We recently posted about two important dates: a City Hall meeting regarding the Natural Areas Program (NAP) that was scheduled for Sept 29, and the last date for comments on the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) that was September 2, 2016. They have both changed.
THE NATURAL AREAS PROGRAM
The Sept 29th meeting about the NAP (We wrote about that HERE) has been postponed without a new date.
Here’s what the Planning Commission wrote to one of our supporters:
“The September 29 Planning Commission hearing to certify the SNRAMP EIR has been postponed. We had two Planning Commissioners term out, so it was unlikely that we would have a full Planning Commission for the September 29 hearing date. The Planning Department is currently looking for candidates to replace the two seats on the Planning Commission but we don’t have a date of when that would occur by. Because of that, we currently don’t have a future date in mind just yet. The Planning Department is committed to publishing the Response to Comments document four weeks in advance of the hearing date. A notice will be sent out upon publication…”
This will be the meeting to certify the Environmental Impact Report on the Significant Natural Areas Management Plan for NAP. We need to make sure our voices for the forests and against pesticides are heard.
EAST BAY MUD THREATENED TREES
The last date to send in your comments to EBMUD has been extended to September 16th. EBMUD is planning to destroy all the non-native trees in the East Bay watershed it manages, and use a lot of pesticides to do so. (We wrote about that HERE.) Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Doug Wallace, EBMUD, 375 11th St, Oakland, CA 94607.
The San Francisco Forest Alliance has submitted this comment:
The San Francisco Forest Alliance is a 501c(4) organization created in 2011 for the purpose of preserving our urban forest and preventing the use of pesticides in our public open spaces. The urban forest in San Francisco is threatened with destruction for the same reason that forests in the East Bay are being destroyed by public land managers. Most trees in the San Francisco Bay Area are non-native and for that reason native plant advocates demand that they be destroyed.
The East Bay Watershed Master Plan (EBWMP) renews the commitment of EBMUD to “replace non-native forests with native species over the long term.” This commitment is based on the “Guiding Principle” of the EBWMP to “restore populations of native plants and animals and their environments.”
These commitments are antithetical to the primary mission of EBMUD to provide safe drinking water to their customers in the East Bay. The safety of drinking water is jeopardized by the commitment to destroy trees and “restore” native plants for the following reasons:
– EBMUD is using large quantities of herbicide to destroy non-native plants. Destroying trees will reduce shade and promote the growth of weeds. This will increase the need for herbicide use. Pesticides are dangerous pollutants in drinking water.
– Trees stabilize soil and reduce erosion. Increased erosion will increase run off from the land and increase sedimentation, which will reduce water quality.
The trees of the San Francisco Bay Area are performing many valuable ecological functions. Destroying them prematurely serves no useful purpose and damages the environment. The CalEEMod emissions model indicates that every acre of forest that is converted to grassland results in a net release of 106.7 metric tons of CO2.
Please reconsider EBMUD’s policy regarding tree removals and pesticide use and follow the lead of the Marin Municipal Water District to abandon the use of pesticides in your watershed.
Dee Seligman, Interim President,
San Francisco Forest Alliance