Someone who’d been walking on the South Ridge Trail loop recently sent us these photographs of stumps in the middle of the pathway.
“If UCSF and the Mt Sutro Stewards insist on cutting down trees, at least they could do it properly,” the photographer noted. “They should make the stumps flush with the surface of the trail. These are camouflaged and easy to trip over.”
“They’re just the wrong height, too. Not tall enough to be noticeable like a tree or a tall stump, not flat enough to step on and keep going.”
One thing that makes the Sutro trails so enjoyable is that they are irregular with roots, rocks and bumps. That said, no one wants a hidden stump on the trail that could injure someone. Simple solution is for the complainer to come out to a Sutro work day. He/she will be given the proper tools to remove the trail hazard as well as some instruction on how to do so. In less time than it took to take photos, complain in an email and write a blog about it, the hazard could be removed.
An even simpler solution than the one Aaron proposes is not to cut down the trees. I’ve noticed that if one does not agree with what “stewards” believe should be ripped out and destroyed, one is not welcome at these work “parties.” I prefer to maintain–not remove–perfectly healthy plants and trees that are a danger to no one.
Since we are talking about the removal of saplings that are growing directly on the trails, you are essentially arguing that we should not have trails at all. A tree that sprouts in the middle of a designated trail actually is a problem, unless you think that the trails should not exist. Is that what you believe? You can access the forest and see its interior only because UCSF and the Sutro Stewards have made trails for you. Without this access you would not be able to enjoy the forest on Sutro, discover its wonders and formulate your opinions regarding Sutro forest management. It’s quite ironic actually.
Per my experience, no one is ever turned away or made to feel unwelcome at the Mt. Sutro work days, regardless of their viewpoint. If you’d like to come, I’d be glad to discuss your ideas at length, no one will require that you actually do any work, and you may enjoy pizza and beverages afterwards. Would that make you feel unwelcome? First Saturday of each month at 9 a.m. (except for January 2011), the Sutro Stewards meet in the Woods Lot off of Medical Center Way. I’m there every month.
That’s a generous offer, Aaron, and quite possibly some readers here do (or will) attend your workdays.
I can’t speak to whether this trail could have been routed to avoid removing trees; but certainly a lot of trees are going down on the new “Historic Trail.”
Incidentally — the trails have been there for decades, much before the Sutro Stewards existed, perhaps while the land still belonged to Mr Sutro. Some of our readers were wandering through the forest 30 years ago. Check out 13 Jan 2011 post https://sutroforest.com/2011/01/13/thirty-years-in-mount-sutro-forest-alicia-snow/.
We do appreciate the Stewards grooming the trails, though not the destruction of habitat around the paths.