think it was $12.5 million. 

Chall: That s right. You felt that was more than they should have paid? 

Delfino: Yes, because the Oliver North property just across Highway 92 was 
sold for $6,000 an acreabandoned salt ponds. [November 2, 

Chall: Now under the auspices of HARD? [Map 1] 

Delfino: Yes. 

Chall: That you think will be a snowy plover habitat? 

Delfino: Oh, well, it is already. The snowy plovers have been nesting 

there over the years. One thing, there are ravens nests in one 
of those light towers by the Toll Plaza. And the ravens go down 
and get the little snowy plovers. 


Chall: Oh, so they re predators, right? 

Delfino: Oh, yes. 

Chall: What can be done about that? Nothing? 

Delfino: I guess it s considered a protected bird. 

Chall: The raven? 

Delfino: The raven! 

Chall: You ve got problems. 

Delfino: [laughs] So somebody has to work on this, and that would be Fish 
and Wildlife Service to do something about that raven. 

Chall: Now, did you say the raven is also a protected species? I know 
the snowy plover is. 

Delfino: The raven is a bird that iswell, just like a song bird is 

protected. But the raven is the largest songbird that we have, 
[laughs] The raven makes kind of an old croaky sound. 

Chall: So there will have to be another place for them to nest? 

Delfino: I guess. That would be the thing, to destroy the nest, to 
discourage their nesting there. 

Chall: Well, that s an interesting problem. 
Delfino: Well, it really is, yes. 

Analyzing the Restoration Project 

Chall: Now what about the general restoration project? Are you keeping 
an eye on it? 

Delfino: Well, it s interesting. WESCO [Western Ecological Services 

Company] --it s a consulting company, it merged with a company 
called RMI [Resource Management International] --and they re in 
San Rafael or Novato. At RMI Steve Foreman was doing the work 
and something happened. Somebody bought out RMI and Steve 
Foreman now is with the consulting company, LSA, in Point 


Steve Foreman, Carl Wilcoy. of Fish and Game, and some 
landscape architects have held I think two meetings to inform the 
public. Those were held at HARD s Interpretive Center. They 
came up with some plans, but the problem is how do we get bay 
water into the ponds where they want the bay water, and how do we 
maintain a clean or clear bottom of the abandoned salt ponds, 
mainly the old pickle pondLeslie Salt s old pickle pondand 
keep vegetation out so the snowy plovers have a place to nest? 
And the $1.3 million that s available for restoration is probably 
not enough. 

Chall: To do that extra work. 

Delfino: And the latest news is that the hydrologist working with Steve 

Foreman left to go to Colorado and now they have to start over on 
some parts of the restoration plan. 

Chall: Oh, really? Wouldn t the former hydrologist have had all this 
information available? 

Delfino: Well, the word is he left such a mess that it was not 
understandable . 

Chall: I see; the notes weren t clear? 

Delfino: Yes, the plans weren t clear. And then the landscape architect 
people or the landscape--! m not sure what title they have came 
up with a plan that showed trees. And we said, "What 
foolishness, you don t put trees in an area where you have 
nesting birds because the trees will attract predators!" You 
know, they didn t think. That would be trees along the trail. 
The landscape architect planners wanted trees along the trail, 
probably for aesthetic reasons, but did not think about 

Chall: I see. 

Delfino: We need to keep trees out of the area. So RMI and Fish and Game 
quickly scrapped that idea. Oh, it looks pretty on paper, but 
you don t do those things! 

Chall: So who at public meetings looks at this plan and says, "Wait, 
don t do it"? 

Delfino: Well, those of us from HASPA and the advisory council. 
Chall: Otherwise they don t recognize that this is not-- 


Delfino: No, they re probably urban planners and they re probably urban 

Chall: Well, they may be, but you would think that people like Steve 
Foreman and Wilcox would have taken a look and said no. 

Delfino: I would have thought so, but maybe the landscape people work 
separately and then came to this meeting-- 

Chall: Oh, and then presented their plans? 

Delfino: Yes. I was sitting next to Sheila Junge--do you know Sheila 

Junge? [spells] We both groaned and said, . What foolishness, 
you don t put trees out there!" At a meeting last night, Friends 
of the Alameda Wildlife Refuge--we re a group of volunteers and 
we re trying to save the least terns at the Alameda Naval Air 
Station. Some of the people and the politicians of Alameda would 
like trees out there and make it beautiful. Well, the reason the 
least terns are there is because it s flat, you know, the air 
field is just flat. 

Chall: Yes. 

Delfino: Of course the weeds have to be controlled, weeds grow through any 
old crack in the pavement-- 

Chall: Yes, they will. [laughs] 

Delfino: --in the runway. But anyway, see, the mentality is skewed when 

it comes to certain birds. And that s why snowy plovers like the 
Oliver North property because-- 

Chall: Yes, there s not a blade of there s nothing there! 

Delfino: It s so highly concentrated in salt. Well, we ve already talked 
about the purchase, but the process, the restoration still has to 
come about . 

Chall: But it will, assuming that they can put it all together in a 

balanced waywhich may require a lot of balancing. I guess at 
the Interpretive Center [Shoreline], it took a while before the 
ducks, and the terns, and all the birds that are there now, came 

Delfino: Oh, yes. Yes, well, it took ten years, I think, before clapper 
rails came into the Cogswell Marsh. You had to have cord grass 
high enough and thick enough- -well, not thick enough, but enough 
of it to give them shelter. 










And that takes a while. 
Oh, it takes a while, yes. 

So that even with the planning for the Baumberg restoration, it 
will take a long while before they can be sure that it works. 

Oh, yes. 

You never can be sure that it s going to work perfectly, can you? 
Do you feel that you can from plans? 

Well, mitigation--! don t know if any mitigation has been 
successful, not even San Leandro s mitigation plans along the San 
Leandro shoreline. Their shoreline, the north pond--they have 
four big culverts but they don t monitor it. And bay water was 
coming in and water was becoming stagnant at the eastern end of 
the north marsh. And Frank and I would go outwell, we used to 
go out quite often, but now that we ve got these other problems- 
other affairs along the shorelinewe told the consulting 
company, "You ve got stagnant water, the pickleweed is dying, and 
there s a lot of algae. And algae tells you something is wrong." 
Well, they don t have anybody in San Leandro to monitor their 
mitigation. They d love to have Mark Taylor Mark is you know 
Mark Taylor? 

No, I don t. 

He is the Hayward Shoreline supervisor for East Bay Regional Park 
District. He is excellent. He s not a biologist but he 
certainly knows what s going on and how to resolve problems. 
Well, I talked with Carl Wilcox at the Goals Project. 

Are you active in the Goals Project? 


In what way? 

Well, we have to respond for one thing. We re interested in how 
and what they determine should be done with the salt ponds in the 
South Bay. 

They just came out with a report. 

Yes, and one of their determinations is that the salt industry, 
salt production should cease. 


Should cease? 












Yes, because the ponds--some of them are valuable for wildlife, 
but the need for more marsh--there is a need for some ponds to 
remain with shallow water. 

You know, there is this proposal to expanda plan to expand 
San Francisco Airport--to fill in 400, maybe 500 acres of open 
bay water. And the mitigation would be to buy out Cargill and 
then you d have thousands of acres. 

I see. That s quite a mitigation! 

Thousands, yes! 

Cargill, as I understand it, has no intentions of selling. 
Appendix B) 


Oh, you throw quite a few million dollars their way, they will 
change their mind. I was going to tell you, I mentioned to Carl 
Wilcox at the Goals meeting last Monday, a week ago, "Well, why 
don t you just wait on the Baumberg issue until the San Francisco 
Airport buys out Cargill? And then you can bring in water 
through Pond 10 and not have to do all that dredging." "Oh," he 
said, "Well, we can t depend on that." And I said, "Well, it 
will come; it ll take forever--" 

It might take forever and meanwhile they have a limit they do 
have a time when they re supposed to be finished. 

I don t know. 

I think they do. I don t know, but I think they do. 
they re not going to wait forever. 

And so 

But it would be a shame to destroy what is a pickleweed marsh. I 
mean, the last time we saw their plans, they were going to dredge 
Mt. Eden Creek, which has pickleweed marsh. "Oh," they said, 
"it s just not very good." Well, it looks pretty good to me! 

Now, in terms of what looks good to you, [laughter] how do you 
judge? And how do you then convince others? 

Well, we were taking a shorebird census for San Francisco Bay 
Bird Observatory and we had the Baumberg area. Phil Gordon--Phil 
and Pat--had another portion of the Baumberg area, and Viola and 
Ron Barklow had another section. So we d count the birds that 
were in that marsh. 

And oh, another thing, probably there would be clapper rails 
if the red fox were under control. A few years ago, I guess the 


Wildlife Refuge people were doingthey had a permit to get: in to 
do a clapper rail census at the Whales Tail because that is a 
larger marsh. And they saw one clapper rail and four red foxes, 
so you know that the red foxes are taking over. Now, the animal 
damage control people--! m not sure if they went out there and 
took care of the red foxes. 

Chall: How would they do that? Traps? 

Delfino: Trap them and-- 

Chall: Some want to shoot them? 

Delfino: But mainly trapping. The cat people. Cats go out and that s a 

Chall: Of course that was the whole problem with predators with respect 
to Shorelands, too. 

Delfino: Oh, John Thorpe had the vaulting varmint fence. 
Chall: That s what you call it! 

Delfino: Yes, it was a vaulting varmint fence and that was going to 

control the predators. But you know, if you have roadways, you 
don t close off roadways if you have through traffic. 

Chall: You ve got problems there. Well, all these things have to be 
worked out. This is just nature, you know, the natural 
environment . 

Delfino: In the old days, you had more open water and that discouraged the 
animals. Sure, foxes do swim but if you have a large area, maybe 
a large pond--put some islands in ponds. And that s what I would 
like to see: some of the levees opened up but leave sections of 
levees so that those sections become islands. 

Chall: I don t know whether they plan to do that or not, but that was 
even one of John Thorpe s possibilities, as I recall. Islands, 
but I m not sure now just where. 

Delfino: Yes, I can t remember where he was going to have these islands. 









When you work as you re doing in so many areas and contacting the 
agencies and making them aware of what you know and what you ve 
researched and what you feel about it, how effective do you think 
you are? 

Very effective. [laughter] I m just thinking of the Citizens 
Committee to Complete the Refuge. Although we are a loose 
coalitionwell, not loose it s a coalition of various 
organizations and various, maybe just individual citizens. 

Private organizations? 
of them? 

What agencies? HASPA? Would that be one 


No, Ohlone Audubon Society. 
And Golden Gate Audubon-- 

Save the Bay is part of it. I can just show you. 4 We get the 
information out: the Wetlands Alert or Action Alerts go out. We 
get these public notices from the corps and we immediately do our 
networking. I m just going to show-- 

Catellus property is going to be developed. Catellus is in 
Fremont and it s adjacent to the Warm Springs unit. The Warm 
Springs unit was purchased from the Caruff property. 

What property? 

Save Wetlands: Newsletter of the Citizens Committee to Complete the 
Refuge. The front cover lists the endorsers. Copies of an Action Alert or 
Wetland Alert on two corps public noticesCargill and Catellus and the 
responses to the public notices for Ohlone Audubon Society are included 
with this material. All of the material, donated by Janice Delfino, will 
be deposited with the volume in The Bancroft Library. See also, pp. 
339a,b; 340a, 346a,b. 


The Value of Vernal Pools 


Delfino: C-A-R-U-F-F, Caruff property that was purchased by Fish and 

Wildlife in 1992. It s in the Wildlife Refuge now, turned out 
that it has vernal pools. Those are vernal pools. That s 
downingia-- [showing a picture] 

What s the name of that flower? 

[spells] That s one of the indicators of a vernal pool. It s 
probably the last one to bloom. The Contra Costa goldfields are 
a vernal pool plant. It is an endangered plant species. 

But anyway, here are all these agenciesthey are not 
agencies, but citizens that take an interest. Well, I ll get 
back to the Warm Springs unit. They found out there are vernal 
pools, tadpole shrimp, tiger salamanders--those are all 
endangered. And the goldfields, the plant. Well, then here 
comes this Catellus project. It has the same problems because 
there are vernal pools and endangered species. 

What was Catellus planning to build? 

Home Depot and-- 

Oh, I see. Yes, a real development. 

Oh, yes. But here are these vernal pools scattered all over 
these 800 acres. And you don t put passageways for tiger 
salamanders and some of these other creatures because they don t 
know how to use them. Vernal pools are endangered. 

And then we get this Baccarat propertya public notice from 
the corps to develop thirty-two acres. Frank and I go down and 
investigate and then we report to all our activists, "Go look at 
the vernal pools." And they respond and say, "We cannot lose 
these vernal pools." So that s how we re effective. 

I see. 

Then we write up our statement, rewrite it for Ohlone Audubon. 
We ve reviewed the public notice and we ve investigated and then 
we send our response. Our response is not only to the corps but 
to the Regional Water Quality Control Board, to Fish and Game, 
Fish and Wildlife, and we encourage them to look at this with 
more care. And this time with this Baccarat property. Dr. 
Michael Josselyn, do you know that name? He was a consultant 
hired by the developer to look at this. He did not find vernal 





June 6, 1996 

Lieutenant Colonel Richard G. Thompson 

District Engineer 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

333 Market Street, 8th Floor 

San Francisco, California 94105-2197 

Via Facsimile and 
Postal Service 

ATTENTION: Regulatory Branch 

SUEJECT: Eaccarat Fremont Development, Public Notice No. 23205S 
Dated: May 11, 199 

Dear Colonel Thompson: 

The Chi one Aucubon Society has reviewed the subject document and has 
the following comments and questions. 

Face 1. PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Since no information is provided in the 
Public Notice (PN), what is the total acreage of the site? How rrany 
acres are planned for development? There is no mention of a storm 
water detention basin for the proposed development. Where will the 
detention tasin be located and its acreage? The project as proposed 
is net water dependent, and the alternative sites analysis that has 
been provided in the PN is inadequate. At this point the information 
on the project description is incomplete. 

Face 1. ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT: Has the Corps of Engineers wetlands 
del i i on ceen completed? The information provided in this section 
of the FN does not clearly indicate a Corps Environmental Assessment. 
The full extent of wetlands on the site has not been adequately 
mapped . 

Face 2. IMPACTS ON THE AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM: The consultant has been 
less than fcrthricht in providing information on the extent of vernal 
pools on the entire site. Information on vernal pool vegetation is 
certainly lacking. Was there a reason for not finding vernal pool 
indicator plants? It is difficult to overlook vernal pools throughout 
the site, even casual observations indicate that many vernal pools 
exist on site. 

Before issuinc any permits, the Corps, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
and California Fish and Game should survey the site for w : etlands of 
special concern. If the permitting agencies are unable to evaluate 
vernal cool plants and inhabitants, then an impartial expert 
assessment should be done. 


June 8, 
Paae 2 . 


G. Thompson 

The proposed mitigation site contains acres of vernal 
mitication plan as proposed will destroy or convert 
vernal pools. This is an unacceptable mitigation plan. 

pools. The 
the existing 

Will there be a reconsideration of the proposed berm/buffer plan? Is 
the 25 foot wide buffer adequate? Shouldn t there be concern that the 
berm/buffers will cover up vernal pools? 

The project site contains habitats for species other than endangered 
species. Shouldn t these other inhabitants be of concern also? Were 
surveys done for burrowing owls? 

Due to the lack of a complete environmental assessment and the need , 
for additional information concerning vernal pools on the mitigation 
site, an ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT should be reauired. 

Face 4. ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS: NO FILL Section An independent 
consultant should evaluate the wetlands on the site since wetlands 
such as the vernal pools do not appear to be degraded as stated by the 
developer s consultant. Secondly, in spite of the area being 
surrounded by flood control channels and paved streets, the wetlands 
are surviving and providing a more natural habitat than the 
development would provide. 

Since the project is not water dependent, the developer has failed to 
provide an alternate off site location for the project. 



scale of the map does not correspond to the scale 

There is a need for adequate map and scale information. 

2 indicates sampling points. What was sampled, what were the 
who did the sampling, and what were the results? 



dates of sampling, 

Due to the inadequacy of information on this project, the Corps should 
deny the developer s application permit for filling wetlands. 

The Ohlone Audubon Society requests that the Corps hold a public 
hearing on this pronect, and the responses to Ohlone s questions would 
be appreciated. 

Sincerely yours, 


Frank ah d Janice Delfino 

Ohlone Audubon Society 

Conservation Section 

18673 Reamer Road 

Castro Valley, California 94546 

Phone: (510) 537-2387 

:c: Regulatory Agencies 




pools. He s a botanist. He did a quick and dirty job. [laughs] 
And once you write down the words vernal pool, of course 
everybody gets excited because we know the endangered species 
that are in vernal pools. 




And so we sent copies of our letters to the various agencies. 
They finally went out and looked at the place on July 1. 

This July [1998]? 

Yes, and then we had letters, copies of their responses. To the 
corps we said, "Let s have a public hearing. Deny the permit, 
but let s have a public hearing." So I don t know what s going 
to happen. 

But in the meantime the flood control people went to work at 
doing all their work under emergency issues--! mean, not issues 
but under emergency plans because of El Nino. They began to 
dump this is still this Baccarat--in the major vernal pool. 
They began to dump on Baccarat property and cover up vernal pools 
so not only did we have this consultant not finding vernal pools, 
we had the flood control doing their so-called emergency work and 
dumping on this property. And then they tried to scrape it, they 
tried to pull it back. 

I see. You pointed that out? 

Opposition to "Re-creating" Creeks 

Delfino: Oh, yes, yes. So that is where we are so effective, when we get 
these public notices. Take for example Toroges Creek. Do you 
know the Avalon Homes above [Highway] 680 with all the slides, 
the mud slides? 

Chall: Oh, yes. How do you spell Toroges? 

Delfino: [spells] They want to put in a golf course. Well, here are 

these hills. They wanted to scrape the hills, fill the creek, 
and then make it a golf course. So we say, "You don t do that. 
You don t fill the creek because there are frogs and salamanders 
--" Well, again, with all these Action Alerts. We went to the 
water quality board and protested and then hired Roy Gorman, 
attorney Roy Gorman to represent us. When we went to the state 
Water Resources Control Board executive director Walter Pettit 


Golden Gate Audubon Society 

2530 San Pablo Avenue, Suite G Berkeley, CA 94702 Phone:(510)843-2222 Fax:(510)843-5351 
Americans Committed to Conservation A Chapter of the National Audubon Society 



They ve Destroyed Our Wetlands, Now They Want to Destroy Our Streams 

Toroges Creek, Gateway, Windemere. What do these names have in common? They are all 
sites where proposed golf courses threaten to destroy our native streams! 

Toroges Creek is located in the hills above Fremont. It provides a home for many species 
including the tiger salamander, the loggerhead shrike, and the black shouldered kite as well as 
several bat species. Oaks and many other native plants can be found there. 

In order to create a "championship class" golf course a developer, and the City of Fremont, 
want to bury over !/ 2 mile of this wonderful stream, and the 396 acres of grasslands that surround 
it, under 70 feet of engineered fill. Good-bye stream, good-bye wildlife, good-bye nature and 
goodbye to life. 

That s not all, they then have the nerve to say that they ll recreate that stream so that it will be 
as good as new. Fat Chance! Such a massive mitigation effort has never been attempted. The 
only similar attempt took place in Montana and after 3 years that sadly reconstructed Montana 
stream still has essentially no wildlife value. 

In the Gateway Valley in Orinda, Brookside Creek winds for 5 miles through some of the 
most beautiful woodlands in the East Bay. DOOMED by a proposed golf course/ residential 
housing development unless we act. 

In Windemere seven miles of streams are proposed for devastation in order to satisfy this 
seemingly endless need for golf courses. 

Can we really afford to have all of our streams disappear under the developers backhoe. 
California has already lost over 98% of its streamside (riparian) habitat. It s time to say enough! 

And we can do it! Doublewood is the first of these projects to go through the permit process. 
Our Regional Water Quality Control Board could have denied this project and its Executive 
Officer did recommend denial, but the Regional Board Members tied on the vote. Now the State 
Water Resources Control Board gets to decide. If we can show enough public opposition we 
have a good chance of having the Doublewood Project denied. If Doublewood is denied we 
can stop the other projects, too! 

The State Water Resources Control Board is holding a Public Hearing on 
the Doublewood project on Friday, April 17, at 9 AM in Oakland at the 
BART headquarters, located at 800 Madison Street, right above the Lake 

Merritt BART station. 

Please come. You don t have to speak, they are going to limit the number of speakers, but we 
need to show that a lot of people care! We ll have buttons and signs for you to hold to show 
which side you re on. We have a chance to win this one but only if we can get enough folks 
showing the State Water Board how important our streams are to us. See you there! 

For more information call the Golden Gate Audubon Society Office at 510-843-2222. 


[spells] --we protested before him that this is an unproven way. 
You can t mitigate for that type of destruction and if you allow 
that there will be the Blue Rock Country Club in Hayward, the 
Orinda Gateway project, and the Windemere--all these involve 
filling creeks for golf courses. Mr. Pettit, just Mondayor 
Friday, I guessdenied their plan. 

Chall: Now, if you hadn t been on it, do you think that they would have 
paid attention? 

Delfino: The developer said there was only one person in Fremont that was 
against this; everybody likes this plan. 

Delfino: The only person was Janice Delfino? 

Chall: No, no, no, I was not in favor, but the Fremont person is James 
Gearheart . 






Florence La Riviere was the one who informed us. 
know what I wanted to show you. [pause] 

Actually, I 

You re keeping quite a few good records here, aren t you? And 

very carefully. 

There are all these other developments. Gateway. Do you know 
where Gateway is? You go through Caldecott Tunnel from the 
Berkeley-Oakland side. You know the Caldecott Tunnel? 


And then you see that big hillside; on the right-hand side that 
is Gateway Valley. 

I really travel so rarely through there that I probably haven t 

Delfino: Well, that s another creekmiles and miles of creek the 

Brookside Creek and other little creatures will be covered up. 
There is the same plan to cover up these creeks and re-create- - 
that was itre-create these creeks. Well, there are red-legged 
and yellow- legged frogs and salamanders and who knows what else 
there. And so those of us who worked against Toroges the 
filling of Toroges Creekgo over and help them, inform them. 
Some of those people in Orinda didn t know even what a public 
notice was! 

Chall: You must be all over the place, Janice. 


Delfino: Well, you know, you hate to see it happen. And if it happens, if 
Toroges Creek is re-created, then it would be easy to re-create 
all those other creeks, so you have to help those other people. 
And they learn very fast! 

Chall: Yes, but you have to set the precedent. 

Delfino: Yes, poor Florence is just so busy trying to help others. 
Toroges Creek drains into the Bay. 

Chall: Oh, I see. 

Delfino: Well, the one in Orinda drains into San Pablo Reservoir. And I 

guess the overflow goes into the San Pablo Bay, but it s the same 
thing; you have to help each other on these projects. It s a 
matter of getting the word out and going to meetings. Golden 
Gate Audubon Society has improved San Leandro Bay in Oakland, you 
know, their new project. That was mitigation for the Port of 
Oakland filling in bay water by the airport. 

Chall: Yes, is that the one about which there was an article in the 
newspaper just the other day? 11 

Delfino: Yes, yes. 

Chall: Near Arrowhead Marsh, not far from it? [Martin Luther King Jr. 
Shoreline Park] 

Delfino: That s right. Save the Bay and Golden Gate Audubon. I m not 

sure who else. I should say for us, the Delfinos--! don t think 
we were that involved. 

Roberts Landing: The Toxic Soil Issue 

Chall: You were involved a long time ago in Roberts Landing? 
Delfino: Oh, yes! 

Chall: And that, according to what I ve read in the newspaper, was 
revised considerably as a result of public pressure? 

Delfino: Malca, if we had not taken a sample of soil from the old Trojan 
Powder Factory site and sent it to the lab at our own expense-- 

3 0akland Tribune, June 11, 1998. 


Chall: You and Frank? 

Delfino: Yes. We were so determined that somebody find out that there was 
contamination, hazardous waste on that site. We then took our 
photos--we went to Pacific Aerial Surveys and bought aerial 
photos and then submitted information to the Department of Toxic 
Substance Control--DTSC--and finally convinced them to re-look at 
this property. They had given clearance to Wayne Valley, to 
Citation Homes, way back. I m sure Citation spent millions of 
dollars to clean up a place that they said was squeaky clean, 
that it was washed by rains and tides from the Bay. They sent us 
a threatening letter, they were going to sue us. 

Chall: Really? 

Delfino: Well, this was 1992--I can t rememberoh, no, earlier than that! 
Yes, sent us a threatening letter and that made us work even 

Chall: I see. 

Delfino: Yes, you get a letter like that-- 

Chall: You mean they threatened you with a suit? 

Delfino: Yes, if we continued what we were doing. We had to prove that 
what we were doing was right and that there were hazardous 
wastes. Then we interviewed Henry Stockfleth. [laughs] He had 
worked there. He was the main nitrater at the Trojan plant. He 
made the stuff to make explosives. And we interviewed him before 
he died. He died at the age of ninety-two. He told us a lot, 
told us where the water wells were. Then we were told it was our 
civic duty that we should tell Citation and the city where the 
water wells were. And we said, "You pay us $100 an hour and we 
might consider it, we re consultants." [laughter] But it took a 
lot of effort. 



Actually, then you and Frank did it on your own? 
and scooped out some soil? 

You went out 

Well, we took a teaspoon of soil in an area where nothing was 
growing. And it was the discharge from the factory; they 
discharged their acid and nothing grew. I mean, we would walk 
the area and look at things and try to decide what went on. By 
this time, the factory had been demolished. The Trojan Powder 
Factory closed in 1963 after their last major explosion. Many 
explosions had occurred since the factory was established in 


Chall: Yes, long ago. 

Delfino: Yes. And there was an ice plant that was just black and we knew 
that there was something in the soil that caused that plant to be 
black. You know, plants don t die black. [laughs] And so 
that s where we took the sample and the pH was pretty low. [tape 

[To continue the story about the Trojan Powder Explosive 
Factory site where Citation Homes planned to build homes: 6 

Frank checked the soil sample to determine its pH. With a 
low pH, we felt it necessary to have a reputable laboratory 
determine the pH of the soil and have a complete soil analysis. 
We sent the soil sample to Curtis & Tompkins Analytical 
Laboratories in Berkeley on October 11, 1990. The results 
indicated there were metals in this small sample that should be 
of interest to the Department of Toxic Substances Control. 

In addition to the soil analysis, Frank and I decided to 
visit the file room at DTSC. We were asked what company we 
represented. We said we are with Ohlone Audubon Society. The 
person at the desk said Audubon people were harmless, and we were 
allowed to review the Trojan Powder Factory file without going 
through the usual process. I took notes on what we read in the 
file. We returned a second time to the file room, this time to 
make copies of some of the information we believed was very 
important . 

We felt we had enough information on the hazardous wastes 
where Citation Homes planned to develop. Now it was time to 
present our findings to DTSC. After many meetings with DTSC 
staff, it was determined that indeed a thorough soil cleanup of 
the old factory site must be completed before any homes could be 

Another of our concerns has been the lepidium or pepper weed 
plant growing on the San Leandro shoreline. We were told by 
Peter Baye of the Corps of Engineers that this invasive non- 
native weed would eventually take over the pickleweed and other 
native plants. For five years Frank and I have manually pulled 
out this lepidium. This summer we removed lepidium plants in the 
LaRiviere Marsh at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National 
Wildlife Refuge.] 

6 This account was written by Janice Delfino. I had accidentally left 
the pause button depressed when she returned with the Alert data. --M.C. 


Citizens for Alameda s Last Marshlands [CALM] 



Now it s on, it s recording, 
asked you what CALM means? 

We were talking about CALM. I 




It stands for Citizens for Alameda s Last Marshlands. And that 
means not just the city of Alameda but Alameda County. It 
started, I believe, when the Port of Oakland began to fill in by 
the airport and people like Leora Feeney and Jo McLellan were 
very concerned. We were not part of the CALM, we didn t become 
members of CALM until 1987. It was a loose coalition of people. 
And we used that name as an organizational name in San Leandro 
for Roberts Landing. 

So it goes back a long way. 

Yes, I think CALM started in 1985. That was when Leora Feeney 
and a few others decided that they needed a title as another 
organization. There were Save the Bay and Golden Gate Audubon 
and they thought we needed another organization to fight the Port 
of Oakland for filling the Bay. And so then when we write The 
Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge newsletter [Save 
Wetlands] , we write under the title of CALM. But now when we 
write for the newsletter our concern is with the least terns and 
the Alameda Naval Air Station. 

I see. And they put out a little magazine? 

Yes, the Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge puts out a 
newsletter twice a year and that s how we make money to do what 
we do--to pay for stationery, to pay for stamps, to send out the 
monthly meeting mailing, and to send the Save Wetlands newsletter 
to interested people. It s a 501(c)(3) organization. 

So people pay to belong to CALM? Or pay for the newsletter? 

No, CALM does not havewe re not a 501(c)(3). We re an 
affiliate of the refuge committee, which means we are under the 
umbrella, so to say, of the Citizens Committee to Complete the 
Refuge . 

CCCR [Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge] finances 
are handled by Peninsula Conservation Center Foundation--PCCF-- 
the Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge is the umbrella 
organization. And then all these other organizations: the Tri- 


city Ecology Center, Ohlone Audubon, Golden Gate Audubon, Sequoia 
Audubon, Santa Clara Valley Audubon, and League of Women Voters 
in Fremont- -they re all under Citizens Committee to Complete the 

The Suit Against Leslie (Cargill) Salt Company 

Delfino: You were asking earlier about the BayKeeper. 
Chall: Yes, 1 was. 

Delfino: All right. What happened was we had an opportunity to respond to 
BCDC s environmental assessment and that was in 1994--on 
Cargill s levee maintenance and dredge lock activity. Cargill 
needed a permit to continue mucking around in the Bay, [laughs] 
and their ten-year permit had expired the year before or maybe 
two years before. Anyway, so we asked about this dump: "Did 
Cargill have a permit to dump on public land?" The public land 
meaning land that s in the wildlife refuge. 

We didn t get a response that was satisfactory. Then the 
corps sent out a public notice on the same issue of Cargill s 
levee maintenance and dredge lock activities, so of course we 
again asked the same questions. And in fact we thought maybe 
that area should be opened up for mitigation, to take the dump 
out. But Water Quality [Control Board] --none of the agencies 
would tackle it. None of the agencies would do anything about 
this dump. 

So then we decided to go to the BayKeeper. We took the 
BayKeeper and two attorneys to the refuge. They sailed out at 
Jarvis Landingin the old days that was the only way to get into 
the Bay, was at Jarvis Landing in Fremont. They took their boat 
and went way out to Newark Slough and then out into the Bay and 
then up Mowry Slough to the dump. And they realized that this 
was something that should not exist, so they brought suit. 

But they needed an agent--! mean, an organizationin the 
area and so the Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge joined 
with the BayKeeper. 

Chall: But you were the primary whistle blower? 
Delfino: The whistle blower. And it s still going on. 

Newsletter Issue 24 



Bay Area Action 

Jayiands Conservation Committee 

California Hawking Club. Inc. 

California Wate^ow! Association 

California Wildlife Federation i 
Citizens lor i Betie Environment | 
Committee for Green Foothills 
Defence s of Wildlife 

(East Bay Green Alliance 
FeoeratiO 1 " of Fly Fishers 
Fnencs o Cha ieston Slough 
Fnends ot Redwood City 
Gotae n Gate Audubon Society 
Green Bel; Alliance 

Leacje c ( Wo^e 1 - Voters of 
fie Eden Area 

Uscje c Wonen Voters Ot 
the Fremont Area 

Leacue of Women Voters ot 
Palo Alto 

Leacuf c Women Voters of 

S ouf. Sc r Mateo County 

o".a Fhfta Chapter Sierra Club 

MoC O f Audjbor, Society 

Ms in Autiubor Society 

Mission C tek Conservancy 

M:-ip Lake Committee 

Mount D>ar>r Aud jhor Society 

Nape-Soiano Audjbor Society 

Nstve P.o" Society Santa 

Cara Va iey Chapter 

Ncrth Bav Wetlands Coalition 

Ohior* AuCubon Society 

Peninsula Conservation Center 

f nmg and Conservation League 

San F e .C SCC Bay Chapter. 

Sierra Club 

Se Clara Vai.ey Audubon Society 

5a ian Franc sec Bay Association 

Seqjo;a Audubon Society 

South Bay Wetlands Coalition 

Sportsmen lor Equal Access 

Tn-City Ecology Center 

J Trout Unlimited 

Un ted Anglers of California 
Urban Creeks Council 


Citizens tor Alameda s Last 

ill s tor Open Space in Alvaradc 

Friends ot Foster City 

ave Our South Bay Wetlands 

Save Wetiands in Mayhews 

* <:ng Wings/Pintail Duck Clubs 


BayKeeper and the Citizens Committee Stand 
up to Cargill in Court and Win! 

Proved Cargill contaminating Bay with 
industrial waste 

Janice and Frank 
Delfino vital to 

Special Standing of Janice 
Delfino qualifies BayKeeper 
to participate 

Summary Judgment in our 
favor, throwing Cargill s 
defense out of court 

Penalty trial to follow 

In a recent decision, BayKeeper and the Citizens 
Committee to Complete the Refuge were aw arded a 
Summary Judgment in favor of the Bay and its wildlife by 
Judge Charles Legge, Northern California District, Federal 
Court, after a thoughtful and thorough examination of the 
evidence. At issue was the long-standing existence of a 
Cargill dump on Mowry Slough in southern Newark. 

The Delfinos bring to their work the finest qualities of 
citizen activism. They are persistent and passionate, but just 
as important to their success is their habitual keen observ 
ing and meticulous note taking, along with their use of 

(Continued on page 2) 
A f01(C)(3) Organization under the Peninsula Conservation Center Foundation 

Scute. weilct+icU. is the 

semi-annual Newsletter 
of the Citizens 
Committee to CompIeU 
the Refuge, an all- 
volunteer organization. 

The mission of the 
Committee is to save the 
Bay s remaining 
wetlands by seeing them 
placed under the 
protection of the Don 
Edwards San Francisco 
Bay National W ildlife 

Membership is open to 
am one interested in 
saving wetlands, but a 
contribution of $10 per 
issue would be 
appreciated to help 
cover operating 

Published twice yearly 
at 453 Tennessee Lane, 
Palo Alto C A 94 306. Tel 

(650) 493-5540; fax (650) 
494-7640; e-mail 
net http/ /www. 

Florence LaRix lere 

Tel (650) 493- 5540 

Margaret Lewis 



Anne Harrington 


Tel (650) 948-6020 

PhiJ LaRiviere 

Tel (650) 493-5540 

resources-consultants, photographers, and aerial and surface observers 

Several agencies refused to act on the Delfino s concerns, but Mike 
Lozeau, the BayKeeper, listened to them , found merit in their cause and 
encouraged his lawyers to take the case. Then, as he put it, his 
"investigators gathered samples from waters adjacent to the moonscape 
of gray hilk created by Cargill, analyzed them and tound evidence of 
highly toxic heavy metals ... .around the dump, where sensitive 
shorebirds in the refuge swim and feed." Those analyses demonstrated 
the presence of chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, and 

The record shows that our legal representatives understood the facts of 
the case and presented them convincingly. In addition, they were 
imaginative in the methods they used to explain the site and its biological 
values to the court. Photographs, videos and expert consultants served to 
reinforce their legal arguments. 

ludge Legge declared that the factual evidence was so clear that there was 
no reason to go to trial. He stated that Cargill had dumped industrial 
w as te into a pond on the levee without proper permits (for over 30 years, 
according to Cargill!). With regard to "Waters of the United Stales", he 
ruled that this pond meets the regulator) standard of use by migratory 

( argill attorney Edgar Washburn s definition that Bay water wasn t water 
after a change in the dissolved solids, and thus couldn t possibly be 
considered a "Water of the L S.", was not accepted by the court. 

In another ploy, Washburn argued that RayKeeper and none of the others 
had standing to sue. The judge ruled otherwise, saying that Janice was 
harmed by the presence of the illegal dump, that the Pelfinos had worked 
on the establishment of the Refuge, had volunteered untold hours on its 
behalf and were dedicated bird watchers. Only one person with 
standing is required, and since Innice is a member of the BayKeeper 
organization, it had standing also. 

By law there will be a penalty assessed against Cargill. Our attorneys 
triumphed a second time with the judge s ruling that Cargil) could not 
delay the penalty trial until after their appeal had been heard. The 
possibility of settlement was rejected by Mr. Washburn, so the penalty 
trial is set for July 13. 

The Delfinos give full credit to the commitment and skill of the three 
attorneys who served pro bono: Suzanne Bevash, Danielle Fugere and 
Helen Kang. The latter, with Eb Luckel, made the courtroom presenta 
tions to Judge Legge. To us uninitiated, the legal demands made on our 
law\ ers w ere outrageous, but the reward for integrity and hard work 
came with the announcement of the Summary Judgment. Q 

* * * 



2 Cargill Lawsuit 

3 S . F. Airport Expansion 

4 The North Bay Scene 

5 dealing Habitat on Treasure Island 

6 Action at Charleston Slough 

7 Double Wood. Catellus and Sonoma 

B A Few South Bay Topics 

9 Mitigation Banks Often Rob Us 

10 A Word to the Faithful 

1 1 Other Wetland Matters.. 

2 Save Wetlands * S ummcr 1998 


Chall: Yes. I thought it was finished, but I realized reading the paper 
the other day that it hadn t. 

Delfino: Yes and you will read that 

Chall: Yes, in your Save Wetlands [Summer 1998] there. 

Delfino: Yes, so that would give you some idea. Judge Legge--Charles 

Legge--war, the same judge that ruled in the Newark-Coyote case. 
Cargill v. Corps concerning the site known as the Newark-Coyote 
case. Yes, we were distressedat least I felt distressedwhen 
we realized that he was going to be the judge. But he ruled in 
our favor on this on the dump in our favor twice. He said that 
I had standing because we had helped to establish the refuge in 
the beginning and we were volunteers and we work we contribute 
time, effort. BayKeeper didn t have standing because the judge 
determined that he, BayKeeper Mike Lozeau, went out for justice, 
for litigation purposes. [laughs] 

But there are two women attorneys, very thorough and they 
worked so hard on this. 

Chall: And do they do it pro bono? 

Delfino: Yes. 

Chall: I wondered about that because that s very expensive. 

Delfino: Oh, my goodness, yes. And of course they had to hire consultants 
and those consultants are very expensive. 

Chall: Yes, they are. 

Delfino: And so that s part of the problem. Cargill puts forth motions- 
attorney Ned Washburn puts forth motions and our attorneys then 
have to respond. And this is just going on. 

Now the next supposedly this September 28 the judge will 
decide on the penalties. 

Chall: Oh, I see. 

Delfino: Now what Florence [La Riviere] told me this morning on the 

telephone was that Water Quality is going along with the silt 
fence, not remove the dump but just put up this silt fence. And 
that s a terrible, terrible idea. 


It s no answer to the problem, is it, as far as you can tell? 


Delfino: Oh, no, it s going to cost Cargill money to haul that dump away, 
but it s on public land! 

Chall: It s up to the judge now to make a decision or is there more? 

Delfino: Well, Cargill is doing everything to cause the judge to say, "You 
don t have to move the dump." I think that s what it is. "You 
don t have to remove this dump." Cargill complained that they 
couldn t take their waste out. These are the factory wastes. 
The dump is made up of factory wastes and other things that they 
put in there, because there was a refuse dump. Ned Washburn 
wrote that. And I don t know why he even wrote that to begin 
with- -in the beginning it was a refuse dump. 

Chall: Are they still dumping or have they had to stop? 

Delfino: Not this year. Or not last year. They didn t dump. 

Chall: So they have not been reissued a permit, in other words? 

Delfino: They never had a permit. Oh, they had to go get a permit. 

Chall: Which means they are not allowed to dump? 

Delfino: Well, they ve applied for a permit and that gives them something 
--I m not sure what it is. The judge said you have to get a 
permit, so they go ahead and make an effort to get a permit, but 
there are other problems involved. 

And Water Quality apparently is very weak in this issue. 
And that s why I have to talk with one of the staff persons and 
ask him why. "Why? What is the value of this silt fence?" I ll 
talk with Frank first about it, but I mean, they re a public 
agency, they can t just favor Cargill! And that s what it sounds 

Save San Francisco Bay Association. The San Francisco Airport, 
and Other Matters 

Chall: With respect to the Save the San Francisco Bay Association--! 
guess you are members of the association? 

Delfino: We are members, yes. But we were concerned when they went along 
with Bay Planning Coalitionthose are people who are lawyers for 
wetland developers. They are wetland developers, Port of Oakland 
people, and they know very little about the south end of the Bay. 


In fact Save the Bay did not even respond to the BCDC and corps 
issue on Cargill s levee maintenance. So they know very little 
about our south end of the Bay. 

Chall: Do you have the feeling that they re going beyond Saving the Bay 
as it was earlier conceived? 

Delfino: Well, one of the things is they re against filling 400 acres to 
open up thousands of acresyou know, improve the tidal action. 

Chall: Now what are you talking about? 

Delfino: Oh, the San Francisco Airport. The expansion would fill in 400 
or 500 acres at the widest part of the Bay, open Bay, the most 
productive part of the Bay is the tidal marshes and the shallow 
water areas in the south end of the Bay. And Save the Baytheir 
mission has been "No fill in the Bay" although their mission, 
also, if you read their mission statement, it is to restore the 

Chall: Yes. 

Delfino: All right, restoring the Bay means improving tidal marshes. So 
we had a meeting with them a couple weeks ago and they said, 
"We re going to have a very difficult time convincing our board 
of directors that filling the Bay for the airport and buying" 
see, the airport has the money to buy Cargill. 

Chall: But now what is the stand of Save the Bay on this? 

Delfino: They re not in favor of filling for the expansion of the airport. 

Chall: They re not in favor? 

Delfino: That s right. At least the staff people. 

Chall: What is your position? 

Delfino: Fill that area and buy out Cargill to open up thousands of 
acreage . 

Chall: 1 see. 

Delfino: I mean, here are 500 acres and we get thousands of acres. 

Chall: Can you be sure of that? I mean, nobody s sure of what Cargill s 
going to do. [See Appendix B] 













Well, if Cargill becomes a willing seller--. Oh, they said 
they re not going to sell, "Our salt is SD important." But for 
the Cargill Companythey bought this property for real estate 
values, not for salt! They only make a little money out of salt. 
But no, I m in favor--. I mean, sure, if it meant just filling 
the Bay and not doing anything about South Bay, then that would 
be different, but when you can open up more bay water to improve 
tidal action and create acres of tidal marshes, then 1 am in 
favor of buying out Cargill. 

But your opening up more bay water is dependent upon Cargill s 
sale, is that right? 

Yes, oh, yes. 

That is so uncertain; but you would wait, then? You would play a 
waiting game, a holding game? 

Well, then they can t fill until they can mitigate. 
And so the airport is on hold, is that right? 

Well the airport is moving forward. They have consulting 
companies doing feasibility studies and all that, and somebody 
would have to appraise Cargill s properties and not sell for 
$15,000 an acre. 

So this is all sort of in limbo? 
ahead, but nothing is certain? 

I mean, everything s moving 

Yes, and the Sierra Club people are against it. 

The filling. But they would leap for opening up more of 
Cargill s property. And you can t do that unless you buy out 
Cargill, and the only way you re going to get that much money--. 
It would be a lot of money to buy out Cargill, but it s worth it! 

And who will buy it out? 
The San Francisco Airport. 
The San Francisco Airport? 

They have the money! They have millions and millions and 
millions of dollars. I have been disappointed with Barry Nelson 
as executive director of Save San Francisco Bay Association. I 
don t think Barry is involved with the issue of the San Francisco 







Airport expansion. He was a very poor executive director, and we 
strongly disagreed with his dealings with Will Travis of BCDC 
concerning the purchase of Cargill s North Bay salt ponds, and 
the Sonoma Baylands Project. 

Cargill asked Save the Bay to write a letter recommending 
Cargill for the National Wildlife Federation Environmental Award. 
Now, through various means we got that information. Save the Bay 
wrote a letter recommending that Cargill get this environmental 
award. Well, we thought it was one of the worst companies for an 
environmental award. We re members of National Wildlife 
Federation, so we immediately phoned, [laughs] "If you get 
information from Save the Bay concerning Cargill, please don t 
award this company." And Barry Nelson was the one who told Marc 
Holmes to write the letter. I guess that capped it. That 
probably capped it for me. He told him to write the letter and 
Marc Holmes went ahead. 

And so of course in the meantime we had found out and we 
sent in information to National Wildlife Federation telling them 
how terrible Cargill was and what they were doing going against 
endangered species. And you know, there was another lawsuit that 
Cargill was involved in--not our lawsuitso National Wildlife 
Federation decided they would give no awards. That took care of 

So they don t give awards, is that correct? 

Apparently. We had a letter saying that they discontinued that. 

I can see that they could get into difficulties, particularly 
when they don t know what s going on locally, everywhere in the 
United States, and people have varying points of view on issues. 

That s right. And we sent them information, you know, articles 
and other information that told them what a poor record that 
Cargill had concerning the environment. 

You are not at all sympathetic in any way to whatever Cargill 

Well, they claim they work with the Wildlife Refuge. The 
agreement, when the property was purchased, was that they could 
continue making salt. Rick Coleman [former refuge executive] 
wanted the dump out of there. In fact, that was the first time I 
knew that there was a problem. And that goes back to the late 
eighties: "Get that dump out of there." And Cargill said, "We 
operate on this refuge; we have the privilege of the signed 


agreement that we operate and we can dump there." 
things have been kind of nasty. 

Other little 

Chall: So they re a thorn in your side and you re a thorn in their s for 
sure! [laughs] 

Delfino: Bob Douglass daughter-- Jennifer Nations she 1 s marriedsent a 
fax to Florence [La Riviere] --wanted information on the Citizens 
Committee to Complete the Refuge problems we d had with Cargill. 
She was at one of the universities in Texas and she wanted to do 
a paper on that subject. She was taking a class she s an 
environmentalist, much against her own father s ideas-- [laughs] -- 
so how does this story go? 

She had to do this paper for a class on the environment. 
Florence asked if I would help her. So I gathered all 
appropriate information. I knew who she was because on her fax 
it had Jennifer Douglass Nations, but I did not let her know that 
I knew who she was. Frank and I bent over backwards to provide 
her with information. Then she would send us updates on her 
paper and maybe some more questions. Then she made a 
presentation before her class. I guess she was getting a 
master s degree. She sent us a copy of her paper with an 
"Excellent" on it. The professor gave her an "excellent." 

So I phoned and complimented her and then after our 
conversation I said, "Jennifer, I ve known all along who you 
really are." [laughs] And I said, "Florence and I both knew who 
you were, but we felt so kindly toward you and wanted you to do 
so well." She had been a volunteer at the refuge and Rick 
Coleman had helped her along. So Jennifer and I had a good laugh 
about that. That s about enough. [laughs] 

Chall: Well, we ve covered pretty thoroughly your career as an activist 
for the environment. Thank you very much. 

Transcribed by Amelia Archer 
Final Typed by Sara Diamond 


TAPE GUIDE--Baumberg Tract Oral History Project 


Interview 1: September 6, 1996 

Tape 1, Side A j 

Tape 1, Side B 18 

Interview 2: July 17, 1998 

Tape 2, Side A 29 

Tape 2, Side B 41 

Tape 3, Side A 53 

Tape 3, Side B 65 


Interview 2: February 28, 1998 

Tape 3, Side A 81 

Tape 3, Side B 91 

Tape 4, Side A 103 

Tape 4, Side B not recorded 
Interview 1: May 10, 1997 

Tape 1, Side A 108 

Tape 1, Side B 119 

Tape 2, Side A 128 

Tape 2, Side B 137 


Date of Interview: February 24, 1998 

Tape 1, Side A 156 

Tape 1, Side B 166 


Date of Interview: March 11, 1998 

Tape 1, Side A 179 

Tape 1, Side B }gg 

Tape 2, Side A 189 

Tape 2, Side B 208 


Date of Interview: November 4, 1997 

Tape 1, Side A 219 

Tape 1, Side B 229 

Tape 2, Side A 239 

Tape 2, Side B not recorded 


Date of Interview: June 10, 1998 

Tape 1, Side A 249 

Tape 1, Side B 259 



Date of Interview: July 20, 1998 

Tape 1, Side A 274 

Tape 1, Side B 284 

Tape 2, Side A 294 

Tape 2, Side B not recorded 


Date of Interview: October 14, 1998 

Tape 1, Side A 301 

Tape 1, Side B not recorded 


Date of Interview: July 21, 1998 

Tape 1, Side A 317 

Tape 1, Side B 329 

Tape 2, Side A 341 

Tape 2, Side B not recorded 



* , * 

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V *V r*/ .-vji * V><^ / 

^^^^ 3 I C vff\L * * 

. *j \v ^"A a *,*(* 



. \ 





: -AV ; - 
\* . 




GLOSSARY--Baumberg Tract Oral History Project 

California legislature in 1969. State agency responsible for protecting 
surface area of the Bay and providing access to the Bay and shoreline. 
Mandate authorizes filling or dredging only when public benefits clearly 
exceed public detriment from loss of water areas; limited to water 
oriented uses su^h as ship and air ports, recreation, wildlife refuges. 
If development plans affecting San Francisco Bay do not meet these 
standards, permits may be denied. 

CALFED: A joint 32-member state-federal planning organization 
established in 1995 to develop a solution to water and environmental 
problems of the Bay-Delta [San Francisco Bay-Sacramento-San Joaquin 
Delta]. Its three alternative solutions are now being debated by 
interested parties throughout the state. Program elements include: 
storage, conveyance, levee protection, water quality, ecosystem 
restoration, water use efficiency, water transfer, watershed management. 

state Resources Agency with oversight of California rivers, streams and 
lakes. Trustee agency responsible for management, enhancement, and 
protection of fish and wildlife resources. 

California legislature in 1970. The provisions of the Act were extended 
to private projects by the Friends of Mammoth legal decision in 1972. 
Administered by state and local governmental agencies; overseen by the 
state Office of Planning and Research. Statute requires that all 
projects over a certain size as defined in the State EIR Guidelines must 
be reviewed to assess their environmental impact. Legislation which 
created Environmental Impact Reports (EIR). 

CLEAN WATER ACT (SECTION 404): Act of Congress, 1972, primarily to 
authorize the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate 
water quality through the restriction of pollution discharges. Section 
404 specifically delegates certain authorities to the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers (Corps) and EPA relating to the discharge of dredged or fill 
material into waters of the United States and adjacent wetlands. The 
Corps is the permitting agency for permits issued pursuant to Section 

CVPIA: Central Valley Project Improvement Act. Act of Congress, 1992. 
Specifically allows transfers of CVP water from CVP areas to areas 
outside the CVP service area. Seeks to balance Central Valley Project 
water use among California farmers, urban water districts, fish and 


designates species for protection based on their threat of extinction as 
a consequence primarily of economic growth and development. If a 
species is listed as endangered or threatened under the federal Act, 
public agencies and private developers must obtain a permit from the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service upon proof that their project will not 
jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species in the wild. A 
"jeopardy opinion" issued by the USFWS is an automatic denial of the 
project . 

SECTION 7, ESA: Consultation process between a federal agency and 
the USFWS that authorizes take of listed species incidental to 
lawful governmental activities provided that such take is done 
pursuant to reasonable and prudent measures that the Secretary of 
the Interior considers necessary or appropriate to minimize such 
impact. Results in a "Jeopardy" or "Non- Jeopardy" Opinion. 
INCIDENTAL TAKE: According to the U.S. Code, take incidental to 
and not the purpose of carrying out the purpose of an otherwise 
lawful activity. 

SECTION 10 (a), ESA: Permit (Incidental Take Permit or ITP) issued 
by the director of the USFWS to a private entity or a non-federal 
governmental agency to allow the incidental take of a listed 
species. The take must be subject to an approved Habitat 
Conservation Plan (HCP) . Counterpart of the Section 7 process on 
private lands or lands with no federal jurisdiction. See also 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT (EIR) : See California Environmental Quality 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (EIS): See National Environmental Policy 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA): Independent agency of the federal 
government with authority to protect the environment from water, air, 
and land pollution. Established in December 1970 by reorganization Plan 
No, 3 devised to consolidate the federal government s environmental 
regulatory activities under the jurisdiction of a single agency. 
Transmitted to Congress on July 9, 1970, by President Richard Nixon. 

JEOPARDY: See Endangered Species Act, Section 7. 

MITIGATION: Avoiding, minimizing, or compensating for impact of planned 
development or other activities on wetlands and other biological 
resources. Compensates by creating an equivalent amount of new wetlands 
or some other ratio (e.g. 2:1, 3:1, new:old) deemed acceptable to the 
federal and/or state resource agencies. 

NATONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT (NEPA) : Act of Congress, 1969 which 
established the requirement for environmental assessment of major 


federal actions directly under the jurisdiction of federal agencies. 
Basis for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). For private 
projects with federal involvement. The lead agency is the agency 
granting a permit for the project (e.g. Corps of Engineers for a project 
with wetlands subject to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act). Federal 
counterpart to the California Environmental Quality Act. 

PROPOSITION 70, June 1998. Wildlife, Coastal, and Park Land 
Conservation Bond Act. Initiative statute sponsored by Calif ornians for 
Parks and Wildlife. $776 million to acquire, develop, rehabilitate, 
protect, and restore parks, wildlife, coastal and natural lands in 

RIVERS AND HARBORS ACT of 1899 (SECTION 10): Act of Congress, 1899. 
Amended over the years. Requires a permit to fill or dredge in 
navigable waters those areas of the shoreline below the historic mean 
high water mark. Enforcement is the responsibility of the Corps of 
Engineers. (See U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.) 

STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD: State agency responsible for 
setting and enforcing state water quality standards. 

TAKE: Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 definition was "to harass, 
harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to 
attempt to engage in any such conduct" towards a listed species. This 
definition was extended by the Palila decisions to include degradation 
of critical habitat. 

TAKINGS: The appropriation, including excessive regulation that amounts 
to an appropriation of private property by the federal government, and 
is thus subject to monetary compensation of the landowner. 

U.S. ARMY CORPS of ENGINEERS: Responsible for regulation of activities 
which affect navigable waters (rivers, streams, harbors) and "waters of 
the U.S." which includes wetlands. Principal enabling legislation of 
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and 
Harbors Act of 1899. 

U.S FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE (USFWS): A subdivision of the U.S. 
Department of the Interior. Agency charged with the implementation of 
the federal Endangered Species Act, including the determination of 

WETLANDS: Habitats that are frequently inundated or saturated for long 
duration and support characteristic plant life; vegetated waters of the 
United States. Wetlands have a specific legal definition under federal 
law which must be followed by other levels of government and the private 
sector in order to comply with the law. 


A Pages Selected from the Biological Assessment and Mitigation 

Reports of WESCO and TRA for the Proposed Shorelands Project 362 

B The Leslie Salt Division of the Cargill Company: Its History; 

Current Legal, and San Francisco Airport Issues 370 

C The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge; 

Bair Island; The Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center 377 

D Proposition HH 3gl 



The Shorelands Corporation has applied to the City of Hayward for a permit 
to develop portions of a 735.9-acre site located at the terminus of Eden Landing 
Road in Hayvard, Alaroeda County, California (Figure 1). 

The project is planned as a mixed use development consisting of a horse 
racing track and associated facilities, a family entertainment park, a 
recreational vehicle park, and space for commercial offices, light industrial 
manufacturing and research and development. The project would be built in four 
phases over eight years, as shown in Tables 1 and 2. 

The project facilities would place fill material on 660.7 acres of the 
735.9-acre project site and approximately 33 acres proposed for right-of-way for 
new roads. Portions of the site are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. 
Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers. The Shorelands Corporation applied 
to the Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District (USAGE) for a permit to fill 
under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the 
Clean Water Act in 1983. 

Pursuant to Section 7(c) of the Endangered Species Act, as amended (16 USC 
1531-1542), USAGE must consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) 
to determine if any federally listed (or candidate) threatened or endangered 
species would be adversely affected by USAGE S issuance of the applicable permit 
for the project. The USF^ S responds to the consultation with a written opinion 
that the project would either result in Jeopardy or Non-Jeopardy to the species. 

In 1987, the USFWS issued a Jeopardy Opinion concerning three listed 
species, as tabulated on page two. In response, the Shorelands Corporation 
withdrew its permit applicant to the USAGE, to allow re-design of the project 
and a mitigation program that would not cause jeopardy to endangered species. 
The project has since been re-designed, the mitigation plan has been revised to 
allow for the determination of a Section 7 Biological Opinion by the Service, 
and Shorelands has requested initiation of Early Consultation. The mitigation 
plan is an attachment to this report. 

This report is a compilation of the data necessary to allow USFWS to 
complete an assessment of the project s potential impacts to listed species. 
The report includes brief descriptions of the pertinent species status, range, 
distribution, habitat requirements, general ecology, population levels, and 
occurrence in the project area. The report also discusses the potential impacts 
of the proposed project on the species and their habitats, and evaluates proposed 
measures to compensate for adverse impacts. 

*Pages selected from the Biological Assessment 
and Mitigation Reports of WESCO and TRA for the 
Proposed Shorelands Project. 

P. 1 


2.2.2 Summary of Mitigation Program 

The project would offer approximately 205 acres as wildlife habitat 

mitigation land (See Figure 6 and attached Mitigation Plan). Depending upon 

present values, especially for the snowy plover, Shorelands could also offer 

* another 180 acres in the Oliver crystallizers and evaporators. The principal 

components of the project s currently-proposed mitigation program are as follows: 



Within the 193.5 acres comprising the Oliver/Perry parcels: 

o 112 acres of salt marsh and transitional marsh on the Oliver/Perry 
parcel east of the project site 

o 18 acres of permanent (freshwater) ponds and 25 acres of seasonal 
ponds within the Oliver/Perry parcel to provide habitat diversity 

o a system of salt and freshwater sources and drainageways to provide 
water of appropriate salinity to the new marsh and ponds 

In addition, the project would provide: 

o a 100-foot wide salt marsh harvest mouse dispersal corridor (11.3 
acres) offsite along the southern boundary of the property to provide 
continuous pickleweed from the salt marsh on Oliver/Perry to the 
existing salt marsh habitat along Mt . Eden Creek 

o an on-site water buffer (66.1) acres providing a minimum separation 
of 100 feet between the perimeter hiking trail at the edge of the 
project development and the adjacent off -site salt ponds. The water 
buffer will comprise new salt evaporator pond, a brine ditch, and 
a storm drainage ditch (see Exhibit 3 of the Mitigation Plan). This 
buffer will separate the 9.1 acres of perimeter hiking trails from 
the outboard wildlife habitat. 

a predator fence of USFWS- approved design located in the center of 

the water-filled channels, and surrounding the portions of the 
project site most likely to harbor verminous predators such as Norway 

o a predator control program, including rodent-proofing buildings and 
utility openings; baiting, trapping and removal and ongoing 
monitoring of predator numbers; 

o water quality control measures as required by the RUQCB for 

wastewater and stormwater to prevent degradation of offsite water 

quality; monitoring of water quality over time by RWQCB or in 
accordance with RWQCB requirements 

P. 16 




o guaranteed funding for initial habitat restoration and predator 
monitoring, as well as long-terra stewardship and monitoring of the 
mitigation lands. There will be funding to cover the important 
contingencies, such as the habitat restoration failing to meet 
performance criteria, or the project not building out as originally 
intended. # 

The mitigation program, as proposed, represents a concerted effort by 
Shorelands to provide adequate mitigation for all of the direct and indirect 
impacts on lasted endangered species identified in the biological assessment. 
If successful, the plan should provide effective mitigation of each of the direct 
and indirect impacts. 

The proposed mitigation program is intended to support issuance of a Non- 
Jeopardy Opinion for listed endangered species under Section 7 of the Endangered 
Species Act. It is not intended to fully address all mitigation of impacts on 
shorebirds and other resource values as required under Section 404 of the Clean 
Water Act and related regulations. These are to be addressed in a separate 
program pursuant to Section 404 requirements, at a later date. If the Section 
404 mitigation results in subsequent impacts to listed endangered species not 
addressed by the current mitigation program, then the Biological Opinion issued 
in response to this Biological Assessment will be invalidated, and the Section 
7 consultation must be reopened. 

The Biological Opinion is expected to be issued, contingent upon a 
Conservation Agreement which will specify in detail the initial and long-term 
implementation mechanism and funding program for all of the conservation measures 
specified in the mitigation plan. The restoration, monitoring, and mangement 
functions will be carried out by an agency with the biological and open space 
management expertise necessary to successfully carry out these functions. The 
Hayward Area Recreation and Parks District (HARD) is such an agency. HARD has 
been approached by the Shorelands Corporation, and has shown an overall interest 
in playing this role, though the District has not yet made a firm, contractual 
commitment . 

Initial conservation measures including baseline predator monitoring, 
predator barrier construction, and marsh restoration, will be funded as part of 
"up-front" development costs. Long-term funding for conservation activities will 
be specified in the Conservation Agreement, and will involve a standard mechanism 
such as an assessment district or a trust fund, or some combination. The funding 
mechanism will be structured to guarantee that funding will be available to 
assure that the mitigation for endangered species will compensate for whatever 
impacts have or will have occurred. 

P. 18 


P. 50 



P. 25 



P. 74 



P. 15 



f 2 

APPENDIX B - The Leslie 
Salt Division 
of Cargill 

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A Cargill Salt Report 


Dear Neighbor: 

Summer is approaching quickly, and we are entering the "making" phase of solar salt 
production, when salt crystals begin to precipitate in our crystallizer beds. As hap 
pens around this time of the year, we ve set our sights on the future. We look not 
just to our 1999 harvest, but also to future harvests: the upcoming years in which we con 
tinue to improve our -alt making process, and in which we continue to mature as a com 
pany and as individual employees. 

We also look back at a successful winter, which included a 
number of improvements in our operation, as well as the 
publication of the enclosed article in California Manufacturer 
magazine s February 1999 isue. 

The article describes how our salt making process is part 
of the ecological network of today s San Francisco Bay, pro 
viding habitat and feeding grounds for a million or more 
shorebirds and waterfowl. 

It also shows that Cargill is part of the economic network 
that underlies our South Bay communities, providing union 
jobs for hundreds of families in the area, purchasing goods 
and services from local businesses, and supporting education 
and community services. 

And as a feature in a magazine read by executives of 
manufacturing businesses throughout California the arti 
cle recognizes that our salt supports a network of jobs and 
industries throughout the West. 

The widely publicized debate over proposed mitigation 
plans for the San Francisco Airport expansion has captured 
headlines around the Bay, and it s covered in this article, as 
well. We strongly believe that our working salt ponds are an 
asset to the Bay Area, and that a narrowly focused proposal 

to close us down would do irreparable harm to the families who work here, the commu 
nities we live in, the industries we serve, and the diversity of wildlife that now thrives in 
the South Bay s unique ecosystem. 

We hope the enclosed article provides you with an informative look at our company 
and the role we play in the Bay Area. The salt industry began here nearly a century and a 
half ago because of the rare combination of natural conditions that make salt gathering 
economically viable. The salt industry has thrived here because of the remarkable people 
who have honed the art and science of solar salt production in the Bay Area, and the com 
munities they helped build. We look forward to a bright future as a productive member 
of the South Bav community. 

Our salt supports a network 
of jobs and industries 
throughout the West." 

Volujfie- 10; Number 1 

Catherine Gump 
Genera! Manager, Cargill Salt Western Region 


Cargill Salt has created the 
Claire Lopez Memorial 
Scholarship to assist a 
graduating Newark Memorial 
High School senior with his or her 
college education, and to honor a 
beloved salt company veteran. An 
award of SI ,000 will be presented 
to the chosen student. 

Claire Lopez remains a legend 
in the salt industry. The mechani 
cal salt harvester design Lopez 
helped develop in the 1920s and 
30s still plies the salt ponds today. 
Under his direction, the salt com 
pany developed salt production 
facilities in Napa, Redwood City 
and Port Hedland, Australia. 
Lopez rose to the position of chiel 
engineer for Leslie Salt, a position 
he held until his retirement in 

Claire Lopez was the consum 
mate mentor, imparting guidance 
and direct urn to young people. 
One man Lopez took under his 
wing Bill Dutra, now president 
of Dutra Enterprises in Santa 
Clara says his mentor motivat 
ed him to go to college. "Claire 
inspired me in that he was a self- 
made man who illustrated the 
ability that if you had the will and 
energy, you could educate your 
self," Dutra savs. "You re not 

The Bay .< EJW is a periodic report lo 
the community, employees and 
retirees on Cargill Salt activities We 
welcome your comments or questions 

For further information, please 

Jill Singleton 

Public Atf.iirs Manager 

Cargil! Salt 

7220 Central Avenue 

Newark, CA 54560 


going to find another Clam 

"Claire Lopez didn t fin 
ish high school, but 
there s no person we 
would rather honor 
with a scholar 
ship," says 
Catherine Gump, 
general manager 
ol Cargill Salt s 
Western Region. 
"He was a bril 
liant engineer, a 
devoted mentor 
and a strong propo 
nent of education as \ 
an avenue to the trea- \^ 
sures of the future. ^ 

Claire Lopez established, 
as much as anyone, the 
salt company s corporate 
culture the integrity, Mrong 
work ethic, the dedication to com 
munitv service and the forward- 

Claire Lopez 

thinking embrace of technology 
that continues to guide us. I m 
sure he would be proud to 
have his name associated 
with the rising young 
talents from our com 

Newark Schools 
Superintendent Ken 
Sherer welcomes 
the scholarship. 
"We are deeply 
grateful to Cargill 
Salt for establishing 
the Claire Lopez 
Memorial Scholar 
ship," he says. "Each 
year, it will inspire stu 
dents to honor this out 
standing person and to 
seek the linkage between 
education, work, and love 
of community all of which are 
essential to a successful and 
fulfilling life." 


Cargill Salt received a clean 
bill of health from the 
City of Newark following 
its annual inspection. The City 
of Newark is Cargill s Certified 
Unified Program Agency 
(CUPA), which is responsible for 
enforcing a variety of state envi 
ronmental regulations. The 5 1/2 
hour inspection examined 
Cargill s management of above- 
ground storage tanks, storage 
and use of hazardous materials, 
handling and disposal of haz 
ardous waste, oil spill preven 
tion, fire safety, stormwater 
management and employee 
training in environment, health 

and safety. The audit showed 
Cargill to be in full compliance 
with all state environmental 

The Newark refinery and Bay 
Area solar operation also earned 
top scores in an internal safety 
audit performed by Cargill. In 
many cases, Cargill s internal 
standards are more stringent 
than state and federal law. 

"The results of these audits 
illustrate how serious our people 
are in working safely and keep 
ing our environment clean," says 
general manager Catherine 
Gump. "We re proud of 
our record." 

The Bav f Edge is printed on 
recycled paper. 



7220 Central Ai f 

Newark. CA 94560-4206 

510/797-1820 1-800-3S1-1451- 

Fax: 510/790-3185 November 6, 1 998 

Mrs. Malca Chall 
Regional Oral History Office 
c/o 2 198 Oak Creek Place 
Hayward, CA 94541 

1 am writing to set the record straight. Recent news reports have chronicled the year-long 
campaign by one activist to close Cargill s salt-making operations in exchange for the San 
Francisco Bay International Airport s proposed new runway. We thought the scheme was far 
too ludicrous to be believed, but now we hear rumors are circulating that we have a secret 
agreement with the airport along these lines. 

This is false. Our sustainable industry has successfully har\csted sea salt from San Francisco 
Bay for nearly 150 years, and we intend to continue to produce salt here. 

This activist s proposal is unreasonable and unfair. To "pay" for a loss of less than one-tenth 
of 1 percent of open water, the airport is expected to toss Cargill Salt out and convert 29.000 
acres of salt ponds and industrial properties to marsh. That s a ratio of nearly 75 to 1 - 
absurdly out of balance for a project that stands to benefit the entire region. Clearly, this is 
not about offsetting the as-yet-unknown impacts of a new runway: it s a cynical land grab. 

Our salt ponds are home to more than 70 species of shorebirds and waterfowl as well as a 
host of other wildlife. My co-workers, many of whom are second, third and even fourth 
generation salt workers, take great pride in protecting this environment while producing a 
wide range of high quality products that supply thousands of California businesses and 

We all want better airport safety and sen ice and a healthy bay. We do not have to choose 
between a new runway and an established San Francisco Bay industry, with its good union 
jobs and unique ecosystem. There are more reasonable and worthy alternatives. 

Please don t hesitate to contact me or Jill Singleton if you would like to discuss this issue 

Thank you, 

Catherine Hay 
General Manager 

Sa\t Company, 

s lruauon J lsn t fixed., the! eri 

yfot Its new runway. . ", *r - 

*n.j. -".a ?-*, ** .* . i. ~-- *> y^- 1 " - 


sald other 

pwned by Cargill Salt Company, 
|us ? ,12,pOO v ^cre| 1 |of federal 

The site is one of only two in 
United States where the 

can hajjyest*?alt from , , 
coastal waters, and Us only" site 
- " a Coast^produ * 

salt from. 


jyorlcj jWheje,- ag ,-all-na 

fiarvest caa*^^ eJa^ f -.4^jgbKsman ^an W^son 
^leton said. "It s sa^ftot^alrpo^t has" had 
: s gtf&io the Bay . "fihendhj*dlscusslbhs *with Car- 
> i .J;.^. giti ajb^bjuyinfijthe fend. But if 
toth . sldei-tfftMK dispute^ &m$K$fes seH^the- , 
would rielfc^the - ivirt : J^^I^KBeWTl^it of emi- 

ta Jo tafre _pvy_..the .. 


-report stating^ J 1 ^ 
that the^aft nVreaTaltCTna^ 

f tives to ^/_alip6if^f massive*: 5?I 

Kfunway eipansipri^prbpbsal isV P r( 

Scorning under Ore for being toon?* 

fe limited ta - perspective and too \, ^ -.--- i 

"tied to tbVabVtself-lnterest3fe Tr^sportation,, Commission 

-ji ~, consortium^ 4 

^*..^lt-- .- "^ *? JSf* * 

, shi^^ 

TieVdtiierj groups na- 
Bay Area s three aif - 



Ite-* What critics.f.want,, and may^ ; . 
.^ get- from - a group of Bay Areife* ~*~~ . ^- 

^.governmental agencies, is an itf..". ^ a ^;? ald ^1. ^P 6 * *5 
(f dependentfr.Jlnlriced study that-- fhady^ begin in February apd 

.. ,j ."^ . - - J , TQV aKnitf o t*ort**- . . ..rJ *I :i._ 

.will consider taore reglonal-sp- 

One .of- the largest 1 Bay fltt 
^projects to history, the airport* 

plan would build new runways 
. by. filling as much as/ 1,400 
f acres. Work could cost up to S2 

billion and fif; designed/., to 
^ comply with federal regulations 
f "to space runways/wlder, apart,.* 
fe -w The. airport s "studyVjust re- 
T leased by P&jD>vlatlon of Oalf- 
land," rejec^vany regional 
v- solutions ^ .s uch as diverting 
, trafBc to otHi&^alrporjfe^ for 

dealing 1 with flight delays, alr- 
. plane noise, Increasing, air 
: traffic and a future filled with 
jharger planes. .^:;JJ-".f 
|>,."It ! s hard tojtelieve,,.^-.^,^ 
! an In dependent /analysis when 
Uvnir see T> whoV paying for "It," 

about the runway projects 
., ronmental impacts yej. t 

studied, speculating that when 

BayVVsoft/ mujS^ tt .couTcT push 

th e mud up"onto the shorelines, 
causing flooding. ^"- ^~ ^\,-:,J^ 
^~i P $3 ^Srttdfsmi^s 

|V n^CSt ^W-. 1_K U JLt 

. id solve the 


^ ^^o^p^ptfiod 
.more.yenly t c"buldto- 

^^*^!lfef^. ^ 





ector of 4K Save SanFrancIscb 

will be 


tr n- 

plants In N 

J - - : 1 --, 

owned companies In the world. It has 82,- 

000 employees at more than IjOOO teca- 

west part of the bay and 2,000 acres 
of theDumbarton 811^ : * 

, Committee spokeswoman Florence 
viere said the group wants alljof CareuTs 

largest go\ernm 
toiy. CarglB * 
thousands ofjtcfes of salt ponds* alongjhe 
San francIsccuBaK apparentll including 
-acres nSrth of {he Dumbarton Bridge, 
Mrge jKohlfcr, IjenCTjJ ^manager ^fofj the 
EdwardT SanFrancisco Bay Refuge, 

. , 

.confirmed thai talks-aive -under wy and,that ^U^C 8 . Jhat,^ 6 , negotiations, are Jpcusl 
-the land woilfd be for "a federal and itate aboul 16.XXX) acreS located ofl^the 
wildlife presen^. , ,..*Vl\i | . 
^. "We have Seen" thinking about for quite 
a long time, IJiave no Idea how close we are 
|to an agreement), but . we are certainly 
working on It" Kohler said. " h ^ : 
,jthe Wal| Street Jom-naf repdrted 
Wednesday ffiat CargUl Is n egoiiatlngjwlth 
state and federal environmental officials 
over 1 8,000 lacres of salt pondl In the San 
Francisco Bay Area r ^^. r-,1 . 

The nego^ations could stir ip a heated 
controversy JDver the:jieed,to expand" run- 
rays at San Francisco International Airport 
tiy filling in Dart of thebay. - c - 

lori Johnson, spokesperso for Garglll, 
sB* |he t , -cotnpany^has b^efl ?ngageil for 
Any^earsyith regulatory a| incies^boui 
ne* land s- ftlrure. She empha ized at no" 
jgreement has been reached. : 

"It s no sScret mey have ha< a strojig in- 
erest 1n the future of the sail pondi." she 

"- : - --- - 

^ ^ 

"X -OfhM 

rig _ __ __ 


SIM:- ~<% 

company s 


mlUlon, pencjing tKe outcome 6t"a 
tate appraisal. "" ^ 
an acre, 
"" praised 



1994, the 
CaYglD sfco: 

^ "es 

equals about $16.00( 

sold ly CargUl to the fctate li 

on thetamount. . 

i _ * tir z OT7 

acreage |thoi 

29,000 acres of land purchasfdi not just fe.excltlngto 
18.00Q acreSi^! ^ ir , .,..- >$ . ,i - * . 7* *f r . 
, "It is very Important that atyof theSand You f"gj a i s ^> k 
be restored so It can begin to resemble what 
It was 150 years ago," LaRlvlo-e said. "It 
must go back to the public to; ensure the 
health of <he bif/Va* t > .,.^^ ^^ ^^, ., 

The committee also will figSt to epsur^^ wlm Cargjll. as have ____ 
that, before any public moneyTs sperit, the the Envlr^nmentol. Protecfloj) 
salt ponds value be appraised as Ian 4 that 
can not be developed. This wiH prevegt the 

sources Ajgeri<^ 
Is tw kta 



Nichols; has -fceea .Involved to 

Fish ., 
of Engineers, the. State Lands 

suring tnaTany contamination. on the^prop^ contr 
erty such as bittern ponds, which o]>ntam~ Ooi 3 
waste from the salt-making pfbcess fc- m fl 

and stateJ-De 

i9sM > 

^^>PhA;-tA. n 


save somttrf 

: organlza 

g. re 

double lu size and coy 
every Bay siforeliie*ou 


educaQon^center ^ 

APPENDIX C - Don Edward; 
S.F. Bay National Wild 
life Refuge 

iirf f ui i * _ 


JE-* gpvernjnenfs 
Spdarigered "t?? 5 threatened. 
. : -species list, there are faun- 
flreds yet^b be Usje d: : 
^",16? pfocess is, islow be^ 
se the Ustffi^ depart-" 
itlslshort-staffed afa d 

f 7SS^l"ri.jf- "-.>-<;. 

^Dt.ah e. 


being squeezea eut 

i I mifF -. --*. r-- _ . _r- -. 7 * 



M** i ifcw* 


- - 

i ^^kg ^i^^^ TJNmnMpiE^ 

lajMs. expected, .to- appros^., 
|5; million, for wetlands to 
offseti the effects of alrpoii" i- 

^- *$rA areas 

, . _ ion 

%]of-the Bay. 
leratlng" some of 
_ Hcbx salfl "- : 

l . * > -1 _ . i"* " - .^^^^kiVHhdBf *" t. A * * t~ - A- - ft T*^^^ ocuu. .):" 

aj6r?beJeflciaW J oT t&!nTQ n ^ l iraDJO^I^^ w^ter" quality 
Kl^ iaiernaapnal ito- control bgSia^equiiai-ihe air- 

iiH rfronir^C r * iiiif^ i77~i"l~r^ r ~iffii IJTI P r 

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center 

4901 Breakwater Ave . Hayward, CA 94&5 


A Rich And Colorful Past 

For thousands of years, Ohlone Indians Irved a We o* 
ccm cr and simplicity around th* sn<ye of Sa/i Francisco Bay 
He e. the Indians hunlec tn plentiful pa-rte n th marshes 
harvested orass^Tds bnmmng wfi? d* teeds bufcs and 
be-nes and foraged sfteBfen along the mudftafc 

Bcf trw age o" wane exploration oon nauaw; In* B*y. 
frv eipored by Sc*nB.>-. K**r* n 1 765 S tft me. 
r s*xy^r has e*n th s o* bustkog activity 

n lh 1850-s lo take ovantaoe <* V* 
t>Lnoa.T ane porfrtatte brt M Soon. East Bay lowns were 
fcWfyns jnexuri goods to the growing San Franctscc 
rrwtuyofcs Passengers anc goods were femec across the 
Bay by sn3s that saied bar> and forth with the tides twee 
daity rtc convenient marsh channels along the waterfront 
Stumps of turtw at landing sres along the trail can still be 
seen protruding from the mudflats as remnants of this 
colorful era. 

Salt harvesting began in 1854 when John Johnson 
leveed natural pools in the salt rrarsh, the first harbinger ot 
an industry which is now a multi-million dollar, world-wide 
venture. Family salt companies went through boom and bust 
until bought out by the Leslie Salt Company m the 1930"s 

Other endeavors such as oyster farming, the hunting ot 
waterfowl for market and development of duck hunting clubs 
contributed to the shoreline history. By 1950, the natural 
resources had decreased and public access restricted by the 
land s private owners. 

In 1969, the Haywa d Area Recreation and Park 
District initiated plans to return the marsh to tidal action. 
establish public trails, build an interpretive center and 
provide open space for area residents. The formation of the 
Hayward Shoreline Planning Age_ncy (HASPA) in 1976 set the 
stagejor the resulting land acquisition and development. 
Today, more than 1 .800 acres are open tor public use and 
pians have been made for (uther orotect on of this delicate 


Save San Frand. 
Bay Associate 



After more than a decade of unwa 
vering dedication and collaboration 
by local citizen activists, Bair Island - the 
largest, unprotected, restorable wetland in the South 
Bay - has been saved from development. 

In January, the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) 
negotiated an agreement to purchase Bair Island for 
$15 million from its owners, the Kumagai-Cumi 
Corporation. Made possible by two loans from 
anonymous sources, POST now seeks to repay the 
loans through private donations and a $10 million 
appropriation from the federal Land and Water 
Conservation Fund. 

Once funding is secure, POST will transfer ownership 
of Bair Island to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as 
an addition to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay 
National Wildlife Refuge for permanent protection 
management, and restoration. 

Located in Redwood City, Bair Island is home to three 
endangered species: the 
California clapper rail, the 
salt marsh harvest mouse, 
and the California Least 
tern, in addition, 126 
species of birds and 13 dif 
ferent mammals live or 
feed on the Island. The 
1,626 acres of Bair Island 
purchased by POST will 
enable the entire 3,200 
acre area to be restored to 
a rich tidal wetland habitat 

The agreement to preserve 
Bair Island marks a tri 
umphant victory in an 

Years o Effort Saves 

Bair teianc 

inspiring effort by local resi 
dents who raised their voices and 
took action to protect their environment. 

Determined to thwart a massive development 
proposal for Bair Island in 1982, Carolyn and 
Ralph Nobles of the Friends of Redwood City suc 
cessfully educated and motivated thousands of 
local voters to defeat the proposal via referendum. 

Another local couple, Florence and Phil LaRiviere, 
formed the Citizen s Committee to Complete the 
Refuge in 1985, with the goal of doubling the size of 
the refuge to include Bair Island and all other wet 
lands remaining in the South Bay. 

In 1991, POST joined the effort and produced a stun 
ning video on Bair Island to help educate the public 
and decision makers on the Island s value and the 
need to preserve it. 

Through the years, other organizations including the 

Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Audubon Society, Sierra 
Club Chapters, and Save 
The Bay joined these 
individuals to carry on 
a persistent, grassroots 
campaign to educate the 
public and advocate for 
the sale and preservation 
of Bair Island. 

Now with $15 million 
hanging in the balance to 
Bair Island s fate, you can 

What You Can Do: 

Write to the *- PACE 8 



[Measure HH 9/4/98 2:59 PM 



m MEASURE HH: "Shall the City of Hayward yS 
change the General Plan designation on approx 
imately 155.5 acres of the South of 92 Area 
Oliver and Weber properties from Open Space-Baylands to 
Open Space-Parks and Recreation, Residential-Low Density, and Industrial 
Corridor, to allow for the complete implementation of the City approved 
Specific Plan which includes a mixed use single family residential-business 
development, business park, light manufacturing area, sports park, open 
space buffer, wetlands preservation area, and two neighborhood parks?" 




BE IT RESOLVED by the People of the City of Hayward as follows: 

1. BACKGROUND. On February 17, 1998. the City Council of the City of 
Hayward held a public hearing and adopted Resolution No. 98-028, certifying 
an Environmental Impact Report for the Specific Plan for the South of 92 plan- 
ring area, located west of Hesperian Boulevard, south of Industrial Boulevard, 
and north of the Old Alameda Creek ("South of 92 Area"); approving certain 
General Policies Plan map designation changes, and required voter approval of 
the change in designations for properties in the South of 92 Area currently des 
ignated as Open Space-Baylands; and adopting the South of 92 Specific Plan. 
This Resolution was considered by the voters at the November 1998 election, 
and constitutes a determination that to approve the change in designation of 
those properties in the South of 92 Area currently designated as Open Space- 
Baylands described herein. 

affected by this resolution are the 130.5-acre Oliver West Property and a 25-acre 
portion of property owned by Mr. John Weber, located west of the Union 
Pacific/Southern Pacific railroad tracks, which are both designated as Open 
Space-Baylands on the General Policies Plan Map. These properties are gener- 



Measure HK 9/4/98 2:59 PM 


ally depicted on the map anached and incorporated as Exhibit A to this resolu 
tion. The Oliver West Property, owned by the Oliver Trust, contains approxi 
mately 130.5 acres, and is proposed for a change in designation from Open 
Space-Baylands to Residential-Low Density and Open Space-Parks and 
Recreation. A 25-acre portion of the total 80.5 acre property owned by Weber 
("the Weber Property") is proposed for a change in designation from Open 
Space-Baylands to Industrial Corridor. 

Plan Map is hereby amended, in the manner generally depicted in Exhibit A, to 
change the land use designations for portions of the South of Route 92 Area 
from Open Space-Baylands to a different land use designation, as follows: 

a. Oliver West Property (approximately 123 acres): from Open Space- 
Baylands to Residential-Low Density. 

b. Oliver West Property (approximately 7.5 acres): from Open Space- 
Baylands to Open Space-Parks and Recreation. 

c. Weber Property (approximately 25 acres): from Open Space-Baylands 
to Industrial Corridor. 

4. DIRECTION TO THE CITY COUNCIL. The City Council is hereby autho 
rized to take any steps which it determines are appropriate to carry out the pro 
visions of this Resolution, including but not limited to the approval of further 
changes to the General Policies Plan Map designation of the properties affect 
ed by this Resolution. 

5. Ehr-hCnVE DATE. All policies approved by this Resolution shall take 
effect upon the voters approval of this Resolution. 





-edsure HH 9/4/98 2:59 PM 


Dear Friend, 

Measure HH completes a historic City of Hayward planning process, which has 
already resulted in the permanent preservation of 850 acres of open space by the 
Wildlife Conservation Board. 

Now Measure HH will help create a new 25 acre sports park with lighted soft- 
ball and soccer fields and basketball courts, two new neighborhood parks, and 
an opportunity to extend the Bay Trail to the Union City line. Passage of 
Measure HH means kids and families will have a safe place to spend their time. 
It will be a great place for after-school recreation activities and for company 
teams to play their league games. That s why the Hayward Area Recreation and 
Park District endorses this entire plan. 

This historic package will also provide a huge boost to our local economy. The 
new business park campus will help bring over 3.500 high-paying, high-tech 
jobs - right across the street from the new Pepsi plant. 

This complete "mixed-use" plan, at the intersection of Hesperian and Industrial, 
including the sports park, open space, business park, single-family homes and 
new jobs will also generate over 5600,000 of new revenue each year for our 
community. This new money can be used in our neighborhoods for things like 
fire protection and Neighborhood Watch programs. 

Even the proceeds from the sale of this land will go back into the community, 
because the Oliver Family donated it to local charities. Now those charities are 
selling it with a pledge to use the proceeds to continue improving the lives of 
people in the Hayward area. 

This plan is a step toward a brighter tomorrow for Hayward. Please join us in 
Voting Yes on Measure HH. We owe it to our kids, our families and our future. 

s/Charlie Plummer, Alameda County Sheriff 
s/Jackie Grissom, President, Hayward Area Historical Society 
s/Matt "Mateo" Jimenez, Hayward City Council Member 
s/Dick Sheridan, Board Member, Hayward Area Recreation and Park District 
s/Fran Baskin, Founder, Aunt Franny s Make A Wish Foundation 
Softball Tournament 


[Measure HH 9/4/93 2:59 PM P; 


Please vote NO to save Hayward s endangered Baylands. Measure HH violates 
Hayward s General Plan Open Space Element identifying the Baylands as a 
threatened resource. 

You are the last hope for this land and its creatures: thousands of wintering 
waterfowl and shoreblrds, endangered and threatened species, and the burrow 
ing owl. 

Residential development in the floodplain west of the railroad tracks will sub 
sidize a business park that should be able to pay its own way. A 12-foot high 
platform is needed to raise the homes above flood level. This would require 
thousands of round trips by large dump trucks hauling tons of din daily across 
town from the hills to the baylands for 18 months. It is questionable whether 
this engineered fill will suffice to protect the home purchasers. 
The Ciry of Hayward and the Hayward Area Shoreline Planning Agency have 
long planned to save these valuable lands west of the railroad tracks - seasonal 
wetlands and uplands - as special wildlife habitats because they are needed for 
nesting, roosting, and refuge during high water. Agencies like the California Wild 
life Conservation Board have included the Oliver West and Weber properties on 
lists of land to purchase for wildlife. Acquisition would give the historical soci 
ety and the church the money they expect without destroying the environment. 
The Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge, which has been enormously 
successful in finding funds, is confident that funds can be found to save this land 
for future generations. We want to help the church and the historical society 
receive fair value for the Oliver Trust property, but developers should not profit 
by destroying Hayward s Baylands. Once open space is gone, it s gone forever. 
sA r iola Saima-BarkJow, Chair, Committee To Save Open Space and 

President, Ohlone Audubon Society 
s/Minane Jameson, Board Member, Hayward .Area Recreation and 

Park District (HARD) 

s/Glenn Kirby, Alameda County Park Recreation and Historical Commissioner 
s/Sherman Lewis, Chair. Hayward Area Planning Association 
s/Gail Steele, Alameda County Supervisor, District 2 



i ! 


Baylands Crisis in Hayward 

Hay ward voters are urged lo vote NO on Measure HH on 
November 3. 10 save Hav ward s Open Space-Baylands 
If the South of Route 92 Specific Plan development is approved, it will 
overturn decades-old protection of the Hayvvard Area Shoreline and set 
precedent for other shoreline development schemes on San Francisco 

Bay That s why Measure HH must be defeated! 1 If you are not a 

Havward voter, there are several ways you can help oppose 
Measure HH (see below) / I 

The development scheme is to build 578 homes on twelve feet 

of landfill in a floodplam on Open Space-Baylands. The site is 

west of the railroad tracks near Hesperian and Industrial Boulevards in Hayvvard across from tne 
Pepsi Plant. This land has been identified for inclusion in the Don Fdwards San Francisco Bay 
National Wildlife Refuge since the 1980 s The residential development would be in the midst 
of protected wetlands and critical wildlife habitat. Landfill will be iruc}ed in from a quarry on 
the east side of Hayvvard. along Industrial for 18 months - 10 hours a day. 800 truck trips per day 

Adverse impacts include loss of seasonal wetlands and uplands used as feeding, nesting, and 
roosting sites by thousands of waterfowl and shorebirds. and refuge for small mammals The 
L .S Fish and Wildlife Service has described these lands as essential habitat for the conservation 
of the endangered California clapper rail and salt marsh harvest mouse Adjacent bavlands are 
being restored js habitat for clapper rails and snowy plovers. 

Measure HH is on the Havward ballot because a group of grassroots open space advocates were 
successful in getting a city ordinance requiring voter approval befoie changing zoning for land 
designated as open space The Committee to Save Open Space (CSOS) is now leading the 
campaign opposing Measure HH 

What can you do "* If you are a Havward voter, please vote NO on Measure HH. If you are an 
advocate for the environment. San Francisco Bay. the bavlands, or the Refuge, you can help save 
Hay ward s threatened bavlands by volunteering your time to make phone calls or gather pledges 
to vote No. or by making a campaign donation (We need funds to mail one or more educational 
campaign pamphlets.) 

Please contact the Committee to Save Open Space (CSOS) at PO Box 657. Havward. CA 
94543-0657, phone 510-886-4730. fax 510-886-4031 Also: 510-471-0475 or 510-471-1521 

Yes, I would like to help CSOS defeat Measure HH on November 3! 1 will 

] Siun a pledge to vote No on Measure HH (Hayuard \oters only) 

] Gather pledges 10 vote No 

] Allow my name 10 he used as endorsing the campaign against Measure HH 

] Make a donation 10 the Committee to Save Open Space* Amount S. 

] Make phone calls 
| J Other dell us what \ou d like to do) 








Figure E-i 

CSOS Camoaign Septemtxzt 76 7956 


TUESDAY November 17, 1998 

Hayward vote 
turnout shows 
local concern 

By Karen Hotzmeister 


HAYWARD Hayward i 
dismal voter lurnoui in recent 
years is on the upswing, per 
haps because of voter concern 
over locaJ candidates and elec 
tion issues. 

Results from the Nov. 3 gen 
eral election showed an overall 
Hayward voter turnout of 50.2 
percent. Including 45.6 percent 
of the voters who cast ballots on 
1 Measure HH. the baylands de- 
4 velopment issue. 

In June, when mayoral and 
City Council candidates were on 
the ballot. 41 percent of the 
voters turned out for the elec 
tion. City Clerk Angelina Reyes 

In previous years, perhaps 17 
percent to 22 percent of the reg 
istered voters went to the polls. 
Reyes said Monday. 

"It was a very important gu 
bernatorial election and there 
also was a very important local 
issue." Reyes said In explaining 
the high turnout. "(Hayward) 
Measure HH was at the very end 
(of the ballot), but people didn t 
seem to mind the long ballot." 

Unofficial tallies compiled by 

the Alameda County Registrar 
of Voters Office showed that 
26.378 of Hayward s 52.445 
voters cast their ballots Nov. 3. 

Of those voters. 13.413 voted 
in favor of Measure HH and 
10.522 voted against it. 

Measure HH asked if the 
city s general plan should be re 
vised to allow 155.5 acres south 
of State Route 92 to be changed 
from open space to residential, 
industrial corridor, and parks 
and recreation uses. 

Voter approval will allow that 
land to be merged with 176 ad- 
Joining acres to produce a S378 
million complex of 578 homes. 
a business park, light manufac 
turing, a small commercial 
center, a 25-acre sports park 
and two smaller parks. 

Measure HH gave voters a 
voice in the future of the city s 
largest remaining undeveloped 
fladands area, an issue compli-. 
cated by the site s location 
about 2.5 miles east of the Hay- 
ward shoreline. 

The measure passed in 67 of 
Hayward s 81 precincts, as well 
as in absentee balloting. 


ju&Toff Hesperian B 
" MJnloii^ 

jw^ jcpwne<l 
park ; lanft 

<i_i v 11 V.IAJ LUC > . .. ^ 

border; I show four Softball 
fields; three soccav fields"; play, 

ad,- picnic^ areas, a concession 




gene . ..- - 

the land wfflLcpst at least $6.25 

K wlfl coritribule $3 mflhon. 

ie complex 
evening - 

play sipy day.-pf 
. that ifs-^riol-PTalnlng.- 
arias., "Right now we-pracfla 
Castro .Valley 
;. .but we ; ould do so 
nuch morjp .i^wlt^ additional 
flaces to play,T f ^ 4^4 ftr^> 
The new jjublic sports park 
j^i hjis. part .0^ a major resl- 
in tlal and^commerclal deyel- 
* south of Jhe JHa; " 1 - 

members and HARD d|- 
. met t6 review , sports 
deslfln plans . "But the dis- 
^a.m^L.^ money or 


^orsed by voters In 1998. 

The 251 -acre 
aclude 538 houses. , 

fr ciai and l^ht manu 



While Investments keep (he 
*---_- r .v >- fund growing, jive percent of the 

JOG*} .* fl r )fL.. JH * a. 3 i J money wifl be given" annually to 
i hnagine inheriting millions of help .the Hayward-areaxxMnmu- 

dollars. Now imagine deciding " nlty! said Jim Phiiilps rchair of 
;to give some of it away. How^a-.v the board"ofihe Eden Area 

would^ou decide who to give - Foundation: -.< . *- < 

r : That s ttie. dilemma facing 1 ; 

congregation members at Eden Just what causes they are going; 
United Church of Christ. This" V to support with grants^ ^ \ f ! 
year, the 20p-member churcfir .? i 
expects to begin receiving some * 
, of about $ 10 million it will in 

congregation vriUT>e~figuring~bui 
t causes they are going; 
rt with grantst. . u;; Vi" 

. _____ .~r~-t~. - 
. Th eir inheritance co mes fro 

a late church member, Ald^n 

Oliver, and his nephew.- -y^ 

toleave nioney to. and 

of a family widely known 

gop^ stewards^or <hls"taoney? ) 


" asked, the RCT. Lydia Ferrante : \ 
7. . Roseberry. the newly -hired as^ ; 
Both had no children y; sociale minister of mission out- 

^reacli and growth, sitting to her 
*; ofllofepne day last month, sip- 
^jiin^ea,,; ^^^^"j \ 
^fv,"(This m bneyj is both ^ 
"blesstag anffa -curse . Because 

" people have all sorts of Issues 
around money," she saidttt ; ; - 

f- ^jtf* teta*3f , - 

~ The church ~was named^s*a 
. beneficiary of Thej)liverTrus{ , : 
"in Pit 1980s. But politics and 
" land deals have kept much of , 

business; ^, j..->--- \-^.^ 

-\ TheVnly stipulation to ttie { 
money is that it must bfe used 
for "local church purposes.* 1 7 . 
And ihjoming months, that wfll 
send the congregation into 
something of a soul-search^ ; : 

Congregation members have 
already decided that some Vr. v 
money will be used to renovate : 
the church building, including ^ 
the 1 3!>yeaF-oicf chapel "once - 
inbved"acr6ss"lowTi to Its cur-~" 
rentlcjcation on Birch Street; .? 
That"moye was done with the: *Z 
help of Adolph Oliver, me father 

the mhei1taii(^fToni feacliin2i 

the church iuitil 


liH998; despite opposition 
from some ^nvironmeniaiister 
voiers apprpyed.-tae aevelopj j 
of mbre^ thari 330 acres j 

They ve also decided that 
Vnost of the money will be put - 
Into the Eden Area Foundation, 
a new non-profit corporation . < .. 
separate from the church. fe" 

bayshore lands owned by 11 
Oliver Trust inlo homes, busi--- 
nesses and parks^ j gi5j;i,u 

:t The Hayward Area Historicak 
Society, along with the churCh. 
wffl benefit from the deat J - 

e long wait Jqr 

the money a blessing.becausfe. 
" ^^ 

had time 

psj^hp is a longtime ^, . 
^church member. Is also a <*& 
lawyef ^ who specializes in estate 
planninfeand tryst 3aw. ***:? k 

OK *?.. 

. .^n often-quoted statistic says.,. 
that the average inheritance is 
t 1 7 months, 

To help irTpIannlng, the - . *. 

church hired Ferrante-Rose- ; 
Lberry. a minister orilained in 
s the Unitarian Universalist 

church with a background in , 

community organizing! 

Eventually, "a "minister from 
an Ohio denominaQonal office 
will be brought in to lead dis- - 
cussions on how to use the - - 
money, Philh ps said. 

j. ;./lt helps ensure that^every- 
, one s voice win be heard, it 
^giiarante that flieperson ln : 
1: charge has no hidden agenda 
and it helps us co me to con- , 
serisus. r Phillips said. ? 

---- .*. C < rrr i v 

The church is in the midst of 
growth and change, and not 
. only because of its inheritance. 

. .:, . . : -v^J-^_ ; - ff .: -; 

; Like many American 
"churches , it has seen a signifi 
cant drop in attendance since 
the 1940s and 1950s, when 
membership in the now 200- 
member church swelled to 1,- 
500, Ferrante-Roseberry said. 

About six months ago, with 
, money from the sale of the Ol- 
iver home, the church began of 
fering American Sign Language 
interpretation at worship serv 
ices. That has attracted more " 

A few years ago, the congre 
gation became "open and af- - 
firming," which means they 
welcome anyone regardless of 
their sexual orientation. 

And the church s soon-ex- 
pected inheritance, will add an- 
other ripple of change one 
that will give them opportunities 
many churches do not have. 

."Most churches have limited 

resources for doing outreach."^ 

.Phillips sald^ Now well be able 

_to do alot of good you can t do 

without financial resources." - 


INDEX- -Baumberg Tract Oral History Project 

airplane design, history of, 86- 


Anner, Laura Adams, 83-84 
Audubon Society, Hayward Area 

Chapter: Ohlone, 14, 15, 325, 

338, 339a,b 

Bailin, Richard, 130, 132, 135, 
150, 220 

Bair Island, 25-26, 27,195, 283. 
See also Appendix C 

Baumberg Tract, passim. 

Baumberg Tract Wildland 

Restoration Project, 23-28, 
61-63, 106-108, 115-116, 171- 
173, 194, 201-212, 281-297, 
330-335. See also California 
Wildlife Conservation Board 

Bay Meadows racetrack, 126-127 

BayKeeper, 346-347 

California Environmental Quality 
Act (CEQA), 22, 184, 260 

California Horse Racing Board, 

California Nurses Association, 83 

California State, Department of 
Fish and Game, 22, 24, 25, 56, 
61, 62, 184, 186, 202, 203-204, 
211, 220, 231, 274-296 passim 

California State Lands Commission. 
See public trust doctrine 

California Water Resources Control 
Board (WRCB), 22 

California Wildlife Conservation 
Board, 6, 8, 23, 25-28, 171, 
201-202, 204, 207, 282-283, 331 

Cargill Company: 

Baumberg Tract Restoration 

Project, 282-283, 288-289, 

Cargill Company (cont d.) 

legal issues, 70-71, 346-348, 


Shorelands Project, 26, 66-67, 
101, 102-103, 152-174, 202, 

San Francisco Airport runway 
expansion, 291-292, 335- 
336, 348-356 
See also Leslie Salt and 

Appendix B 

Citizens Committee to Complete the 
[San Francisco Bay National 
Wildlife] Refuge (CCCR) , 25- 
26, 291, 338, 345-348 
Citizens for Alameda s Last 

Marshlands (CALM), 290, 345 
Clean Water Act, 9, 16-17, 20, 
68, 69, 72, 187-188, 210, 240, 
275, 280 

Coakley, Frank, 94-95 
Cogswell, Howard, 1-74, 166, 322, 

academic career, 36-58 
background and education, 

opinions on Shorelands, 12-23, 

110, 121 
research on birds, 34-35, 39- 

42, 45-54, 56-58, 125 
Cole, Carolyn, 181, 182, 185 
Cooper, Roberta G., 299-312 
Corps of Engineers. See United 
States Corps of Engineers 

DeBartolo, Edward, 143 
Delfino, Frank, 290, 318, 339, 

342-344, 346a,b 
Delfino, Janice, 6, 123-124, 290- 

291, 313-353 
Douglass, Robert C., 5, 6, 103, 

125, 132, 152-174, 257-258 


East Bay Regional Park District, 
8, 24, 107, 110-111, 123-124, 
126, 170-171, 202, 205, 211, 
289-290, 322, 
Edwards, Don, 105, 118 
Endangered Species (Act): 

vernal pools and creeks, 339- 


wetland habitat, 21, 22-23, 
24, 165, 185, 186, 188-191, 
195, 200, 201, 204-205, 210, 
250-251, 254, 255-256, 261, 
263, 266, 276, 279, 284-285 
Environmental Impact Reports/ 

Environmental Impact Statements 
(EIR/EIS), 183-188, 237, 254- 
255, 260, 277 

environmental laws, regulations, 
agencies assessment of, 65- 
72, 162-167, 193, 202-204, 225 
242-243, 257-258, 259-261, 279- 
280, 290-291, 338-352 
Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA), 18, 20, 127, 227, 258 

Hayward Area Shoreline Planning 
Agency (HASP/,), 20, 60,69, 
122, 322-324, 325, 326, 327, 
Hayward city of: 

Shorelands, 22, 100-101, 104- 
105, 114, 126, 127-128, 131, 
133-134, 168-169, 182-183, 
186, 231, 237, 241, 302-310, 

Proposition HH, 112, 68-69, 
173, 281, 308-310. See also 
Appendix D 

Irvine Ranch, 66 

Josselyn, Michael, 70, 72, 339- 

Kelly, Paul, 60, 186, 231, 254, 
275, 278 

Feeney, Leora, 131, 190, 229-230, 

275, 345 
Fish and Game Department. See 

California State, Department of 

Fish and Game 
Fish and Wildlife Service. See 

United States Fish and Wildlife 

Foreman, Steve, 61, 62, 132, 175- 

214, 256, 267, 284-285 

Golden Gate Audubon Society, 32, 

Golden Gate Fields, (racetrack), 

126, 143 

Hall, Nori G., 222-223 

Hayward Area Recreation and Park 

District, 6, 13-14, 63, 69 
Hayward Area Shoreline 

Interpretive Center, 8, 24 

Legge, Charles, 71, 347, 348 
Leslie Salt Company, 5-21, 25, 
26, 27-28, 59, 62, 70-72, 114, 
116, 118, 125, 127, 128, 132, 
187, 192, 258. See also 
Cargill Company and Appendix B 

Marine World-Africa USA, 124-125, 


McGinnis, Sam, 182, 184 
Miller, Albert J., 137 
Mills, Carolyn, 181 

Baumberg Tract Restoration, 

23-24, 283-284 212, 228-230, 
253-256, 265, 276 
Oakland Airport, 342 
Roberts Landing, 212 
San Francisco Airport runway 
expansion, 66-67, 335-336 


mitigation (cont d.) 

Shorelands Project, 13-14, 15, 
16-19, 59, 71-72, 159, 160- 
164, 192-196, 228-230, 153- 
256, 265, 276, 277, 278 
Molnar, George, 205, 210 
Murray, Richard, 59, 110, 115, 
116, 130-131, 142, 150, 166, 
197, 213, 224, 227, 228-230 

National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) , 184, 260-261 

O Connor, Thomas, 95 

Oliver, Alden, 69 

Oliver Gordon, 12, 13, 69, 101- 
102, 122, 327 

Oliver Salt property (and Oliver 
Trust), 6, 63, 68, 69, 281, 
308-310, 327, 330, 331. See 
also Hayward, city of, 
Proposition HH 

Passarello, John, 26-27 
Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), 


Perry Gun Club, 9, 12, 13, 122 
predation, concerns with, 133, 

162-163, 197-199, 232-236, 257- 

258, 276, 336-337 
property tax, assessors scandal, 

Proposition 70, 25, 282, 283. 

See also Glossaary 
public trust doctrine, 10, 20-21, 


Regional Water Quality Control 
Board. See San Francisco Bay 
Regional Water Quality Control 

Reid, Thomas Associates, 129, 
130-131, 199, 200, 219-220, 
263. See also Weissman, Karen 

Roberts Landing (San Leandro), 
212, 280, 342-345 

San Francisco Bay Area Wetlands 

Goals Project, 64-65, 196, 

292-294, 335-336 
San Francisco Bay Conservation and 

Development Commission (BCDC), 

62, 280 
San Francisco Bay National 

Wildlife Refuge, 7, 18, 21, 

70, 106-107, 118, 165, 226, 346 

(also known as Don Edwards San 

Francisco Bay National Wildlife 

San Francisco Bay Regional Water 

Quality Control Board, 201, 

210, 283, 346, 347, 348 
Save San Francisco Bay 

Association, 342, 348-349, 351 
Shepherd, Paul, 103, 125, 158 
Shockley, Barbara, 124, 322 
Shorelands Project. See Thorpe, 

John; related entries 
Sorensen, Peter, 103, 131, 186, 

225-226, 231-232, 235, 236, 

238, 245-269 

Steucke, Wallace (Wally), 106 
Storm, Martin, 60, 100, 239, 323, 

Stout, Edward, 140 

Thorpe, John: 


relationships with, 109- 
111, 122, 225 

family background and 
education, 80-91 

law practice, 92-95 

Shorelands Project, 8-9, 13- 
16, 19-20, 75-151, 159, 160- 
162, 163, 164, 170, 204, 
221, 227, 228 231, 234, 236, 
241-242, 243, 257-258, 263, 
277, 282, 305-306, 308-311, 
324, 325-326 


United States Corps of Engineers, 
16-18, 19, 20, 21-22, 70-71, 
127, 131-132, 143-144, 183, 
185, 187, 220, 236, 258-259, 
260, 265 

United States Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 21-22, 24-25, 103, 
106, 115, 122, 127, 131-132, 
133, 161, 162-163, 164-165, 
184, 185, 191, 193, 197, 199, 
202, 204, 220, 225-227, 229, 
232, 249-251, 258, 260-265, 283 

Washburn, Edgar B., 164, 329, 

347, 348 
Weber property, 12, 13, 308-310, 

327, 330. See also Appendix D 
Weinreb, Ilene, 323 
Weissman, Karen, 131, 199, 215- 

244, 255-256, 262-263 
wetlands, 16-26, 66, 70-72 
White, Wayne, 131-132, 238, 264 
Wilcox, Carl, 23, 28, 61-62, 205, 

207, 208, 211, 270-297 
Wolden, Russell, 95 
workman s compensation, 93 
World War II, G.I. Bill, 32-34 

Malca Chall 

Graduated from Reed College in 1942 with a B.A. degree, 
and from the State University of Iowa in 1943 with an 
M.A. degree in Political Science. 

Wage Rate Analyst with the Twelfth Regional War Labor 
Board, 1943-1945, specializing in agriculture and 
services. Research and writing in the New York public 
relations firm of Edward L. Bernays, 1946-1947, and 
research and statistics for the Oakland Area Community 
Chest and Council of Social Agencies, 1948-1951. 

Active in community affairs as director and past 
president of the League of Women Voters of the Hayward 
area specializing in state and local government; on 
county-wide committees in the field of mental health; on 
election campaign committees for school tax and bond 
measures, and candidates for school board and state 

Employed in 1967 by the Regional Oral History Office 
interviewing in fields of agriculture and water 
resources. Also director, Suffragists Project, 
California Women Political Leaders Project, Land-Use 
Planning Project, the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care 
Program Project, and the Central Valley Project 
Improvement Act.