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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Eco Watch

Re: “Evidence Mounts that Roundup Is Toxic

It's refreshing to read some honesty on this topic! This piece should be picked up by a larger organization and distributed far and wide, but unfortunately Monsanto has paid most of them off. Great article!

Posted by Kristi Rae on 09/07/2015 at 10:01 AM

Re: “Bad Air? There's a Pill for That

Oh great! Another way that we can avoid taking responsibility for the air pollution that we are creating! American adults do LOVE avoiding responsibility. It's our 'right!' After all, America was founded with a 'Bill of Rights,' but no 'Bill of Responsibilities'... Important article topic and good research, but it does sort of ignore the bigger picture and all the OTHER health and environment impacts of air pollution generators. For example, an nicotine addict suffers from far more than just lung contamination….

Posted by Segue Fischlin III on 09/05/2015 at 11:04 PM

Re: “Compost or Biogas?

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 08/26/2015 at 7:16 AM

Re: “Oakland Officials Withhold Air Pollution Plan

In health tests, I'm already finding significant levels of Lead, Cadmium and Arsenic from living in Adam's Point, Oakland. I certainly believe that this issue should be high on everyone's priorities if they live in Berkeley or anywhere in Oakland or Alameda. There's a significant amount of toxic pollution here, and were all getting poisoned.

Posted by Segue Fischlin III on 08/05/2015 at 9:44 AM

Re: “East Bay Hills Tree Removal Plan Still Sparking Debate

Introducing eucalyptus trees to the hills was an historic mistake and no more a "heritage" than the Confederate flag is.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Paul McGee on 08/04/2015 at 11:35 AM

Re: “East Bay Hills Tree Removal Plan Still Sparking Debate

The Sierra Club is right: introducing eucalyptus trees to the hills was an historic mistake and should no more be considered a "heritage" than the Confederate flag.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Paul McGee on 08/03/2015 at 4:13 PM

Re: “An Alternative to the Tunnels

Always a delight to know about some out-of-the-box thinking. Sometimes known as Plan B.

There's enormous problem-solving potential in imagination.

Unfortunately imagination is usually unemployed and permanently out-of-work.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Hobart Johnson on 07/24/2015 at 10:29 AM

Re: “An Alternative to the Tunnels

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 07/23/2015 at 9:38 PM

Re: “An Alternative to the Tunnels

An excellent article illuminating a huge cost-savings that ought to be implemented now. With no construction involved, its efficacy can be evaluated swiftly - much earlier than any tunnel completion. Even at a cost of $1 billion, it is 1.4% the projected costs of Brown's $67 billion tunnels, a project that will surely have $4.7 Billion in cost overruns if history is any indication, overruns 5 times the entire cost of this approach. With this plan in place, 454,000 acre feet of immediately needed water could begin its flow to high priority uses - perhaps to those now willing to pay higher rates thus offsetting the $1 billion cost. Non-partisan logic says this is a winner.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by William H. Thompson on 07/22/2015 at 11:08 PM

Re: “An Alternative to the Tunnels

I completely agree that the contaminated west valley ag lands should be retired, but this would not come close to alleviating the need to fix the Delta plumbing system. They currently export about 5 million acre feet per year from the south delta. Reducing that by 1/2 million would not resolve the ecological impacts of south delta pumping. Moving the intakes to the north does two things - it protects California's water supply from salt-water intrusion and it alleviates the reverse flows that trap and kill fish in the south delta. Retiring Westlands, while a great idea, would achieve neither of those goals.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Michael Tucker on 07/22/2015 at 4:09 PM

Re: “An Alternative to the Tunnels

The Liberals are oohing and aahing because Governor Brown has echoed what a growing body of scientists are proclaiming-that human extinction is now a possibility. Brown is a master at fooling liberals who love rhetoric more than action. By Brown supporting, Big Ag's Peripheral Canal, twice defeated by California voters, he hastens the very human extinction he proclaims. Let's see if he gets on board this proposal to reform his expensive Peripheral Canal "boondoggle". Somehow, I think not.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Valerie Eisman on 07/22/2015 at 9:55 AM

Re: “An Alternative to the Tunnels

Great article Bob!

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Valerie Eisman on 07/21/2015 at 10:58 PM

Re: “East Bay Hills Tree Removal Plan Still Sparking Debate

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 07/19/2015 at 7:50 AM

Re: “East Bay Hills Tree Removal Plan Still Sparking Debate

Yes to Dan Seaman's comment. Thinning, yes, but replace with natives! And keep new euc sprouts from getting big! Eucalyptus is a major water thief and anyone who has really taken the time to regard what grows under eucalyptus and what grows under native species can see the difference. We've definitely lost biodiversity with the introduction of this species.

AND it is a seriously hazardous tree to grow in a high-fire zone. The oils in the leaves and bark are highly combustible. In contrast, native evergreens have a bark that actually resists combustion.

Segue Fischlin, former forest firefighter, Okanagon, USFS.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Segue Fischlin III on 06/30/2015 at 8:58 PM

Re: “East Bay Hills Tree Removal Plan Still Sparking Debate

Eucalyptus trees are fine in Australia, but they are a blight on the landscape of California. It is too bad that misguided folks derailed the removal of this invasive non-native from the East Bay hills. We would be safer, more bio-diverse, and aesthetically better off without them. It is great to see how oak, madrone, and bay trees have flourished in some locations where eucalyptus has been removed in Tilden park.
That said, I do agree with the person who stated that tree removal needs to be followed up with plantings of natives to prevent other non-native species such as broom and thistle from moving into the vacuum created by removing trees.
Dan Seamans

10 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Dan Seamans on 06/30/2015 at 2:03 AM

Re: “East Bay Hills Tree Removal Plan Still Sparking Debate

Eradication of the eucalyptus is a misguided extension of native plant advocacy when the fact that the Bay Area’s native species, the grasses and shrubs that once covered most of the tracts of the East Bay hills, are far more of a fire hazard than what grows now. The chaparral that covered much of the Bay Area depended upon occasional fires to sustain the landscape.

Healthy eucalyptus as well as pine trees are much less likely to burn than what existed before people came to these parts. Eucalyptus are known and respected for their windbreak and fire resistant characteristics, not just in the Bay Area and other parts of the state, but throughout the southwest as well as other parts of the world with hot and dry climates. Without the wind breaking capabilities of the eucalyptus trees, the disastrous wildfire of 1991 would have burned even hotter and would have consumed much larger swaths of land.

The eucalyptus is an important addition to the Bay Area and many other parts of the world. The trees were brought here for a reason. They have been and continue to be bred to grow quickly in the harshest of environments and to provide better and better protection from the elements. Not only do they provide more effective deterrent to fire than do our native species, but they are pleasantly fragrant, aesthetically pleasing and provide us with shelter.

9 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Charles Wohl on 06/29/2015 at 9:02 PM

Re: “East Bay Hills Tree Removal Plan Still Sparking Debate

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Editor on 06/27/2015 at 9:20 PM

Re: “East Bay Hills Tree Removal Plan Still Sparking Debate

Jack, Your link doesn't go to a FEMA report? It goes to something prepared by the cities of Oakland and Berkeley the year after the 1991 Fire. That's ok, it is a good report and I was pleased to see that many of the things recommended in it have been carried out.

I'm not sure you noticed that the quote you give "Do not target particular species such as Blue Gum . . . " was in the section on the urban environment--a recommendation for vegetation management within cities (near homes, schools, stores, etc.) (go look again).

I know this might seem like a minor point but I think the cities were saying not to change their urban tree policies in order to satisfy the needs of large scale wildland policies that were being formed.

In their wildland section, they say "Create and maintain fuel breaks on the wildlands along the urban-wildland interface. Use broad area treatment . . " and set up expert panels to guide the process. I believe this is what we have now with the current FEMA grant.

I enjoyed the link to your website. Great pictures. Thanks.

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Marilyn Goldhaber on 06/26/2015 at 5:32 PM

Re: “East Bay Hills Tree Removal Plan Still Sparking Debate

There are numerous key omissions in both this article and the comments so far. I hope objective readers new to this controversy will read the following facts, and learn the truth behind the misleading euphemism of “vegetation management” for what will be: The largest SF Bay Area forest clearcuts in 100 years:

1) the scale of these clearcuts is massive - the biggest SF Bay Area deforestation in 100 years. It has nothing to do with fire danger mitigation because, for starters, all the living trees cut WILL NOT BE REMOVED FROM THE HILLSIDES. They will only be chopped into logs and wood chips and LEFT ON THE GROUND TO BURN in any future fire.

2) Fire science has established that, since ALL species of trees contain large amounts of water (ever try to burn a green log in your fireplace?), they are far LESS flammable than dry grasses and low shrubs. Learn fire science facts in a blistering critique of the deforestation plan by a firefighter who served on the Mayor’s Task Force determining the ACTUAL causes of the 1991 fire routinely, ERRONEOUSLY blamed on eucalyptus (because fear works):http://treespiritproject.com/wp-content/up…

3) There will be NO REPLANTING OF ANY KIND. So the truly “invasive” plants like poison oak, thistle and broom will grow where forest canopies are destroyed, then bake in hot, direct summer/autumn sun to BECOME THEIR OWN FIRE HAZARD (what started the 1991 fire);

4) Despite repeating the lie endlessly, eucalyptus are not more “flammable” than “native” bay laurels which also contain volatile oils in their leaves (hold a bay leaf over a lit stove and see). And bay trees grow closer to the ground, and grasses, than blue gums, so ignite MORE readily in a grass fire. But the Big “flammable" Lie is repeated because FEAR the actual agenda...

5) SPECIES ERADICATION, the destruction of ALL Monterey pines, acacia, and eucalyptus trees, no matter how many, even hundreds of thousands which…

6) IGNORES CLIMATE SCIENCE and carbon sequestration — millions of pounds of carbon is sequestered in 450,000 trees — ignoring deforestation’s affect on local climate. Common sense alone tells the average, unbiased person that when you cut down over 2,000 acres of forest canopy, those areas will heat up from direct sun;

7) a contradiction: A) “We’re not clearcutting, we’re thinning trees” and B) “These are dangerous, flammable, gasoline trees.” If B is true, then why NOT cut them all down? Why only thin such dangerous trees? Why NOT clearcut them?

8) the Feb. 1992 FEMA report released after the fire, in its many recommendations, says: “Do not target particular species such as Blue Gum Eucalyptus or Monterey Pine for eradication or exemption from tree regulation policies, but require regular maintenance to reduce fire hazard.” Read for yourself: http://www.hillsconservationnetwork.org/Ad…

Jack Gescheidt, Founder
The TreeSpirit Project
LEARN MORE: http://treespiritproject.com/sfbayclearcut

12 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Jack Gescheidt on 06/26/2015 at 3:39 PM

Re: “East Bay Hills Tree Removal Plan Still Sparking Debate

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 06/26/2015 at 3:17 PM

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