To: FEMA

Stop the deforestation of the Berkeley/Oakland Hills

The current Draft EIS is unacceptable as it will inflict enormous environmental damage, expose the public to thousands of gallons of toxic herbicide, destroy raptor habitats, destabilize steep slopes, and actually increase the risk of hazardous wildfires.

FEMA should retract this EIS and remove those portions of the EIS that call for clear-cutting tall trees. The EIS should instead support a far less destructive methodology that would focus on a "species-neutral" approach, focusing on eliminating ground fuels and the fire ladder, thinning where appropriate, and limbing up as needed to ensure minimal risk of crown fires. Killing more than 50,000 trees and poisoning them for up to 10 years will have disastrous effects on this beautiful and healthy ecosystem, and cannot be allowed to happen.

Why is this important?

The Hills Conservation Network has been fighting to prevent FEMA from allowing UC/Oakland to use federal disaster mitigation funds to clearcut ALL of the tall trees in the hills. They are targeting eucalyptus, pines, and acacia for complete eradication, not because of a fire risk, but because these species are despised by the native plant restoration community. They have dismissed proposed "species neutral" fire mitigation strategies that would be cheaper, would use far fewer herbicides, and would be far more effective in lessening fire risk because the native plant restoration agenda wouldn't be advanced.

Category


Reasons for signing

  • I have visited this area so many times and the nature brings me such joy. Coming from New York City I can truly appreciate the rarity and benefits these great lands offer. Please take care not to take this for granted.
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  • At a time when we need to fight climate change on planetary scale and every tree counts in this effort, decisions like these are short sighted and criminal.