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San Francisco’s Cloud Forest at Mount Sutro Under Threat
by SaveSutro
Thursday Jul 23rd, 2009 1:22 AM
The beautiful CLOUD FOREST on Mount Sutro is UNDER THREAT; UCSF is planning to "thin" 14 acres by CUTTING DOWN upto 90% of the the trees and bushes - because the 100-year-old trees are eucalyptus.
A MAGICAL PLACE

There’s a 100-year-old forest in the heart of San Francisco, on the foggy slopes of Mount Sutro. It’s full of birdsong and the calls of the juncos and woodpeckers and – at night – the Great Horned Owls that live there. All summer long, the tall trees capture the fog, dripping the water into the forest floor, a thick sponge of duff and dense undergrowth. When the grasses of nearby Twin Peaks turn dry and golden, the forest is green and damp.

A FOREST IN DANGER.

(See http://www.savesutro.wordpress.com for details.)

It’s a civic treasure, and though most of it is owned by UCSF, it is open to the public. (The easiest approach is through the Aldea student housing area off Clarendon Avenue. Other trails into the forest start off Christopher Drive and down in Cole Valley.) UCSF has applied for a FEMA grant to cut down most of the trees on 14 acres of it, ostensibly to reduce fire danger. In fact, this damp, foggy forest has less fire-risk than most places. Even in the fall, between the foggy summer and the rainy winter, the forest barely dries out for a few days each year.

The real reason for the destruction, many people believe, is that the Native Plant interests have influenced UCSF into believing that the non-native eucalyptus must go. The non-native blackberry bushes, which provide cover and food to birds and small animals, must go. They must be replaced with native grasses and shrubs.

THE PLAN: THINNED, DRIED, POISONED

The plan includes removing up to 90% of the vegetation on 15 acres of the forest, and using gallons of Roundup Herbicide to prevent resprouting. Once the forest is thinned in this manner, it will become drier, more flammable, and more dangerous. Even the trees that are saved will be at greater risk, without the windbreak protection of the other trees. United they stand.

What we expect, once this project is implemented, is a thinner, drier, windier space. It will be a forest no longer – just an open park with a few surviving trees, in which poisonous herbicides will be used year after year (since eucalyptus can resprout for seven years afterward). If we want windy, open, hills we already have Twin Peaks.

IN THE HANDS OF THOSE WHO DESPISE IT

It is a tragedy that this amazing forest has fallen into the hands of those who despise the very trees and bushes that comprise it. Once it is gone, it will not return in my lifetime or yours. A hundred years of growth will end up as tinder on the mountain.
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
We're Scared!treeloverTuesday Jul 28th, 2009 12:07 PM
Clearly needs more care?save sutroFriday Jul 24th, 2009 4:30 AM
It *is* a healthy forest.save sutroFriday Jul 24th, 2009 4:27 AM
Non-native grassesSave SutroThursday Jul 23rd, 2009 9:15 PM
Exciting a RIOT o push ones own agendaHealthy ForestThursday Jul 23rd, 2009 9:14 PM
Native plants won't workSave SutroThursday Jul 23rd, 2009 9:07 PM
Angel Island was a chaparral fireSave SutroThursday Jul 23rd, 2009 8:58 PM
Remember Angel Island?ScotThursday Jul 23rd, 2009 7:13 PM
Everyone outjoyaThursday Jul 23rd, 2009 4:54 PM
Non-native grassesmarkThursday Jul 23rd, 2009 1:39 PM

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