To: Board of Regents, University of California and Dr Sam Hawgood, Chancellor, UCSF
Save Thousands of trees in Sutro Forest
Mount Sutro Forest is a dense forest in the heart of San Francisco. It resides mainly on land belonging to the public university, the University of California at San Francisco which designated it as an open space reserve more than 35 years ago. It's over 100 years old, and since eucalyptus trees live to be 400-500 years old, it will survive for centuries if it's left alone. But now there's a plan to kill over 30,000 trees at this site.
Mount Sutro Forest is functionally a cloud forest, lying well within San Francisco's fog belt. All summer long, it gets its moisture from the fog, and the dense greenery holds it in. Where it it's undisturbed, it's a lush beautiful forest, providing habitat for birds and animals, and a wonderful sense of seclusion from urban sounds and sights. Birds, both resident and migratory, depend on this forest.This San Francisco treasure is one of the city's best-kept secrets. (See www.savesutro.com for more information.)
Now UCSF has issued the Draft Environmental Impact Report for a project to destroy over 90% of the trees and the understory vegetation on 3/4ths of its forest - a total of over 30,000 trees. Surprisingly, UCSF argues that the forest suffers from "overcompetition" and that removing 90% of the trees will enable the remaining ones to thrive. (But another arborist brought in by neighbors gave a contrary view, finding no evidence of ill health and confirming "As is typical in [cloud] forests, trees are crowded. Branching is high. Understory is deep. Leaves drip. Some trees are mature and mighty with crowns beyond view. Others are rangy, young and low enough to meet eye-levels."
Destroying 90% of the trees will destroy the forest - its beauty, its Cloud Forest aspect, and its habitat value. The trees, which sequester tons of carbon, will no longer do so, and instead the dead chipped trees will release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Trees also reduce air pollution, by trapping particulate matter on their leaves. The project will be extremely costly, and require the use of pesticides like Roundup and Garlon. (At present, no pesticides are used in the forest.)
Please sign a petition requesting the Board of Regents of the University of California and to the Chancellor of UCSF not to approve this controversial, expensive, and environmentally destructive project. (We will also forward this petition to all the responsible political leaders.)
Why is this important?
San Francisco has a unique treasure - an 80-acre cloud forest only 1000 feet above sea level, in the heart of the city. Now the public university, University of California, San Francisco - one of the world's leading medical schools - plans to destroy 30,000 trees and the whole cloud forest ecosystem. [UPDATE 2017: UCSF has issued another Plan
in which it revises its estimate for the number of trees in the forest from
around 45,000 to... around 13,000. But it still plans to cut down over half
of them, around 6-7,000 trees. See this link: