Neighbors horrified at the prospect of a ‘chainsaw massacre’ of 1,600 eucalyptus trees on Mr. Davidson
Blue gum eucalyptus in Golden Gate Park
By Thomas K. Pendergast
In the next few months the SF Planning Department will release its final plan to cut down thousands of trees in parks throughout the City, targeting non-native or “invasive” trees like the blue gum eucalyptus, Monterey pine and Cypress pine.
The controversial plan to axe more than 3,000 non-native trees – approximately 16 percent of the urban forest – has generated fierce opposition from the surrounding communities.
Some claim that the SF Recreation and park Department’s adherence to the “native-plant agenda” of the Natural Areas Plan (NAP) ignores the legitimate concerns of local residents – as well as the findings of a number of urban forestry experts that dispute NAP’s premise for the large-scale removal of so-called “invasive” trees.
The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), published in 2011, for the 2006 Significant Natural Resources Areas Management Plan (SNRAMP), does give specific numbers of trees the SF Recreation & Park Department (RPD) is considering for removal.
According to the original SNRAMP plan, the long-term goal is to slowly convert certain areas of San Francisco’s parks to native scrub and grassland habitats or oak woodlands.