Help Save Mt. Sutro TrailsOct 18th, 2009 | By dcrites | Category: Resources
What’s going on?
UCSF is seeking funding from FEMA to do a large maintenance project in the Mt. Sutro Open Space area. The UC wants to remove many Eucalyptus trees to make the grove and forest sustainable, by reducing risk of fire or trees toppling from earthquakes. (While generally a moist area, it does experience long dry periods; risk of earthquake, it goes without saying …) Mt. Sutro is very much an urban forest, with UCSF and private housing abutting it on many sides. See more details here http://natureinthecity.org/sutro_qa.pdf
Why can’t the UC just do it? it is their land…
They have been communicating this plan with the community and have been met with strong opposition. The “Save Sutro” group holds that the forest that exists there is a marvel that should be preserved as it is and that the UC’s plan is extreme. You can read more here http://savesutro.wordpress.com/
“Save Sutro” says some pretty great things, like, don’t trees work to prevent landslides?
Maintained trees do help, but that doesn’t mean all trees do that, or that there might not be a tipping point in which the trees, due to their density, size, winds or earthquakes can no longer sustain themselves and become a huge danger to the surrounding neighborhoods. Jake Sigg says it much better here.
What does this mean for the trails SFUR has been building and maintaining?
The UC needs to have community support to keep them committed to working on Mt. Sutro.
Otherwise, they could let it return to being their crazy, wild back yard. We believe that the proposed maintenance will help sustain Mt. Sutro as an urban forest and thereby allow the trails we are working on to exist for a long time.
For this specific project, our presence and support will improve the likely hood of it being funded by FEMA. This is also a chance for SFUR members to let the UC know how much they enjoy the Mt. Sutro Open Space. We are part of the community that is affected by the UC’s Open Space management and we want to be sure that our voices and opinions are heard.
Will this FEMA money trickle down to the monthly trail building?
The current project is beyond the scope of what SFUR and the Stewards do, but could provide funds directly or lead to other funding for smaller maintenance project. SFUR and the Mt. Sutro Stewards have been working with the UC for almost 10 years in this area, but have not had any funding from them for years. While the smaller scale trail building and maintenance does not require much money, it would be great to get some to expand the work.
What will happen at this meeting?
The goal of the meeting is “a thorough discussion with neighbors and will use this feedback to shape how these projects proceed.” The UC will present the project and some experts to talk about the area and why the project is needed. Then they will open it up for the public to speak.
Is it a timed meeting?
We are assuming that it will run on time, and the first hour, 6:30 to 7:30, will be devoted to UC and its experts, and the 2nd hour, 7:30 to 8:30 will be public comment.
What can SFUR members do at this meeting?
1) Be there! it will help you better understand the Mt. Sutro area, who the UC is as a land manager, and familiarize you with what other members of the community think about the Sutro Open Spce
2) Speak up! We hope that many of you are enjoying these new and maintained trails on Sutro, and have grown to love the area. We want you to let the UC and the community know the importance Mt. Sutro has for you, and that you support projects that continue to maintain it for the long run.
If I can’t do this meeting, will I have another chance to participate?
Yes, on Saturday, Oct 24th 2009, 12 noon there is a Sutro Walking Tour, starting on the Aldea student housing area at Johnstone and Behr. (This is off Clarendon Avenue.)
We think there will be another meeting, but it is not scheduled yet. We will keep you posted through the SFUR website and on Facebook.