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Yes, you read that correctly . . . clearcutting about 85,000 trees with NO replanting. Instead, to make matter worse, they will be applying thousands of gallons of herbicides (including Roundup) to discourage re-sprouting and covering the area with two feet of wood chips.  Those that know the Bay Area (and especially the East Bay) may know where Strawberry Canyon and Claremont Canyon are - that is where this travesty is planned

While I am well aware of the fire danger here in the hills (having lived here during the Oakland hills fire), this sounds like overdoing things and the dangers from erosion and slides will be bad too.

The whole story is here courtesy of California Progress Report.  Looks like U.C is trying to pull a fast one here, but there is still time for public comment (links in the story).  Sorry for the short diary, but I am on my way out the door and saw this and (following a check to see if otherwise diaried) decided I needed to get the word out.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. - Emerson

    by foolrex on Fri May 17, 2013 at 03:43:17 PM PDT

  •  Sounds like removing non-native trees, which (7+ / 0-)

    is not the same as clearcutting. And applying herbicide to the stumps to prevent them from resprouting. As somebody whose burned up house was surrounded by eucalyptus, I'm not very incensed by this.

  •  that's FAR from "correct" . . . (7+ / 0-)

    it didn't take much digging to find this:

    UCB and Oakland plan to remove all non-native trees (eucalyptus, Monterey pine, acacia, etc.) and vegetation from the project area. All non-native trees up to approximately 24 inches in diameter at breast height (DBH) will be cut into wood chips and scattered on the ground of the project area. They estimate that 20% of the project area will be covered with wood chips to a depth of 24 inches. The DEIS estimates that the wood chips will take from 5 to 10 years to decompose. Larger trees will be cut up and scattered on the site.

    Although UCB and Oakland do not intend to plant the project areas (unless erosion subsequent to tree removals demands seeding of native grasses and herbaceous plants), they predict that the project area will eventually become native grassland, scrub, and forest of coast live oak, California bay laurel, big-leaf maple, California buckeye, and California hazelnut. They predict that this conversion from non-native to native vegetation will be accomplished by “recruitment” from areas where these plants exist, into the areas where non-native plants and trees will be removed.

    The stumps of eucalypts and acacia will be sprayed with an herbicide (Garlon with the active ingredient triclopyr) soon after the trees are cut down to prevent resprouting. An estimated 1 – 2 ounces of formulated herbicide will be required for each stump. Based on an experiment conducted by East Bay Regional Park District, an estimated 5% of the trees will require retreatment of subsequent resprouts.

    That, btw, is from an "opposition" site.

    I've lived near and walked through much of that area for nearly 50 years . . . and can't muster up much if any objection to removing non-natives and restoring a more natural (and fire resistant) ecology to the area.  And applying herbicide to the stumps is a far cry from an environmental catastrophe.

    IOW . . . it sounds like a good idea to me . . .

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Fri May 17, 2013 at 04:11:35 PM PDT

    •  Mea Culpa (0+ / 0-)

      I realize this response is very late, but first of all thank you for the additional information.
      I was literally out the door (my wife was upset that I was taking the time to diary this) when I posted and have been without internet access until this morning.
      As you could see from the original link, the proposed action was described as clearcutting and, without time to do more research (as you did), I posted in panic (because I do NOT approve of clearcutting).
      I still live in the Oakland hills and I, like you, see non-native species (particularly eucalyptus) as a scourge on the environment and a huge fire danger. We had an acacia (another pyrophyte BTW) removed from our property. So I have no problem with selectively getting rid of these dangerous pests.
      Also, the article I linked to did not talk about stump treating with the herbicides which gave an impression of wider environmental release.
      Thank you for doing the additional research and I hope that my post, driven only by concern (created by the poorly researched article I came across) and posted without further digging only because of my time constraints does not stain my reputation with you or anyone else.

      When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. - Emerson

      by foolrex on Mon May 20, 2013 at 09:30:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They really should replant with native oaks (6+ / 0-)

    and oak-scrub/chaparral species, but one really cannot kill too many eucalypts, they are invasive weeds

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Fri May 17, 2013 at 04:16:49 PM PDT

    •  Aren't the Oaks being killed off (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris

      by a new beetle?

      SOS - Save Our Sigs!

      by blueoregon on Fri May 17, 2013 at 04:35:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no, by Phytophthora ramorum, (5+ / 0-)

        which is a fungus.  It does pose a very real problem for 'replacement" trees . . . especially since the native Bay Laurel is both endemic and a primary vector of the disease.

        One would hope that there will be efforts to find resistant varieties and selectively plant them, but I don't find any mention of that.  It is also not clear how they intend to guide succession in the "replacement" growth, and to avoid opportunistic invasion by other non-natives.  I doubt anyone would be happy to see the area reseeded with broom or pampas grass . . .

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Fri May 17, 2013 at 04:57:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KenBee, Creosote

          I support replacing non-native species with native ones.  I used to live in this neighborhood, including during the Oakland Hills Fire.  I covered that fire for KPFA and remember hearing the Berkeley City Manager say that it was time to extirpate the Eucalyptus and Monterrey Pine.  That was almost 25 years ago.

          On the other hand, I have ridden my bike up Claremont Canyon to Grizzly Peak many times.  It was part of my regular work out.  And I can say that removing the non-natives is going to radically change the look of that canyon.  And not for the better.  

          After the Hills Fire, people re-built houses, but made them butt ugly and much larger and more ostentatious. The trees along Claremont helped buffer the ugliness.

          And there was always something about hiking Redwood Park in the late summer -- the smell of redwood needles, eucalyptus, dust, pine, coffee berry, wax myrtle -- that evokes the whole feeling of the East Bay hills.  

          Is UC planning to cut down the huge eucalyptus grove just east of Oxford near the Valley Life Sciences Building?  If so, I will put my body on the line.

          What will become of the many species -- many of them native -- that depend on a canopy and a multi-story structure to nest in and feed on?  Those non-native large trees have been there so long, the whole ecology has adjusted to them.

          This aggression will not stand, man.

          by kaleidescope on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:23:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not sure much of anything "native" (0+ / 0-)

            has adapted to nest in or feed on eucalyptus.  The critters will do fine without it.  And as for what the canyon will look like without them you only have to go over the hill into Tilden or Briones, or down Pinehurst Road and Canyon Road, to see.

            I doubt that Eucalyptus Grove will come down (unless they decide to put a building there) . . . it's hard to make a case for "going native" on the campus.  You're right about the "character" of the after-fire re-build (although "butt ugly" is probably too kind).  But there are plenty of native trees that will hide it just as well as the eucalyptus does.  Redwoods would probably do best (grow fastest) . . . the ones in my back yard (a bit over a mile down from the mouth of the canyon) are doing fine (so is the Live Oak in my front yard).  They were probably dominant on the canyon floor until they were logged out in the 1800s.

            I grew up in the Bay Area, so the smell of eucalyptus is a "childhood familiar" that definitely "brings back memories".  Despite that I recognize that it really doesn't belong here . . . except, perhaps, as the occasional specimen tree (or grove).
             

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Fri May 17, 2013 at 11:50:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  See my "Mea Culpa" post above n/t (0+ / 0-)

            When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. - Emerson

            by foolrex on Mon May 20, 2013 at 09:35:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Some, but many are thriving. (0+ / 0-)

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Fri May 17, 2013 at 06:30:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Newly installed trees need watering in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tinfoil Hat, Creosote

      and the soil should not be allowed to dry out for a least a month thereafter. You don't want new roots trying to emerge into parched soil. They will desiccate and die. The logistics of installing and maintaining new transplants would be difficult over such a large area, and the costs would probably be impossible.

      Of course, if we had a CCC type program....

      The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

      by psnyder on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:44:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yep, ya'll beat me to it (8+ / 0-)

    If you read the document it just talks about removing invasives that also happen to burn incredibly well.  Seems like a good plan.  Eucalyptus are pretty and smell nice, but they are from Australia, burn like crazy, and even poison the ground so other species of trees cannot grow.

  •  They've been doing this for years... (5+ / 0-)

    Having spent a lot of time hiking in the hills above Berkeley over the past 2 decades, let me tell you, these efforts are not new.  Stumps of invasive tree species are a common sight in those hills.

  •  As someone who has worked in the woods.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chimene, KenBee, prishannah

    most of my life and has degrees in forestry and ag, I agree with the comments here.

    It's not "clearcutting" in any way. Selective cutting and application of herbicides to kill invasive species is the best way known to improve habitat for native plants and wildlife, conserve water and soil and generally let the local environment return to something like it was before the European invasion.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Fri May 17, 2013 at 08:36:29 PM PDT

    •  Please see my "Mea Culpa" post above n/t (0+ / 0-)

      When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. - Emerson

      by foolrex on Mon May 20, 2013 at 09:32:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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