Mt Sutro Forest: New Trail, No EIR

UCSF has a detailed plan for Mount Sutro’s forest.

It involves  adding three new trails (shown in dark red on the map):

  • The Christopher/ South Ridge Trail (parallel to Christopher on the map) ;
  • The Clarendon/ South Ridge Trail (joining the Christopher/ South Ridge Trail and shaped like a hairpin); and
  • The Campus/Historic Trail. (The wiggly red line from Medical Center Way.)

(The plan also involves  felling thousands of trees, first in four areas of the forest comprising 7.5 acres  8.5 acres – the yellow areas on the map below – then eventually everywhere they can reach).

An Environmental Impact Report is in preparation, and will be opened for comments after it’s drafted. Only after the comments have been received, considered, and responded to would the planned actions proceed.

Or so one would think.


So we were surprised, on a recent visit to the forest, to find a huge new trail hacked into the forest. It’s one of the trails proposed in the Plan, the top half of the “Christopher-South Ridge” trail.  It joins the Nike Road, just above the Gash left by the SF Water Department, to the South Ridge. (These points are already joined by the Nike Rd and the South Ridge Trail.)

It punches right through the top of the area (#5 on the map above) that was supposed to be left “untouched” in the Project.

We saw a recent call for trail-work volunteers from the Sutro Stewards, the organization headed by Craig Dawson, which provides the volunteers working Mount Sutro. We wondered what they meant, since the major recent effort, the Kill-trees trail, is done.

Now we know.

There were no meetings, no intimation from UCSF that such a trail was being built before completion of the Environmental Impact Report. They’re aware it’s a sensitive issue, because the meetings have been quite vociferous.

We’re disappointed. And surprised, but not very surprised.

[ETA: We’ve put in the map to clarify, and edited the post to correspond to the map.]

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9 Responses to Mt Sutro Forest: New Trail, No EIR

  1. Dolan Eargle says:

    About 3 yrs ago I attended some meetings on a plan to “redo” or “restore” some parts of the Mt. Sutro forest by ripping out large areas and putting in a “native ” area. It appeared to me and a few others that this was a scheme by a Berkeley-based bunch to make thousands of dollars. After attending several meetings of proposals, I was told that there would be a booklet made and sent to me. No further e-mails were ever sent to me. Hmmm. is this a rehash of that “plan”?

    • webmaster says:

      If it’s 3 years ago, then yes, it’s an expansion of the same plan. An Environmental Impact Report is being prepared, and then it will be opened for public comment, UCSF said.

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  8. Tony Holiday says:

    Naturally I’m super-depressed by all this. I used to naively think it was cool that the Stewards were planning to extend trails. But I never considered the extreme nativists who would like to do away with any plant that’s not “native” enough for them. Being the exact opposite, I assumed they’d curve the trail around the trees since that’s what I’d do. Preservation and protection of this unique forest should be everyone’s priority. These people should be defunded and discredited. I agree, also, that this does sound like some kind of development plan. Look at all the taxpayers money that is being/will be used to destroy healthy trees for no good reason. Many thousands of dollars wasted, and at the same time making the forest dangerously dry and destroying its beauty. This is seriously messing up my Labor Day weekend and all the rest of the year.

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