L> HOPE - Monterey Mayor's Forest Protection Letter

(Letter from Mayor of City of Monterey - Dan Albert)

 City of Monterey

 

September 4, 2001

 

Ms. Sally Reed

Ms. Edith Johnsen, Chair

County Administrative Officer

County Board of Supervisors

County Courthouse

1200 Aguajito Road, Suite 006

P.O. Box 180

Monterey, CA 93940

Salinas, CA 93902

 

 

Dear Ms. Reed & Ms. Johnsen:

As part of the County General Plan process, I would request that the County consider policy measures that would help us to retain the forest tree cover on the hillsides southeasterly of Monterey.

Of particular concern, is the area westerly of your Jacks Peak property above Monhollan Road extending all the way to Highway 1. Over the years, housing has been developed in this area with the corresponding removal of many trees. Ideally, I would like it to be County Park property consistent with Jacks Peak uses or open space. At the minimum, if the residential development is to continue, regulations need to be put in place to minimize the removal of trees. Some of the newer developments appear to be clear-cutting areas in order to put up large residences and, of course, to create their viewshed.

The forested backdrop that this area provides has a significant aesthetic impact on the City of Monterey. It is part of the largest remaining stand of native Monterey pine habitat in the world and is currently being considered to be designated as "threatened" by the California Department of Fish and Game. The major reason for this designation and subsequent protection is because of the large number of trees that have already been removed for viewshed and development within the Monterey Peninsula.

It is noted that since 1991 the City of Monterey has been regulating the removal of trees on private property in order to preserve our tree cover and to conserve our older trees in particular. While the program has required some resources in terms of staff time, it has definitely paid dividends in terms of positive public relations and the retention of significant trees. It has also helped to educate our residents about the intrinsic value of trees and forests to the entire community.

I look forward to discussing this matter further with you at your convenience.

Very truly yours,

 

Dan Albert

Mayor

cc: Community Development Director

Public Works Director

Parks Superintendent

Urban Forester

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