FEMA should approve the draft EIS as soon as possible so that funds will be released and projects to mitigate fire danger in the East Bay Hills can begin. The projects planned by UC, EBRPD, and the city of Oakland to reduce the risk of serious wildfire in the east bay hills balance fire risk reduction with concerns for the environment. The proposed actions are supported by the facts and science:

• The fire danger posed by stands of eucalyptus trees, compared to other tree species, has been thoroughly studied and is well-documented.

• The risk of uncontrolled wildfire in ecosystems dominated by eucalyptus poses a demonstrated risk to nearby neighborhoods and a larger danger of the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the one-time cutting of eucalyptus, which will be rapidly replaced by other species which absorb carbon dioxide.

• The existing understory and numerous remaining trees and plants will rapidly take the place of the cut eucalyptus. “Clear-cutting” and “deforestation” are misleading, unscientific descriptions of the planned measures.

UC, EBRPD, and the city of Oakland have no profit or ulterior motive for the proposed land stewardship measures, which are based on science and long-term planning for conservation. We support the findings of the draft EIS and the proposed fire management measures.

Why is this important?

This petition is sponsored by the Claremont Canyon Conservancy. The Conservancy is devoted to the cause of conservation as well as science-based prevention of the wildfires that have recurred in and around the canyon for the last hundred years. The Conservancy invites anyone who wishes to see how fire prevention and management through removal of stands of eucalyptus is consistent with conservation, reduction of greenhouse gases, and restoration of beautiful wildlands to walk the trails built by the Conservancy and UC on the south side of Claremont Canyon (signpost 29), where bay laurel, redwood, the rare western leatherwood, coastal live oak, and other species coexist, many springing up spontaneously after eucalyptus were removed over the past decade. The Conservancy believes that active involvement in the wild lands around which we live enriches all of us and the communities in which we live.