“Enough with this Tree Genocide”: Comments from The Petition to Save Mount Sutro Forest

tall trees in mistIn two days, 540 people have signed the petition to save the trees on Mt Sutro. To recap, the UCSF plan for Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve – of which it owns 61 acres – proposes to fell over 90% of the trees on 45 acres for a total of some 30,000 trees. Only 15 acres will be left alone, on the steep Western side overlooking the Inner Sunset.

We started a petition to oppose this felling on February 4th, 2013. By midnight of Feb 6th, there were already 540 signatures, and the number continues to grow. But people weren’t just signing – many of them left comments that showed just how much they cared about this forest.

We had intended to showcase all the comments here, but there are so many that we can’t.  Here is a  fairly random selection (with typos corrected and emphasis added) from the first 100 signers.  If you still haven’t signed the petition, or just want to read the comments, the button below will take you to the petition.

sign for sutro forest

#3:  “This is our midcity treasure. How could you even think of such an atrocity? What’s going on that you need to cut down healthy trees like this? Can’t you spend your money on REAL issues and leave the trees in our parks and dwindling open spaces alone? First Glen Canyon, then Mount Sutro. I would never vote for a person who condones something like this.”

#7:  “How can the State of California justify spending millions to cut down a healthy forests that store tons of carbon and absorbs air pollutants, particularly when State University’s budgets have been slashed?”

mount sutro forest and cloudscape#8:  “The destruction of over 30,000 trees on Mount Sutro Forest – in the center of San Francisco – is the ecological equivalent of ethnic cleansing. It is wrong and must be stopped! Shame on UCSF to even propose this insane plan in the first place. We need trees in the city; they provide a needed resource for converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, trees clean the air and provide habitat for the many animal and bird species living on the mountain. Every mature, healthy tree must be preserved. It is clear that their plan is a cynical and manipulative ploy for environmental destruction that is consistent with what San Francisco’s Rec and Park’s Natural Areas Program is trying to do in city parks. Save the Mount Sutro cloud forest ecosystem!”

#13: “Save our San Francisco trees. Enough with this tree genocide. For a city that values beauty I do not understand our compulsion to fell so many trees.”

#22: “This historic cultural landscape should be protected for so many reasons, but especially now as the temperature of the planet continues to rise and these trees absorb much more CO2 than the shrubs they plan to replace them with. How can the university continue to increase tuition to spend the money on this!”

cloud forest, muddy trail#26: “Mt Sutro Forest is an important urban forest to many of us who live in the area West of Twin Peaks (I am a resident of Miraloma Park) and to many other visitors from inside and outside of SF. We appreciate it as a forest: the trails, the birds and other wildlife, the density of the trees and undergrowth are what make a unique and treasured place to hike and hang out in the midst of a busy city environment. The views alone de-stress and I’ve had some magical experiences with all my senses there. As city-dwellers, we need a place like this. It is safe enough and it is unique enough to merit protection. UCSF has a responsibility to our community not to groom and ruin this environment that is an environmental plus just as it is. Please do not manicure and limit the wildness. We don’t need another typical park space here. And so many beautiful birds, animals, and plants would be lost by the proposed actions. Thanks for listening.”

#42: “I understand the desire to create and protect natural landscapes, but not at the expense of what we have. Pesticides, chopping down healthy trees, and reducing carbon sequestration are an inexcusable way to achieve this goal.”

#43:  “The forest is a haven for animals and people who need a rest from the city. It is healthy and thriving. Please leave it alone.”

#47: “In this day, how can even one person *consider* the thought of this immoral destruction? We are digging our own graves in a hurry if we continue in this manner. Save the trees. Surely the Board of Regents has a collective soul? Trees give us life. Let us return the favor.”

#50: “This plan reflects bad forestry practices; an unwise expenditure of scarce UC dollars and an apparent lack of awareness of basic climate change dynamics.”

#53:  “My family does not want you to tear down any portion of this forest that we use often and love dearly!!

#57:  “As a resident living just below Mount Sutro, I ask that you please not diminish this neighborhood treasure. it is a lovely place to enjoy peace and quiet in the heart of the city.”

#60: “Keep our cloud forest. I use it.”

#67: “I used to live on Parnassus Heights; on Mt. Sutro itself…Save it Now or Regret it Forever!!

#75: “I walk in this beautiful forest all the time and would hate to see the big beautiful trees and the habitat they create harmed.”

sutro forest with approaching clouds#86: “I used to live on Crestmont Dr., on the forest’s west side. It is my firm belief that all San Franciscans benefit from a healthy, vibrant, unmolested green core visible throughout most of the city. This core serves to remind us of who we are at the most fundamental level- not creatures of managed artifice but rather descendants of tree-dwellers. Destroying a resource like the Sutro Preserve is always lamentable, but it is especially sad in this case as much of the impetus for this move comes from groups and individuals who believe that they are able to improve upon nature by “restoring native plants” (the trees proposed for planting in Native Plant Areas never grew on Mt Sutro). Nature is already adapting to the introduction of non-native species! Anyone who walks in the Mt Sutro Preserve quickly recognizes that it is a very vibrant forest. Leave it alone. Show that humans can work with nature. Erosion, defoliation, and desertification are never good policies.”

#88: “This city is getting downright stupid. I expect tree-o-cide to happen elsewhere but not here!!”

forest at sunset#90: “Why is there this attack in the city on beautiful mature trees? It is beautiful as it is, and not costing a ton of money, and not being an accessory to putting poisons in the earth. Evidently we need more tree huggers. Trees are not the enemy. And if you want to get rid of non-natives, why not start with the non-native humans here! Now of course, that is ridiculous as well.”

#96: “How can UCSF, which is in need of funding, spend money uselessly on getting rid of healthy trees when most urban places are planting trees to sequester carbon? It is a total non sequitur!”

More tomorrow!

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1 Response to “Enough with this Tree Genocide”: Comments from The Petition to Save Mount Sutro Forest

  1. dolan eargle says:

    What sort of latter-day genocide is going on? These people who opt for destruction of forests and trees. No doubt these maniacs never were brought up to value the forest, the wild lands, birds and insects and green growth. They only want neat gardens and clipped hedges.
    Without seeming to be paranoiac, to me there is a group of crazies lurking about, like forest Nazis. They want everything just their way, or else it goes to the ovens.

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