The Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve is part of the East Bay Regional Park District. (Courtesy H Grimes/Flickr)

The Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve is part of the East Bay Regional Park District. (Courtesy H Grimes/Flickr)

Sierra Club prioritizes East Bay parks

Sally Stephens’ column on the Sierra Club’s position on the extension of the Measure CC was very wrong on all counts. If she were tweeting, she would be in company of a certain person who loves to tweet false information.

Here are the facts: In 2004, the East Bay Regional Park District put on the ballot Measure CC, which allocated 30 percent of the tax dollars to park district work to restore creeks, improve habitat for birds and other wildlife, to restore wetlands and endangered species, and to create and implement a vegetation management plan to protect the wildland-urban interface from another Great Fire as occurred in 1991. This was the portion that went to stewardship and
habitat.

That vegetation management plan calls for work on around 2,100 acres of vegetation, some of which is very fire-dangerous blue gum eucalyptus plantations. These eucalyptus came from Australia and were planted as commercial lumber plantations, like coffee or banana plantations in the rainforest, for their lumber. But the blue gum were not usable for lumber, so the corporate interests that planted those plantations just abandoned them — an early example of corporate irresponsibility. In Australia, the blue gums are called “gasoline trees” because they have an oil that ignites in heat like gasoline. Their crowns just explode.

The Sierra Club has advocated that, for the extension of Measure CC for another 15 years, at least 50 percent of total funding go to what’s referred to as “stewardship” by the Sierra Club, the Golden Gate Audubon Society and the California Native Plant Society. This includes money for funding a portion of the vegetation management program, but also money to:

– restore creeks and streams so trout and salmon can return to original spawning grounds and reproduce;

– create and enhance endangered species habitat;

– restore lands for the beautiful native wild flowers we see in the spring;

– restore the lost Redwood groves we had in the East Bay before they were cut down for lumber and then replanted with Eucalyptus blue gums;

– restore and protect wildlife and their habitat;

– restore and enhance wetlands so they we can be better prepared for sea level rise.

The Sierra Club supports the other 50 percent funding for:

– operations of the McLaughlin East Shore Park, a regional park at Point Molate, regional parks in the City of Alameda, Oakland and other park units in the tax area;

– recreational improvements to the East Bay Regional Parks, like improving trails, repairing park facilities and making parks accessible to all people;

– educational activities for park users so they can better understand the parks and the Bay Area ecology.

What Sally Stephens wants is all the money to go to saving the gasoline trees. You decide which is the best course.

Norman La Force is chair of the East Bay Public Lands Committee.

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Gov. Gavin Newsom, show here speaking at the City College of San Francisco mass vaccination site in April, faces a recall election due to anger on the right over his handling of the pandemic, among other issues. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Why Gavin Newsom’s popularity could work against him in the recall election

Top pollster: ‘We’re not seeing the Democrats engaged in this election. And that may be a problem…’

Passengers ride the 14-Mission Muni bus on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Transit officials fear Free Muni pilot could hurt already-strained service levels

Supporters say fare cuts could increase ridership, help low-income residents

The vacant property at 730 Stanyan St. in the Haight currently houses a safe sleeping site for the homeless. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Affordable housing project on former McDonald’s site delayed as city adds units

The start of construction on an affordable housing project on the site… Continue reading

(Shutterstock)
SF expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to minors 12 and up

San Mateo County also preparing to begin vaccinating kids next week

A second Hummingbird Place is set to open at 1156 Valencia St. following the success of a facility at San Francisco General Hospital. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner) —
Shelter contract for mentally ill to get five-year, $17.2M extension

San Francisco is expected to give a five-year extension to a pilot… Continue reading

Most Read