San Francisco’s Favorite Outdoor Volunteer Program
Last Thursday marked another installment in UCSF's outreach with regard to the Mt. Sutro Open Space Plan. The meeting, which took place in the Millberry Conference Center's Golden Gate Room, was well very well attended. It's very encouraging to see a community of people coming on a Thursday evening to make their voices heard, and I want to thank all the Stewards who came out that evening.
The meeting began with Daniel Icofano (MIG Consulting) and Barbara French (Vice Chancellor, UCSF) making opening remarks about the history of community involvement in the Plan, and how we got to the current Plan. (For more on that, click here) The main thrust of their remarks is that his has been a process of input that has been going on for the better part of a decade, and that the input from meetings like these actually do contribute to future iterations of the Plan.
Next up came Kent Julin, a consultant with Arborscience, and a former firefighter and forester. He spoke about the conditions that he saw around structures, roads and trails, and emphasized just how dangerous with regards to fire and unhealthy with regards to the forest that the current conditions are. He went in depth about Urgent Fire Safety Measures that UCSF and SFFD undertook earlier this year, as well as the four proposed hazard reduction areas that are being addressed in the current Plan, which take place primarily in lands abutting UCSF buildings or Medical Center Way.
The bulk of the evening, however, was dedicated to community speakers. Our very own Executive Director Craig Dawson provided one of the first comments of the evening, and one that garnered some of the biggest applause- about Sutro Stewards working to improve access for everyone. I was pretty amazed at the level of support that Sutro Stewards has in the community- but I guess that's what happens when you are out there multiple days every month putting in time and energy. Many of the comments, however, seemed to focus exclusively on native vs. non-native plants, or the idea of future development, rather than the at-hand issue of the health of the forest and the safety of everyone in and around Mt. Sutro.
Sutro Stewards believes that an actively managed forest is the best way for Mt. Sutro to stay safe, healthy and accessible. We heard from supporters and some of our own members about the importance of active management, of environmental education, of what a healthy forest actually looks like (for more on that from Craig, check out "Understanding the Need for Forest Management on our homepage), and more about the great work of Sutro Stewards volunteers. Again, thank you to everyone who attended and either spoke, or filled out comment cards. Working to keep Mt. Sutro open and accessible comes in many different forms- and we do appreciate your work!
There were no decisions that were made on Thursday night, only input sought- but do stay posted for more news about changes to the Plan.