This post is to let our readers know that trees are being felled right now in Sutro Forest, and also that UCSF has formed a committee to advise on managing the forest, which will meet for the first time on January 14th, 2016.
JOHNSTONE DRIVE TREES BEING CUT DOWN
This is not the post we’d hoped to bring you this holiday season. But sadly, trees are being felled even as this is being written, all along Johnstone Drive on the Forest’s edge. This is the so-called “safety” work we’d written about earlier.
UCSF plan to finish the work during the holiday season, ostensibly to avoid the noise and disruption to the students who live on the Aldea campus. It is also the time when people are busy with family and celebration – the best time to do something as unpopular as denuding a hillside.
In the pictures below, all the trees will be removed. Look for the pink dot of death.
Just to memorialize this place, here are some images from Google maps:
This was only five months ago, in August 2015 – still green and thriving because it’s a cloud forest – it gets moisture from the fog all summer long.
Going further back in time, this is from May 2011:
TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE: A MIXED REPORT
UCSF is assembling a 5-man “Technical Advisory Committee” to give them advice about managing Sutro Forest. Members of the TAC include:
- Peter Brastow, Senior Environmental Specialist for Nature, Ecosystems and Biodiversity, San Francisco Department of the Environment
- Peter Ehrlich, Forester, Presidio Trust
- Joe McBride, Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, University of California Berkeley
- Lew Stringer, Restoration Ecologist, Presidio Trust
- Richard Sampson, Forester/Division Chief, CAL FIRE
We are pleased to see it includes Joe McBride, possibly the most knowledgeable person about eucalyptus in the Bay Area. (See the notes on the lecture he gave at the Commonwealth Club: Understanding Eucalyptus in the Bay Area.) We’re also pleased to see it includes Peter Ehrlich, a forester from the Presidio Trust.
We’re less enthusiastic about two others, both of whom focus on native plant restoration, despite UCSF declaring that Safety, not Native Plants, would be the driver for managing Sutro Forest. Peter Brastow’s nativist ideology informs both his past role as director of “Nature In The City” (the original parent organization of the Sutro Stewards), and his current position in the Department of the Environment – a role we’d describe as “Native Plant Tzar.” We’re also concerned about Lew Stringer, who manages native plant restoration for the Presidio Trust and thus is not a natural choice for a forest that consists primarily of non-native species. This puts the forest in the hands of its enemies.
The first TAC meeting will be held on Thursday, January 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Millberry Union Conference Center at 500 Parnassus Avenue. According to the UCSF notification, “The TAC’s mission is to provide guidance on the scope, techniques and best practices for a long-term management plan for the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve. We invite the public to attend the TAC meetings and join in the discussion..”