Here it Comes: UCSF announces the Draft EIR for Sutro Forest

UCSF sent out a notification recently, saying that the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the 2017 Plan for Sutro Forest will be released on July 24th, 2017. The public will have until September 8th, 2017 to make their comments. They expect to have a public meeting on August 24th, 2017.

We will await the DEIR , analyze its contents, and report back. We do have considerable concern about the Plan itself, which we discuss here: How many trees in Sutro Forest – and what will be left?

In summary: We think UCSF’s plan is rooted in a misunderstanding of the micro-environment of this small forest, and an egregious preference for “native” plants and shrubs. It will destroy the naturalized forest that has thrived for more than a century, and would still thrive if it was not destroyed.

As we stated at the beginning of that article:

“Mount Sutro is a very difficult site. Its soils are shallow, its rocks unstable. It’s very windy. Few trees survive those conditions. Nevertheless, the eucalyptus forest has naturalized there for over a century – nearly 125 years now – and taken on the characteristics of an old-growth forest. This success has only been possible because of the interdependent ecology of the forest. The roots are intergrafted, which both helps distribute nutrients and moisture, and to provide physical support to trees. As Peter Wohlleben points out in his book, the Hidden Life of Trees, trees in a forest are different from individual, standalone trees.


The tree density changes the conditions in the forest, reducing wind speeds and providing shelter not just for other eucalyptus, but also for other trees species found in the forest: Monterey cypress, Monterey pine, coast redwood, plum, cherry, California bay, coast live oak, willow among others. It creates a tiny microclimate inside it.

pix9 072 forest

“This is why the new Plan for the forest – removing most of the healthy living trees and nearly all the dead ones – will destroy the forest’s ecosystem and very likely the forest itself.

“UCSF, which has declared the forest to be in poor condition, will doubtless blame the drought and pathogens. In fact, it’s the thinning – including removing understory – and the tree removal that rob the forest of its resilience. A forest that’s thrived for 125 years may be destroyed in a decade.”

Read the remainder of that article HERE.

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1 Response to Here it Comes: UCSF announces the Draft EIR for Sutro Forest

  1. John mcsorley says:

    When are you folks going to get that UCSF needs more parking and as a result our trees are, literally, on the chopping block!

    [SaveSutro: Thus far, UCSF has always said the Open Space would be protected. Not the trees, necessarily, but the Open Space. As far as we know, the only encroachment was for the Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research Building, just below Medical Center Way.]

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