Action Alert: Destroying the Character from Glen Canyon Park

One of the things everyone loves the most about our Glen Canyon is that it’s a wilderness park with rough and tumble Huck Finn paths in the back area. It’s about to be ruined. We need your help to try to stop this. (Scroll down for what you can do.)

This is the wonderful path that is going to be changed into just another trail.

Here, you can return to a wildness for a while, escaping from all that is civilized, modern and managed. The path winds through dense growth and has lots of “down” trees that you need to step over, or tunnel under — these bent and twisted trees are particularly beloved by those of us who walk it daily.

There is a “log” over the creek, and there is a rope swing if you go back far enough. Hardly touched at all, this has been our haven for so long — it has been my haven for 35 years.

Recently NAP has been thinning the thickets, cutting into the willows, removing the the ground cover. And now, they want to raze the fabulous trees which give the park its character. Trees have been ribboned in pink — though walkers have pulled most of these off as a way to protest, but the trees still retain the condemning splash of green paint which marks them for removal.

We need to protest loudly, and to everyone who even might listen.

Appendix J of the NAP DEIR page 3 says, “The SFRPD’s Tree Removal Procedures require that all trees designated for removal be posted at 30 days before removal. The public is invited to comment about the proposed removal, and the SFRPD may or may not modify its plan based on public input.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

We should call/email:

  • Ana Alvarez, the NAP Supervisor,
  • Supervisor Scott Wiener (Glen Canyon is in District 8),
  • Mayor Ed Lee.

These trees in Glen Canyon should reference this procedure, request a copy of it, and the name and address of who the public is invited to comment to about this tree removal. We expect they are not following their own procedure and we need to point that out. The designated trees don’t have any information on them about who to contact or no 30-day notices. And they probably will cut them down before 30 days are up.

Let your friends and neighbors know that they, too, can help by calling and writing letters — our power will come from the number of people who do something about this.

WHAT TO SAY

We want to retain our park — the wilderness we cherish — as it is. Please do not cut down any trees, including those that are “down”, forming tunnels over the paths and little bridges to step over. The entire community is extremely upset at all the clearing that has gone on, and now at the prospect of losing our trees. The trees give this particular park it’s character — a wild feeling where one can truly feel and play Huck Finn.

We all stated during the community meetings last Spring that we wanted the park kept wild — we have not been listened to. We are also concerned that no 30-day notices have been posted on the trees, telling us where we may meet to comment — isn’t this required? Please do not cut our trees. Please tell us what we can do to stop this destruction.

STAY INVOLVED

Send an email to SFForestNews@gmail.com  letting us know if you would like to help, and signing up for our newsletter.

For those that haven’t seen it, here is the Draft Assessment of the Urban Forestry Operations that is pretty insightful: http://www.sfrecpark.org/documents/FileTree/PROSAC/Materials/2010%20Materials/070610/RPD%20tree%20operation%20assessment%20DRAFT%206.19.2010.pdf

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8 Responses to Action Alert: Destroying the Character from Glen Canyon Park

  1. Pingback: San Francisco Natural Areas and Escalating Pesticide Use | Save Mount Sutro Forest

  2. Sally Ross says:

    It is interesting that your post shows the trail side covered with English ivy, and possibly a fallen eucalyptus or two. Each of these is a non-native element. Any and all exotic species present in the canyon destroy the wilderness aspect of Glen Canyon Park.

    Please note the term “wilderness”. It implies natural, native flora and fauna; the wild plants and the bird and animal populations that support one another. That is what we want to have if we want a wild retreat. A morass of garden escapes and foreign invasive species is to be deplored. Let’s progress toward returning the area to a REAL wilderness. Do not let the concept that a plant’s becoming established in an area is a sign of its becoming native to the area. It remains an invasive element, a weed. It disrupts and destroys the normal habitat of native plants, animals, and insects in its surroundings.

    It will be a huge and long term task, but we can restore the entire canyon to a truly wilderness state. Lets get started!

    Webmaster: We have a broader view of nature, which includes all plants and animals. However, even if we agreed with your narrow definition of “wilderness,” we would not consider it an appropriate goal for the urban parks of San Francisco, the second most densely populated city in the country.

    The soil, air, and climate have changed significantly in the 250 years since the arrival of Europeans in the Bay Area. The plants that were native are no longer adapted to these altered conditions. Therefore, they cannot be reintroduced without intensive gardening effort. Some of these efforts are destructive and harmful to the environment. For example, toxic herbicides were sprayed in the so-called “natural areas” at least 86 times in 2011. Using herbicides contradicts the goal of a “natural” landscape.

    San Francisco’s parks will never be “REAL wilderness” in the sense you use the words. The futile attempts to attain an impossibility began in San Francisco nearly 15 years ago. These unsuccessful efforts are expensive and destructive.

    • Skeptic says:

      Hey, you are only going half way to your “true wilderness state.” Vigorously managing the landscape with chainsaws, herbicides, and weed-pulling is not enough. You also have a lot of animals that need killing. Those cute fox squirrels you see in San Francisco parks are actually nasty non-natives. They, and all other non-native animals, must be killed to achieve your glorious “true wilderness state.” And killed not once, but killed over and over again as new individuals wander into our “wilderness.”
      What a pathetic notion of “wilderness!”

  3. Mike Siani-Rose says:

    As a long-time resident of Noe Valley and Glen Park, I love the wilderness of Glen Park Canyon. My son is now almost 13; we walked all through his years from toddler to pre-teen with our dogs in the beautiful, most wild part of San Francisco. We used to refer to it as our “real backyard”. Please don’t “clean up” nature – let’s leave a little bit of wilderness in our midst.

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