UCSF’s 2016 Sutro Forest Plan: Who’s Who

This post is to take a look at all the people who will be involved in the new Sutro Forest plan for 2016. We may edit it to update it with more information as we get it.


Jim Clark at the lectern, Matt Greene seated – April 2016


Jim Clark, of Hort Science, wrote the original 1999 assessment of Sutro Forest. He has been involved since then in identifying trees as “hazardous” in the Interior Green Belt (the city-owned section of the forest). We’re not sure if he’s also responsible for the trees identified as hazardous in the UCSF portion, the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve. His process for addressing hazard in the forest has been more aggressive than for trees in urban areas.

In the forest, they just eyeball the trees, and mark for removal any that are in poor condition or are leaning. We think this is a poor approach for a naturalized forest. It’s destructive of a forest’s ecology; dead and dying trees are important to a forest, and ones that lean add interest to the landscape.

Matt Greene is a forester. We are less familiar with his work. His bio from his consultancy website is here: Matt Greene.  According to a directory entry, “Forest and land management activities include harvest plan preparation and implementation, forest management plans, timber inventories, road management plans and other forest planning activities. Biological surveys and wildlife habitat restoration projects.”  At the second TAC meeting, he said he was involved with assessing coastal redwoods, and they were doing pretty well.

We are somewhat concerned that this will mean a bias toward aggressive tree removal.


Members of the TAC include:

  • Peter Brastow, Senior Environmental Specialist for Nature, Ecosystems and Biodiversity, San Francisco Department of the Environment. Mr Brastow was previously the director of Nature In the City, a native-species organization that was the original parent entity of the Sutro Stewards.
  • Peter Ehrlich, Forester, Presidio Trust. Mr. Ehrlich is experienced with eucalyptus groves from his Presidio experience.
  • Joe McBride, Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, University of California Berkeley. Dr McBride is probably the foremost expert on eucalyptus in the Bay Area. Notes from a presentation he made at the Commonwealth Club are HERE.
  • Lew Stringer, Restoration Ecologist, Presidio Trust.
  • Richard Sampson, Forester/Division Chief, CAL FIRE. We were disturbed by a comment made by Mr Sampson at the first Technical Advisory Committee meeting, even before he had  actually seen or visited the forest and when he was admittedly unfamiliar with it. He said that the forest, which has been there for 150 years, is now showing  increased mortality. Is it realistic to have a forest on this site? He mentioned a coastal eucalyptus fire with 24-foot flames. [After an internet search, we could not find any references to such a fire. We’ve asked for further information, but not received any so far.] 


UCSF has assembled a  large team from Campus Planning, Community Relations, and Facilities – together with Police, Fire … and Legal. Evidently they wish to be prepared.
Here is the list of UCSF Internal Steering Committee members, in alphabetical order.

  1. Kevin Beauchamp, Director, Physical Planning, Campus Planning
  2. Bruce Flynn, Director, Risk Management and Insurances Services
  3. Barbara French, Vice Chancellor, Strategic Communications and University Relations
  4. Christine Gasparac, Assistant Director, Community Relations
  5. Christine Haas Georgiev, Legal Counsel
  6. Jon Giacomi, Executive Director, Facilities Services
  7. Curt Itson, Fire Marshal
  8. Maric Munn, Special Projects, Facilities Services
  9. Eric Partika, Captain, Police Department
  10. Cesar Sanchez, Director, West Zone/ Parnassus Operations, Facilities Services
  11. Clare Shinneri, Associate Vice Chancellor, Campus Life Services
  12. Julie Sutton, Landscape Program Manager, Facilities Services and Campus Arborist
  13. Paul Takayama, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Community and Government Relations
  14. Diane Wong, Principal Planner and Environmental Coordinator, Campus Planning
  15. Lori Yamauchi, Associate Vice Chancellor, Campus Planning

Though the Sutro Stewards and its Executive Director, Craig Dawson, are not officially part of the process, the two meetings have made it clear that UCSF considers them “partners” and as such we think they will have considerable influence on the Plan.


For the present, the planned time line is as follows:

Project Overview/ Project Timeline

  • Winter-Summer 2016: Convene TAC meetings
  • Summer 2016: Define revised project
  • Fall 2016: Community meetings
  • Fall-Winter 2016: Recirculate Draft EIR
  • Winter-Spring 2016-17: Public hearing on recirculated draft EIR
  • Spring 2017: Prepare responses to comments
  • Summer 2017: Publish and certify final EIR
  • Fall 2017: Begin phased implementation (Bird nesting season from March-August)

Dates are approximate and subject to change.


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