More trees are being cut down in Sutro Forest, and machinery is being used that could damage the roots even of the trees left standing.
This is the area the Sutro Stewards have referred to as the “Redwood Bowl” where the plan called for removal of all the existing trees, and planting of a few scattered redwoods. More recently, they have written about realigning the North Ridge Trail.
WATER RUNOFF FROM FELLED AREAS
The previous day, we had driven by Johnstone Drive, where the East Ridge tree-felling has nearly been completed. Water raced past, and we wondered if a pipe had burst. Being curious, we drove up to see.
It was coming from the forest, where the trees had been removed. Normally, the forest holds the water for days and weeks after rain. But in this area, the trees and bushes are gone, and the water flows right out. We drove around to see if the same thing was happening elsewhere, but saw very little flow.
We couldn’t get back to take pictures until late in the evening. The water was still running off though the flow had substantially lessened. But clearly all the changes are altering the hydrology of the forest.
We’re saddened by all this, and are concerned that by the time the “Plan” has been developed, the Forest will already have been changed beyond recognition. The tree-felling from August 2013 onward has already started it in that direction.
THE “BEFORE” PICTURES
From our archives, we bring you two pictures of the area of the Forest above Medical Center Way, taken in 2011 and 2013.
They’re a fond memory now. The forest still would heal itself if allowed, but it does not look as though that will happen any time soon.