Category Archives: Environment

“Hazardous Tree Work” – Cutting Down Trees on Mount Sutro This Winter

Well, the nesting season is over – and the cutting is starting. On Nov 9, 2017  we received a notice from UCSF that they are starting “hazardous tree work” on Monday November 13. 2017.  They plan on cutting down 50 … Continue reading

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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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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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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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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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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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“New Battle over Managing Sutro Forest Trees” – San Francisco Chronicle

Someone sent us a really interesting article about Sutro Forest in a recent San Francisco Chronicle (25th June, 2016). A MYSTICAL PLACE Titled “New battle over managing Sutro Forest trees,” the article is by well-known journalist Carl Nolte. It starts … Continue reading

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Mission Blue Butterfly on Twin Peaks 2016 Update: Imports from San Bruno Continue

The ongoing project to establish the Mission Blue Butterfly (an endangered subspecies of butterfly) on San Francisco’s Twin Peaks is, well, ongoing. On the basis of the most recent information we received under the Sunshine Act, the Twin Peaks population … Continue reading

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Butterfly Count 2016 – San Francisco

This year’s foggy butterfly count day – June 4th, 2016 –  yielded fewer butterflies than usual, though the number of species was around the same. The Common Buckeye was the most commonly spotted butterfly in 2016, with the Cabbage White … Continue reading

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Report: UCSF Second Sutro Forest TAC Meeting

UCSF held its second Planning Meeting for Sutro Forest on 28 April 2016. The two hired arborists, Jim Clark of Hort Science and Matt Greene, presented the direction they were taking the Plan, and their evaluation of the forest. The … Continue reading

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Invisible Nests – Tree Work Should Avoid the Nesting Season

This article is reposted with permission from CoyoteYipps, a blog about San Francisco’s urban coyotes. We republish it here as an interesting story – and a lesson in how difficult it is to see a bird’s nest even if you … Continue reading

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Two Views of Sutro Forest

Tom Roop sent us several pictures of Sutro Forest and Mount Davidson from a distance. We’ve labeled them to clarify the position of the two mountains. He also sent us this one – a classic San Francisco vista. “The point … Continue reading

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Coming to Sutro Forest: Three New Trails and a Fancy Trail Head

This article is slightly modified and republished from a post on forestknolls.info UCSF is going ahead with plans to add three new trails to Sutro Forest. While we don’t object to trails as such, they all cost us trees – … Continue reading

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Sierra Club Members! Please vote

This is republished with permission from the San Francisco Forest Alliance website. We think it’s important. Please do vote if you’re a Sierra Club member. If you’re a Sierra Club member, you’ve probably received a message asking you to vote … Continue reading

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Mount Sutro Forest: Logging a Lovely Forest

“I was in the forest and it looks like a lumber company came in…” wrote one of our correspondents. UCSF has been aggressive about cutting down trees this winter. These are not evaluated as *hazardous* trees, as Jim Clark of … Continue reading

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Report: First UCSF TAC Meeting, 14 Jan 2016

As we reported earlier, UCSF held a meeting on 14th Jan 2016 at which it announced it was restarting the planning process. UCSF has hired two people to write the plan: Jim Clark, of Hort Science; and Matt Greene, a … Continue reading

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