Once upon a time Pacific Grove had a majestic forest canopy that flowed from Monterey Bay to Shining Sea. Squirrels could jump branch to branch from Lover’s Point to Asilomar – and never touch the ground.
Squirrel at Lunch
The forest almost completely covered what is now a town with pavement and buildings. This of course was before we “settled” here in the 1800s and started cutting roads — less than 200 years ago.
(Here is the schedule of meetings where the future of Pacific Grove’s forest will be decided.)
Update Nov 4, 2011 —
“Our plan is to send you those sections at the end of next week and post them for the public, for discussion at a Urban Forest Advisory Committee (UFAC) meeting on November 17th, at 4pm.”
“We will subsequently release the remainder of the UFMP, after discussion with you on those key aspects of the plan, the week of Thanksgiving. We’d like to hold a second meeting in early December to continue to get input on the ordinance t of and standards, as well as the rest of the proposed plan.”
October 5 (2011): City Council – Project briefing and update, Council Chambers
October 6: Public Review Draft UFMP (public release.)
UPDATE Oct 4: This date has been pushed back to about Oct 20th. That likely also pushes back the other meeting dates below.)
October 12: Natural Resources Commission (Special Mtg), 6pm Council Chambers
October 13: Urban Forest Advisory Committee Meeting #3 – Review Draft UFMP, 4pm Council Chambers
October 18: Community Workshop #2 – Review Draft UFMP, 6pm, Community Center
November 22: Natural Resources Commission Public Hearing, Council Chambers December 7: City Council Public Hearing & Adoption, Council Chambers
The few tiny places in what was to be called “Pacific Grove” without native forest were along the ocean; a narrow strip of land along the beachfront from Asilomar, narrowing further as you approached Lover’s Point. The rest of the landscape where the town stands now was covered by a magical forest.
There are still a few places where you can see what our magnificent native forest looked like — quiet with muffled sound of distant waves . . . protected from the cool wind and hot sun, thick soft ground cover, scarce underbrush so you can easily walk off trails, abundant bird songs, fragrant mint . . .
Precipitous Downward Canopy Loss Trend
Monterey Pine Light
Our town’s forest just lost some 15 percent of its canopy in recent decades. From the almost continuous native forest canopy cover of the 1800s, we are now down to less than 20 percent. According to aerial photography we had some 34 percent canopy cover recently and are down to 19 percent in 2009. Although alarming, this should be no surprise since we lost more than over 700 trees in a single year while Dan Cort (a developer) was Mayor.