Author Archives: webmaster

Barn Owl in Sutro Forest

Evening visitors to the Sutro Forest have long known that Great Horned Owls live or visit there.  They’re specially easy to hear, with soft resonant hoots. Last night, it was a Barn Owl, which is less easy to see. This … Continue reading

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Monarch Butterfly at Twin Peaks – Oct 2017

A few days ago, a viewer watching the planes rehearse for Fleet Week spotted a different kind of aerial phenomenon: Monarch butterflies, fluttering around over Twin Peaks. “I was driving by Twin Peaks,” they wrote, “and paused to watch the … Continue reading

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Disturbing Sutro Forest Would Release a Lot of Green House Gases

We’ve pointed out before that Sutro Forest is an excellent carbon sink: The trees are tall, fast growing and have dense wood. In some parts of the forest, the mid-story of blackwood acacia boosts this carbon storage as well. The … Continue reading

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What Will Sutro Forest Look Like After the Plan?

It’s going to look pretty awful in Sutro Forest when UCSF implement the Plan. The most immediate action: Cut down thousands of trees. Here’s what the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) says: “The density of the forest would experience the … Continue reading

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Sutro Forest Plan: Heavy Machinery in Unstable Areas

Recently, we wrote that the  Sutro Forest 2017 Plan Imposes a Landslide Risk. A University of Washington study shows that mudslides are most like 5-10 years after trees have been cut down on slopes. The picture below shows the South … Continue reading

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Sutro Forest 2017 Plan Imposes a Landslide Risk

We’re reading the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the 2017 Sutro Forest Plan, and got to the section on landslide risk. This has been one of our concerns, especially since the tragedy at Oso, Washington, where the felling of … Continue reading

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Public Comments due Sept 22, 2017 on Sutro Forest DEIR

UCSF has released a humongous 1087-page Draft Environmental Impact Report on the Plan to cut down thousands of trees in Sutro Forest. The deadline for public comment has been extended in response to a San Francisco Forest Alliance request, to … Continue reading

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Year 9 of Mission Blue Butterfly on Twin Peaks: Mixed Results

It’s now Year 9 of the the Mission Blue butterfly project on Twin Peaks, San Francisco. In 2008, SF Recreation and Parks Department (SFRPD) started trying an attempt to reintroduce the Mission Blue Butterfly to Twin Peaks, by planting lupine and transferring … Continue reading

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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. … Continue reading

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Butterfly Count in San Francisco – 2017

This year’s sunny butterfly count day – June 18th, 2017 – made up for last year’s dismal fog. Eighteen spotters in eight groups, led by butterfly maven Liam O’Brien, counted a record number of butterflies: 1435 or 1440, (we’re still … Continue reading

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Ecological Novelty is Nature’s Future

This thoughtful article and guest post by Professor Mark Davis was first published in Death of a Million Trees (which fights unnecessary tree destruction in the San Francisco Bay Area), and subsequently on the website of the San Francisco Forest … Continue reading

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April Visit to Beautiful Sutro Forest

“I would love to see Sutro forest,” said the out-of-town visitor. “I’ve heard so much about it!” So when the welcome rain cleared into welcome sunshine, we headed up the new trail at the Pumphouse on Christopher Drive. It doesn’t provide the … Continue reading

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Peter Ehrlich, 1948-2017

Peter Ehrlich was the Chief Forester at the Presidio, and sat on UCSF’s Technical Advisory Committee for Sutro Forest. Tragically, he died in a bicycle accident on May 2, 2017.  The Presidio is holding a community work day in his … Continue reading

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Native Plant Restoration: “Someone Pays and Someone Profits”

The article below was first published on April 1st on MillionTrees.me – a site fighting unnecessary tree destruction in the San Francisco Bay Area. Though it references mainly the widespread tree destruction planned for the East Bay, the same principles apply broadly. … Continue reading

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The Forest at the City’s Heart – Sutro Cloud Forest

[This article was published recently on the website of the San Francisco Forest Alliance, and is reprinted here with permission. Thousands of trees are being cut down in San Francisco. Sutro Forest may actually be the worst, with many thousands … Continue reading

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Forest- Bathing in Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

We learned about the Forest-Bathing Club in San Francisco when some of the people who took part in this told us how much they loved the beautiful forest on Mount Sutro. Trees have been shown to improve health and well-being, … Continue reading

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Mt Sutro Forest: Nibbling at the Western Edge with Kirkham Heights Project? [UPDATE: Project Withdrawn]

[Edited to Add: UPDATE – The project is off. The owner, Westlake, thinks its a low priority especially since the site is situated on a hillside that’s in an “earthquake-induced landslide zones,” meaning areas with a high probability of slope failure.” It … Continue reading

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How Many Trees in Sutro Forest? And What Will be Left?

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 … Continue reading

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Mt Sutro: UCSF’s Initial Study for the EIR Highlights Appalling New 2017 Plan

UCSF has published its initial study for the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the new 2017 Plan for Sutro Forest.  This “Notice of Preparation and Initial Study” outlines the areas the EIR will cover. Comments on the Initial Study can be sent … Continue reading

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Old Trees Trap More Carbon and Fight Climate Change

The older a tree grows, the more carbon dioxide it grabs out of the air and sequesters, thus fighting climate change. Cutting down these large old trees releases this carbon back into the atmosphere. An article published in the Nature … Continue reading

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Why “Thinning” Damages a Forest

This article is republished with permission (and minor format changes) from Death of a Million Trees, a blog dedicated to fighting unnecessary tree-felling in the San Francisco Bay Area. It beautifully reflects the interlinked reality of Sutro Forest, which has … Continue reading

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“Are Eucalyptus Trees Going to Kill Us All?” Jan 27, 2017, San Rafael, CA

If you’re interested in a spirited discussion about eucalyptus, there’s going to be an interesting event in San Rafael with TreeSpirit founder Jack Gescheidt. CLICK TO ENLARGE Are Eucalyptus Trees Going To Kill Us All?! So shouldn’t we kill them … Continue reading

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4th Sutro Forest TAC Meeting: Nativist Coup

When UCSF surprisingly announced there would be a 4th Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting after the original three, we suspected adverse changes to the Draft Plan.  That meeting was held this evening, and we were right to be concerned. Significant changes … Continue reading

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Season’s Greetings, Best Wishes for 2017

This year-end , we’d like to light a symbolic candle. We hope you find it meaningful as we do. To everyone who reads this post: Season’s Greetings! and Best Wishes for 2017. . . . . . . ************

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Another TAC Meeting – Jan 23, 2017

UCSF has surprisingly announced it will have another TAC meeting with modifications to their earlier announced Draft Plan. Here’s what they wrote: “In August, UCSF published a draft management plan for the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve. The plan was … Continue reading

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Crucial Meeting for San Francisco Trees – Dec 15, 2016 – TOMORROW

[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 … Continue reading

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Urban Greening Draft – Speak for The Trees by 5 Dec 2016

In September 2016, the California Natural Resources Agency (CNR) started planning a grant program for Urban Greening. It sounds good at first: The money, 3/4 of which must be used in economically disadvantaged communities, is for planting trees to store … Continue reading

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UCSF Meeting about 2016 Sutro Forest Draft Plan – Oct 27, 2016 – Report

We attended the UCSF community meeting about the new draft plan for Sutro Forest. On this rainy evening, only about 6-8 people came, outnumbered by the UCSFers present. Unlike previous meetings, there were no presentations, just stations that were set … Continue reading

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UCSF’s New Draft Plan for Sutro Forest – Aug 2016

UCSF presented its new Draft Plan for Sutro Forest at the Third Technical Advisory Committee meeting on Aug 18, 2016. This plan will be implemented in three phases: Year 1-5, Year 6-10, and Year 11-20. However, it is heavily front-loaded, … Continue reading

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Sutro Forest – UCSF to Hold Final TAC Meeting (and some old pictures)

UCSF is planning to hold its final Technical Advisory Committee meeting on August 18th, 2016. These are a series of meetings in which two consultants, who have been retained by UCSF to write a plan for Sutro Cloud Forest (or, … Continue reading

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