Blog & Discussion

The website has been reorganized a bit to allow for easier posting of articles and updates. They’ll be on this page.

All the comments that were formerly on the front page have moved to this page as well (side-effect, sorry).

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13 Responses to Blog & Discussion

  1. l. carpenter says:

    Please add a link to the plan. They want to take down over THREE THOUSAND TREES, and in this day of global climate change!

    This is a precious resource in San Francisco. A beautiful, large uban forest has become very rare, and we cannot afford to allow this forest to be decimated.

  2. savesutro says:

    The plan’s been summarized under the tab “The UCSF Plan” (I’ve linked it as you suggest). They did mention cutting over 3000 trees at the May 18th 2009 meeting.

  3. John says:

    Eucalyptus are simply non-native plants that threaten the local ecosystem. Replace them with trees that belong there!

  4. savesutro says:

    This is an urban forest, surrounded by houses on every side. It’s a 100 years old. It *is* the local ecosystem. Great Horned Owls nest there, as do other birds. Raccoons, skunks, and oppossums hide in the undergrowth. It’s a living forest. (The rest of the local ecosystem is people’s back yards, with even more exotic vegetation. This is a city we’re talking of.)

  5. NatureLover says:

    Dear John, Your comment indicates that you are not familiar with the natural history of San Francisco. There were virtually no trees in San Francisco before the arrival of Europeans in mid-19th Century. The few species of trees native to San Francisco grew only in the few watersheds that were sheltered from the wind. Most were low-growing, prostrate trees such as willow, buckeye, coast live oak, toyon, bay. The windy hills of San Francisco were barren of trees. They were covered w/ grasslands and dune scrub. Both are highly flammable…far more flammable than ANY tree, including the much maligned eucalyptus. So, from the standpoint of “what belongs here,” no trees belong on Mt Sutro or for that matter, none of us belong here either, including you! Not a very strong argument to use with all the non-natives presently occupying San Francisco. If you want any trees in San Francisco, they will be non-native. Try reading a little bit about the natural history of San Francisco before engaging in this debate. Or, try the archive of historical photographs available on the SF Library’s website. A little bit of information goes a long way.

  6. Tree Lover says:

    Our forest is so beautiful. It is wet year-round, and home to so many beautiful birds.

    As the poster above notes – none of us are native to this area, yet we don’t want someone chopping us down and pouring Round-Up super toxic herbicides on us.

    Those of us who live near the forest are afraid that chopping down these trees and letting so much sun into the canopy will create a very hazardous fire risk.

    We are also afraid of the herbicides – we walk in the forest and so do our pets. PLEASE look up the dangers of RoundUp and other herbicides – they are far more insidious than any natural tree.

    This is an important watershed area as well, and the thought of dumping thousands of gallons of herbicides here (or ANYwhere) should plainly be illegal. Anyone who cares about ecology should be against the use of such toxics. Killing 100 year old forests should not be this easy.

    Everywhere there is propaganda against eucalyptus trees – they are accused of just about everything except kidnapping children. They are just trees, they are beautiful and they live here peacefully. They smell heavenly.

    Please don’t be a tree racist!
    Equal opportunity tree lover.

  7. remain calm says:

    There will be more support for the forest if people remain calm and respectful to each other. Naturelover’s comment was a bit insulting to John’s initial post. Savesutro’s response was enough, Naturelover didn’t have to degrade John.

    And Tree Lover starts tossing around the r-word, completely disregarding the harsh reality of racism; tree racist is a silly term.

    Starting a campaign with a negative vibe is not good.

  8. savesutro says:

    I agree with Remain Calm that being respectful is good.

    But I do think what you’re seeing is frustration with the demonization of eucalypts that has resulted in wide-scale felling. Unfortunately, what replaces the trees usually isn’t native trees. It’s open grassland, with non-native grasses, which completely changes the habitat. I think there’d be much less strength of feeling if the plan was to gradually replace the eucs with, say, redwoods.

    I am not personally sure that the term “tree racist” is entirely misplaced. A lot of the antagonism to eucalyptus seems to be an emotional reaction to “non-native” trees – which is essentially the same emotional root as racism.

    Otherwise, why would anyone care? San Francisco is a city full of non-native people, structures, and vegetation – amid which native fauna and flora have made themselves at home.

  9. NatureLover says:

    Although there is a fossil record of redwoods in San Francisco, they are not “native” to the era that native plant advocates are trying to replicate, i.e., immediately prior to the arrival of Europeans in late 18th century. Redwoods are adapted to a wetter climate than presently exists in San Francisco. They will not tolerate the wind in most locations on Mt. Sutro, particularly the two locations presently proposed for massive tree removal.

    There is a small “bowl” on the east side of Mt. Sutro that might enable redwoods to survive. The Sutro plan proposes to attempt to plant them there.

    Generally speaking, claims that the non-native trees that native plant advocates wish to remove will be replaced by native trees, is bogus. As I said before, the trees that are native to San Francisco DID NOT GROW on the hills of
    San Francisco. They don’t tolerate wind. The thin soils of most of the hills won’t support them. The hills drain the sparse precipitation quickly, depriving trees of the “irrigation” needed for their survival.

    Tank Hill, due east of Mt. Sutro is an example of this issue. When half of the eucalypts on Tank Hill were destroyed nearly 10 years ago, the neighbors protested. In response, the so-called Natural Areas Program planted native trees in the shelter of the remaining few trees. Even with this shelter, those native trees did not survive. They don’t belong there! (pun intended) Go take a look at Tank Hill. It will give you a preview of where the Sutro project is headed. It was tended by a native plant advocate for about 5 years. It looked pretty good when he “gardened” it intensively. Then he moved away. It’s now a messy weed patch sans trees.

    A little information never hurt anyone. I don’t consider it insulting to provide information to people who apparently need it. Absent information, the debate is strictly ideological. Ideology will not replace the trees on Mt. Sutro.

  10. Tree Lover says:

    Thanks for that info, NatureLover. I have heard similar stories of failed native plantings, and recently read how many of California’s native plants are going to become extinct anyway because the climate is warming so quickly. If we don’t adopt some of the more successful species, we will be stuck with only ugly survivor weeds and things like Acacias and Brooms, which quickly fill up the areas where trees are cut down.

    I personally love the eucalypts. Much nicer than brooms or acacias and dry grasses, not to mention coyote brush, which is native, but horrible in a fire. The interior of the bushes dry out and hurl fire balls when burned in brush fires.

    Our wet forest is much safer than anything that will grow in the sun up on the hill.

  11. Dirk says:

    I was disapointed to see that there are currently at least 4 deep holes sunk into the ground at the terminus or intersection of trails on the west side of Mt Sutro. Is someone planning to place signposts there? If so, why?

    • savesutro says:

      I saw those, too, and wondered if they meant to plant something… didn’t think of signposts. If anyone knows, please post.

    • savesutro says:

      We have the mystery resolved. They are indeed for signposts, according to Barbara Bagot-Lopez of UCSF. Apparently, people have been getting lost. Also, they’re concerned that if someone comes up there alone and injures themself, and calls for help – they have no way of telling where they are.

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