IN THE NEWS
The West Portal Monthly carried an excellent article about the Urban Forestry Master Plan, which goes up to the Planning Commission for approval soon. There’s a problem with the plan: It “could provide another rationale for converting its forest to native shrubs and grasslands. Instead of a citywide canopy goal, the Planning Department has backed off…” (click on the pictures below for a larger version of the article.)
The Via magazine (from the Automobile Association of America – AAA) had a lovely item about Mount Sutro. Here’s an excerpt:
“Step into the mist-shrouded forests of Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve and the spell is cast: The noise of neighboring Cole Valley vanishes, replaced by the creak of towering trees, an invisible chorus of warblers and sparrows, and the burble of a seasonal stream. Orange and yellow nasturtiums spill down the steep hillsides next to sword ferns and dense blackberry bushes. “
They’ve really captured the sense of wonder that one gets wandering into Sutro Cloud Forest for the first time. Or the hundredth time, for that matter.
The San Francisco Examiner carried an opinion piece by Superior Court Judge, Quentin Kopp, entitled: “Nature Program Wasting Millions to Kill Trees.”
“Quentin L. Kopp is a former Board of Supervisors member, state senator, and Superior Court judge.”
(Here’s a PDF of the SF Examiner page: Kopp editorial – NAP kills trees )
- The March 2014 issue of the West Portal Monthly also had an article about Sutro Forest. (No one associated with San Francisco Forest Alliance was quoted, perhaps because that had been addressed in a January 2014 article – see below.)
- The Miraloma Park Newsletter for March 2014 carried a number of relevant articles, including (1) a statement regarding Miraloma Park Improvement Club’s position on Mt Davidson (asking for the forested area of Mt D to be removed from the ‘Natural Areas Program’ unless issues raised in a letter by Prof Joe McBride were resolved in the Draft Environmental Impact Report on the Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan) (2) A detailed article about continuing herbicide use on Mt Davidson, with a list of the herbicides used and their deleterious effectst and (3) A defense of herbicides by Jake Sigg, retired gardener and Native Plant advocate. The link to that issue is HERE and the PDF is here: 2014-03-MiralomaLife
- The West Portal Monthly carried a front page article “UCSF axes Mt. Sutro Management Plan,” about UCSF’s course correction on Sutro Forest – no herbicides, a simple safety objective, and many fewer trees to be felled. (It’s still a lot of trees, but fewer than in the original plan. )
- The New York Times carried an editorial, “Hey, you calling me Invasive?” It talks about the opposition to tree-felling in Sutro Forest, and goes on to discuss the whole issue of native vs non-native species. That’s HERE.
“Nature in Central Park can’t be neatly divided into native of nonnative species, and neither can it be on Mount Sutro. The eucalyptus trees that grow there may be naturalized rather than native, but try telling that to all the other creatures that live in those woods or the people who hike there. And when it comes to the distinction between native and nonnative, we always leave one species out: call us what you will — native, naturalized, alien or invasive. “
- Nature.com carried an article, “Forest Management Plans in a Tangle.” It’s about Sutro Forest, and interviewed four ecologists who pointed out that non-native ecosystems have value: Robin Hobb at the University of Western Australia in Crawley; Patricia Kennedy at Oregon State; Joe Mascaro at Stanford; and Katharine Suding at UC Berkeley. That story is HERE.
“Mount Sutro is part of a larger story,” says Richard Hobbs, an ecologist at the University of Western Australia in Crawley. “What some people see as a weed-filled blot on the landscape, others see as something extremely valuable, worthy of managing in its own right. People are increasingly moving away from the belief that a native ecosystem is always best.”
- The SF Examiner’s real estate section on September 1 had a description of an ocean-view home on Crestmont Drive listed for sale as its “Top Pick.” It’s an indication of how much the forest is valued that the headline emphasized the forest, not the view: “Airy four-bedroom home faces 61-acre park.” It went on to describe the house, and the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve. And it concluded with “All this, next door to an undeveloped hill forested in pine and eucalyptus and laced with hiking trails.“
- KALW radio carried a story about Sutro Forest and UCSF’s plans there. That’s HERE. (The written article is more even-handed than the audio.)
- SFist carried a story about both the Natural Areas Program and Sutro Forest, called “Tree Wars Brewing Over Removal of Non-Native Eucalyptus.” That’s HERE.
- The West Portal Monthly had a good article on Mt Davidson, discussing Professor McBride’s assessment of the forest there.
“After touring the site and examining maps and historical photographs, he has come to the conclusion that the mature forest is healthy and will provide a rich habitat for decades to come.”
(Minor correction: “girdling” a tree involves cutting a band in the bark all the way around a tree, thus cutting off its nutrients.)
- The Wall Street Journal had a story about the Natural Areas Program, and Mount Davidson in which David Emanuel, President of San Francisco Forest Alliance, was quoted.
The story, headlined “In San Francisco, an Ecological Battle Grows” in the online edition, and “A Tree Spat Grows in San Francisco” in the paper edition, is HERE.
- The Wall Street Journal also had a slideshow of six pictures in a short photo-essay online HERE, titled “A Debate over NonNative Trees in San Francisco.”
- KCBS Radio ran a short piece on Sutro Forest on 28 July 2013. Unfortunately, we don’t have a link; if we get it, we’ll post it here.
- San Francisco Forest Alliance is offering a reward of $1000 for the arrest and conviction of the vandal whose been killing young trees in and near Golden Gate Park. It was reported in the Westside Observer, July-August 2013.
- The Westside Observer, in the same edition, also had coverage of a presentation made at the West of Twin Peaks Central Council about Sutro Forest. (For more about the Sutro Forest issue, go HERE.)
- They also had an opinion piece on the Sutro Forest issue: “I cannot comprehend the logic of the proposal by UCSF…”
San Francisco Forest Alliance is offering a reward of $1000 for the arrest and conviction of the vandal whose been killing young trees in and near Golden Gate Park.
- It was picked up by ABCLocal on their website:
The San Francisco Forest Alliance, a group unaffiliated with the parks department, has pledged $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the tree vandals.
The organization is calling on other environmental groups to match the award offer.
The group said they plan to work with police to distribute the money if anyone is caught in connection with the tree destruction.
- It was also covered in the Examiner:
- San Francisco Bay Guardian carried an article “SH!T H@#PENED – The Battle of Mt Sutro.” It hasn’t shown up online, so we’re posting a photograph here (click on the pictures for a legible copy):
- West Portal Monthly published an article about the potential felling of thousands of trees on Mount Sutro if UCSF goes ahead with its plans, entitled ‘Sutro Forest: Beautiful, Unique, Endangered.’
Unfortunately, they are not online, so we are providing a photograph of a clipping. If you click on it, it should become legible.
- The Westside Observer published an article about UCSF’s plan for Mount Sutro Forest: http://www.westsideobserver.com/2012/MtDavidson.html (It also has an article on Mount Davidson).
1. The Pacifica Patch published an opinion piece by Arnita Bowman about the planned felling of 15,000 trees in Sharp Park. The story is here: San Francisco to Cut 15,000-Plus Pacifica Trees.
2. The San Francisco Chronicle‘s CW Nevius carried an article about opposition to Mt Davidson tree-felling: Park Dept Plan to Remove Trees Irks Neighbors.
1. The West Portal Monthly published a follow-up article by Jacquie Proctor about the San Francisco Forest Alliance’s petition drive. Headlined “Neighbors mobilize to save Mt Davidson from the axe,” it ran on the front page. Unfortunately the newspaper isn’t available online; you can read the article here by double clicking on the picture below. (Or pick up a copy in the newsboxes at West Portal.)
2. The Westside Observer carried an article entitled “Trouble on the Mountain – Fight Brews Over Future of Mt Davidson’s Forest.” CLICK HERE to read that article.
1. The West Portal Monthly published an article by Jacquie Proctor about the NAP problem on Mt Davidson specifically and generally across the city:
Clear case of overkill at Mount Davidson Park
(Click on the thumbnail here for a readable scan of the article. Unfortunately, the WPM is not online at this time.)
2. The SF Examiner
This article looks at the “Creeks to Peaks” trail, and points out that the current plan destroys habitat in Glen Canyon – and it doesn’t need to. Janet Kessler of SF Forest Alliance is quoted.
Read the article here.
Within the last month, three journals and a newsletter have covered the issue of the Natural Areas Program:
This article covered the controversy in some detail, with a beautiful photograph of Mount Davidson.
“San Francisco officials are nearing final approval of a Recreation and Park Department plan to remove more than 18,000 healthy but nonnative trees from wild areas across the city—and residents are organizing to block it.”
Read the article here.
2. The San Francisco Examiner
“Residents demanded in 1997 that The City do more to protect its natural landscape. But now more than a decade later, the release of the Natural Areas Management Plan has been met with skepticism.
“Critics are claiming the Recreation and Park Department has gone too far with plans to eliminate thousands of feet of trails, nearly 20 acres of dog parks and thousands of non-native trees — saying it would be better to do nothing at all.”
3. The Sacramento Bee
“An intense battle is building over a little-known plan to cut down thousands of eucalyptus and other trees in urban forests here and at a city-owned golf course in Pacifica,” it starts. “Both camps believe they know what’s best for some of San Francisco’s most stunning landscapes, including Mount Davidson, Mount Sutro and Glen Park Canyon.
“It’s a clash of environmental visions, with each camp maintaining that it’s right.”
The whole article is available here.
The article quotes several people, including SFFA President Eric Miller (President) and member Jacquie Proctor.
4. The Miraloma Park Improvement Association (MPIA)
A detailed and thorough article on Mount Davidson and the Draft Environmental Impact Report appeared in “Miraloma Life” – the newsletter of the MPIA. An excerpt:
… we noted that The Historic Resource Evaluation Response for the NAP confirms that the Mount Davidson forest area is a historic natural resource and potentially eligible for listing under the CA Register as an ethnographic landscape. The NAP project alternatives described in the DEIR would significantly negatively impact this historic natural area because
(1) the DEIR proposes that replacement trees can be planted anywhere in San Francisco, rather than in the Park in the location of trees removed;
(2) it specifies replacement of trees removed with oaks (which take a generation to grow) rather than faster growing historic forest species (e.g., cypress or pine); and
(3) it lacks any plan for replanting the remaining trees (i.e., those trees not subject to planned removal) as the existing historic species reach the end of their lifespan;
(4) it proposes removal of 3000 feet of trail on Mt. Davidson in order to protect native plants from people and dogs; and
(5) it does not address global warming concerns, which argue against large-scale destruction of mature healthy trees for whose oxygen content replanted seedlings cannot compensate.