Trees: Pacific Grove City Forest Management Plan Meeting Schedule

Squirrel at Lunch

Squirrel at Lunch

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.

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

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.

At the same time we were losing our beautiful tree canopy cover, former city officials angered some reasonable residents with outrageous acts, topped off by former Mayor Cort insulting them with name calling.

This resulted in a backlash by some residents who tried to eliminate all tree protection on private property. Sadly, they attracted a few who want to destroy city trees to improve their personal views. (This includes Councilman Bill Kampe who is fighting against restoring our tree canopy.)

HOPE was then compelled to convince the City Council that they could not eliminate tree protection laws without an Environmental Impact Report required by CEQA.

Monterey Pine Lichen

Monterey Pine Lichen
Credit: David Dilworth

The result was that instead of eliminating private property tree protection, the Council approved preparation of an “Urban Forest Management Plan.”

If you love trees, and forests and care about
protecting the “Grove” part of “Pacific Grove” – you can join the groundswell of support for trees and get involved now.

1. Get on the City’s email list by contacting City Staff Sarah Hardgrave, or call her at 648-3190.

2. Canopy Restoration: Then send her a note describing how important it is to you and the city to restore Pacific Grove’s magnificent native forest canopy.

3. Watch this page, HOPE’s Blog. You can subscribe if you wish . . .

4. Send us an email to let us know of your interest.


5. Speak out at these meetings saying how important it is to restore Pacific Grove’s magnificent native forest canopy —

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