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Mount Sutro Management Plan & TAC Meeting

UCSF Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve Management Plan Are you a user of Mount Sutro Open Space? If so, please mark your calendar to join Sutro Stewards in supporting the current effort to develop long term, sustainable management of this wonderful resource. Join us at the third and final meeting of the Mount Sutro Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Thursday, August 18 at 6:30pm at the Aldea Center and lend your voice in support of Sutro Stewards' work to increase biodiversity and improve wildlife habitat. Mount Sutro TAC Meeting #3 Thursday, August 18, 2016 6:30-8:30pm Aldea Center on Mount Sutro 155 Johnstone Drive (map) Sutro Stewards support the need for a management plan for Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve. Mount Sutro should be managed for long-term health, sustainability, and access for the benefit of people and wildlife. Sutro Stewards advocates for a management plan that promotes ecological health and resilience, increases native biodiversity, and provides quality wildlife habitat. We also advocate for a plan that engages the local community and utilizes the active volunteer support our programs have fostered over the last ten years. Current Conditions The consulting team performed field surveys and analysis of existing conditions on Mount Sutro earlier this year. The findings reported at the TAC Meeting #2 showed that of the four forest types surveyed, there were 9-39% standing dead trees per acre and 23-78% trees per acre with less than 20% live crown. (The live crown is the top part of a tree that has green leaves, as opposed to the bare trunk, bare branches, and dead leaves. The ratio of the size of a tree's live crown to its total height is used in estimating its health and its level of competition with neighboring trees.) Three of the four forest types had no basal sprouting and two of the four had no tree regeneration. This illustrates the severe impact from drought, disease, pests, and the spacing conditions within the 61-acre reserve. (TAC Meeting #2 presentation) Much of the open space contains an understory of invasive cape ivy, English ivy, and Himalayan blackberry. These non-native invasive plants can outcompete other vegetation for resources, decrease biodiversity, and limit overstory species regeneration. The current tree conditions pose a safety risk to neighbors and open space users and the current species composition is lacking in biodiversity. Current conditions represent an accelerated decline in overall health of the area, which, without intervention, will continue to grow worse. The open space needs to be managed for long-term ecological health, safety, and access for current and future generations of people and wildlife. UCSF Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve Management Plan In 2015, UCSF announced that it would begin a process to develop a management plan to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the Reserve. Key elements of the plan will include:

  • Improves safety of the Reserve and protects lives and structures

  • Addresses hazard reduction and promotes a sustainable forest

  • Includes a replanting strategy to promote biodiversity

  • Utilizes a phased-in approach

UCSF is working with the TAC and independent forest management consultants to develop a draft management plan for the Reserve that will be vetted by the community. All TAC meetings are open to the public and include opportunities for the community to ask questions and comment on the plan. That draft management plan produced by the consultants will be presented at the TAC meeting August 18. This fall, UCSF will begin the environmental review process with a project description based on the recommendations of the consultants, TAC, and community. Management Plan Timeline

  • Winter-Summer 2016: Convene TAC meetings

  • Summer 2016: Define revised project

  • Fall 2016: Community meetings

  • Fall/Winter 2016: EIR scoping meeting

  • Winter 2016: Recirculate draft EIR

  • Winter/Spring 2016: Public hearing on recirculated draft EIR

  • Spring 2017: Prepare responses to comments

  • Summer 2017: Publish and certify final EIR

  • Fall 2017: Begin phased implementation (bird-nesting season from March-August) * Dates above are from the TAC Meeting #2. Dates are approximate and subject to change.

Technical Advisory Committee The TAC was formed in December 2015 to ensure the long-term health, sustainability and safety of the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve. The TAC is comprised of volunteer experts in forestry, fire hazard reduction, biology, and habitat restoration with a mission is to provide guidance on the scope, techniques, and best practices for a long-term management plan for the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve. Members of the TAC include:

  • Peter Brastow, Senior Environmental Specialist for Nature, Ecosystems and Biodiversity, San Francisco Department of the Environment

  • Peter Ehrlich, Forester, Presidio Trust

  • Joe McBride, Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, University of California Berkeley

  • Lew Stringer, Restoration Ecologist, Presidio Trust

  • Richard Sampson, Forester/Division Chief, CAL FIRE

Learn more about the TAC here. We hope you can join us at the final TAC Meeting on Thursday, August 18. If you are unable to attend the meeting, comments can be sent directly to Christine Gasparac, UCSF Interim Directory, Community & Government Relations, at

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