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Sutro Stewards Principles for Inclusion in the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve Management Plan

Sutro Stewards support the creation of a management plan for the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve. Mount Sutro needs to be managed proactively for long-term health, sustainability, and access, for the benefit of people and wildlife. Sutro Stewards advocate for a management plan that promotes ecological health and resilience, increases native biodiversity, and expands 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.

  1. Sutro Stewards supports the development of a long-term management plan for Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve.

  • The Reserve needs to be managed for long-term health, sustainability, safety, and access for the benefit of people and wildlife. Current conditions represent an accelerated decline in overall health of the area, the blue gum eucalyptus monoculture in particular, which without intervention will grow increasingly problematic. The goals of a long-term management plan should be to promote the development of a healthy, sustainable open space.

  1. Sutro Stewards advocates for proactive management of the open space to rapidly reduce current hazards and achieve overall improved public health and safety.

  • Declining health of the Reserve poses a threat to public safety. Recent surveys and analysis of existing conditions within the Reserve found that there are up to 40% standing dead trees per acre and 23-78% of the trees per acre with less than 20% live crown. These dead and dying trees present a serious risk to open space users, neighbors, and residents of the Aldea Housing. The open space needs permanent proactive management to promote healthy habitat and safe conditions for users and surrounding communities.

  1. Sutro Stewards supports the formation and adoption of best management practices for ecological health and increased biodiversity within the Reserve.

  • The Reserve will benefit from increasing locally appropriate, native plant populations that promote biodiversity and quality habitat for wildlife. Habitat types should be selected to improve ecological health and long-term resilience to better address drought conditions and a changing climate.

  • Invasive plant management and monitoring needs to be a significant component of the long-term management plan. Much of the open space contains an understory of invasive plants that outcompete other vegetation for resources, decrease biodiversity, and limit overstory species regeneration. Sutro Stewards supports UCSF’s current position not to use herbicides. Invasive vegetation management and monitoring should be carried out in a bold and dynamic program utilizing manual and mechanical methods by crews and supported by our habitat volunteers.

  1. Sutro Stewards advocates for the expansion and enhancement of wildlife habitat.

  • Birds, bees, butterflies, amphibians, coyotes, and other wildlife species all rely on the important interconnected open spaces still remaining in our urban environment for food, water, shelter, and space. Protecting, restoring, and enhancing quality wildlife habitat on Mount Sutro creates connectivity between habitat in our city and is a vital component of wildlife conservation. Providing quality wildlife habitat starts with plants: a healthy, biodiverse population of vegetation that supports local wildlife species.

  1. Sutro Stewards advocates for a management plan that engages our community and includes our organization as an active partner in the long-term management of the open space.

  • The open space will benefit from a management plan that includes elements that engage our community and utilize the active volunteer support our programs have fostered since 2006. This involvement provides opportunities for the population to play an active role in the care of our open spaces, builds community, and instills a sense of pride, appreciation, and custodianship for our open spaces, while offering a variety of educational and recreational possibilities.

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