To the Editor…

by on May 17, 2013

As an environmental scientist, a resident of the East Bay hills, and an avid trail runner, your article did me a service by making me look carefully at the environmental impact statement. After that, I realized that your article was doing me a disservice by greatly distorting the project methods, the hazard risk, and history. First, the methods. The pesticide will not be “poured”, only sprayed where necessary with special procedures for proximity to water. Wood chips will be spread *at most* to 24 inches thick and cover *up to* 20% of the cleared area. They are expected to decompose within 5 years. Second, just because trees have been in Strawberry and Claremont canyons for decades does NOT mean that they are not fire hazards. We have simply been lucky enough that a fire like the 1991 Oakland firestorm hasn’t burned there yet. Eucalyptus and Monterey pines are far more flammable than native oaks, which, without the competition from these non-native trees, will rapidly reforest the cleared areas.Lastly, this project has not developed without public comment. In fact, the environmental impact statement was developed following an initial public comment period in 2008.Yes, the removal of trees and installation of erosion control will be a jarring change, but it is not permanent and does a great public good. This was my first foray into reading BeyondChron, and after getting a sense of your reporting style, it will be my last.Sincerely,Justine Owen, PhD

This feedback was sent by:Justine Owen from Kensington, CA

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