[EDITED TO ADD (DEC 15, 2016): UNFORTUNATELY, THE PLAN WAS APPROVED DESPITE CONSIDERABLE OPPOSITION.]
The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department has been pushing a Management Plan that will cut down 18,400 trees in San Francisco and Pacifica; close 9 miles of trail; and reduce dog-play areas in the so-called “Natural Areas.” The adoption of the Plan has awaited the the completion of the Environmental Impact Report. This is about to happen tomorrow, Dec 15th, 2016. The article below is reproduced with permission from SFForest.org, the website of the San Francisco Forest Alliance (SFForest or SFFA). SFFA is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving our trees, eliminating the use of toxic pesticides in our parks, and preserving access.
On December 15th, 2016, San Francisco’s Planning Commission and SF Recreation and Parks Commission will have a joint meeting that will impact our urban forests for the next 20 years. This is a meeting regarding the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the Significant Natural Areas Management Plan (SNRAMP or N-RAMP).
It’s on December 15, 2016 at 1 p.m. in City Hall room 400. [Note this information is different than some emails going out, though the date is the same.]
Here’s the PDF we were sent: 121516-special-joint-meeting-with-planning-final
Public comment is allowed, and a lot is expected. We think the public will get only one minute each to speak. This is your last chance to say anything in support of our treasured urban forests. Let us know if you’re planning to attend (if you haven’t already done so) by Email at email@example.com
Click Here to see the City’s online link for the final EIR. It was dismissive of all our comments. Comments for changes to the project did not matter because they were deemed “environmentally insignificant“. Support of an alternative to the project, such as the maintenance alternative, or criticism of the maximum restoration alternative were deemed “irrelevant” (see the Responses to Comments section).
TWO THINGS IN ONE MEETING
Whenever there’s a major project, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA, pronounced seek-wa) requires the project’s sponsor to make an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department wants to implement a plan in the “Natural Areas” which will require cutting down thousands of trees, closing trails, and using toxic herbicides. The EIR is for this Project.
This meeting has two objectives.
1) First, the Planning Commission has to decide to certify the Environmental Impact Report. To do this, they have to determine that it is accurate, adequate, and objective. We think it’s deeply flawed and should not be certified.
Here’s our article on what’s wrong with the EIR: Ten Reasons Why the Environmental Impact Report for Natural Areas is Flawed
2) Second, after the EIR is certified, the Recreation and Parks Commission will vote whether to approve the Plan, and in what form. The EIR describes alternatives to the Project, and we think that if they must approve the Plan, they should implement the Maintenance Alternative. This is a “lite” version of the Project, which allows the Natural Resources Department to continue its current activities but not chop down 18,400 trees, reduce access to the natural areas, and use much more herbicide than at present. We ask the SFRP Commission make a motion to approve the Maintenance Alternative for the Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Project
Here’s our article on Ten Reasons to Oppose the Natural Areas “Project”
We will keep asking for your support in the hope that we, the voices for the trees, are heard by those with the power to unleash destruction on our beautiful old stands of trees.
We want to maintain access to the Natural Areas, not lose 95% of the parks which become prohibited areas with a “stay on the designated trail” requirement. And we want herbicide use in Natural Areas to stop.