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Nestled in the foothills of San Francisco lies one of the United States most beautiful and historic national parks Dating back to 1776 when Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza established the Presidio as a military garrison under commission of the government of Spain In 1848 it was transferred by a treaty from Mexico to the United States The Presidio has played a major role in the settlement and defense of the West for more than 200 years It served as a mobilization and embarkation point during several overseas conflicts a medical debarkation center and a coastal defense for the San Francisco Bay Area Located on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula the Presidio occupies over 1433 acres During the 1960s there was increased pressure to develop remaining open spaces in the San Francisco Bay Area Local environmentalists urged representatives to preserve the beauty and history of the Presidio by including it within the boundaries of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area In 1972 when the Golden Gate National Recreation Area was created it was mandated that the Presidio be transferred to the park when it was no longer needed by the Army In 1988 the Presidio was slated for closure by a BRAC Base Realignment and Closures commission and thus began the transfer of property to the National Park Service In June of 1995 the Sixth US Army marched out the Presidio ending almost 219 years of military presence in the city By September 30 1995 all Army Facilities were transferred to the National Park Service The Presidio trust is the first of its kind in the United States With the closing of many military bases this seems to be an effective allocation of the land But as with any National Park the Presidio has its fair share of problems The main on being the extensive cleanup that was needed to restore the land to its original
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