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New Partnership Returning Native Turtles to Mountain Lake

Presidio Trust partnering with SF Zoo and Sonoma State University to restore the natural habitat


Native turtles released in Mountain Lake

Presidio Trust (September 10, 2015) — In the latest phase of the extensive revitalization of  Mountain Lake , where the  Presid​​io Trust  is reestablishing populations of native species after a multi-year lake restoration, several dozen baby western pond turtles will be released on Saturday, September 12. The afternoon will feature activity and information booths from partner organizations, a special Science Saturday and community celebration featuring San Francisco Zoo and Gardens Director of Conservation Jessie Bushell. Young turtles will be released into the lake at 3 pm.

The western pond turtle is the Pacific Coast’s only native freshwater turtle. Once common from Baja, California to Puget Sound, Washington, 90 percent of the western pond turtle’s habitat has disappeared. The Presidio Trust has partnered with the San Francisco Zoo and Sonoma State University for the western pond turtle project. The public is invited to learn about California’s only native freshwater aquatic turtle, the challenges that they are currently facing in California and throughout the western U.S., and how the Mountain Lake Project will help conserve this special species.

Available for interviews:

​Jessie Bushell, director of conservation, San Francisco Zoo and Gardens

Dr. Nick Geist, Sonoma State University biology professor, western pond turtle conservation

Terri Thomas, director of cultural & natural resources, the Presidio Trust

Jonathan Young, wildlife ecologist, the Presidio Trust

Jason Lisenby, biological science technician, the Presidio Trust

The event will take place at the Mountain Lake outdoor classroom on the north side of the lake.

Saturday, September 12 from 1-4 pm

  • 1:00pm-4:00pm – Tabling by partner organizations (fun, interactive)
  • 2:00pm-3:00pm – Jessie Bushell, San Francisco Zoo and Gardens
  • 3:00pm – Western pond turtle Release
  • 4:00pm – End of event

The Presidio Trust, a federal agency, is an innovation in the management of a treasured American place. The Trust was created to save the Presidio and transform it for a new national purpose. The Trust’s vision is that the Presidio will be forever a public place: vital to the Bay Area, important to all Americans, and recognized for achieving broad benefits for the nation. Today, the Presidio welcomes visitors, is home to a vibrant community of residents and tenants, and inspires greater good through programs that draw on its history and natural resources. The Presidio Trust serves the public with events, lodging, venues, and recreational opportunities. To learn more, visit ​​​​

Media Contacts

Lisa Petrie

Presidio Trust

(415) 264-7787