Sutro Forest tree fight – why is UCSF felling trees?

by Rob Regan on February 7, 2013

An uproar is spreading across the San Francisco blogosphere and around town about a UCSF (University of California, San Francisco) plan to apparently fell over 30,000 trees from the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve.

My immediate reaction was like most; are you crazy?

Interestingly the below video from August 2010, referencing ongoing maintenance and study of the forest going back to the 1990’s indicates this was not a rash decision.  In more recent years two foresters were consulted, and the main reason is summed up at minute 7:36 of the video:

According to professional foresters, the Reserve is covered with a dense, mature, and unhealthy forest that is slowly dying, and growing susceptible to fire and disease….. the potential for a catastrophic fire threatening lives and property… will only grow.

Minute 9:27 has the credentials of the forest expert in the video, Ray Moritz.

To be clear, I’m not taking a side.  But this makes it pretty clear that there is another side to the story, and that this isn’t some rash decision without careful study.  Now, debate away….

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