A number of neighbors attended the meeting called by UCSF for 24 March 2011, including Walter Caplan, President of Forest Knolls Neighborhood Association. (Walter took the opportunity to explain the Crestmont issue to a cluster of people around the map of the forest.)
UCSF’s meeting was intended to inform the neighbors about the reasons for the withdrawal of the FEMA application; reaffirm their commitment to a safe, healthy, beautiful and usable forest; and lay out next steps.
Barbara French opened the meeting with why they withdrew the FEMA applications:
- They were more aggressive than the adaptive management principle called for in the 2001 Plan for the forest;
- FEMA indicated that the environmental review would take about 2 years, much longer than UCSF wanted.
- Once an environmental review started, UCSF would need to maintain the status quo until completion.
Instead, UCSF itself will do a full environmental review, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act . They hope to use UCSF funds that had been set aside as matching funds for the “FEMA project.” This review (through its Campus Planning office) would cover all intended actions over the full 61-acre area of the forest to avoid “piece-mealing.” It would take about a year, and would be preceded by three community workshops.
With the conclusion of the environmental review, eucalyptus trees would be “thinned” on 2 acres as a demonstration. (The location and nature of the demonstration would be subject to community input.) As soon as that was done, work would proceed on the South Ridge and Edgewood cut zones. The whole plan would take into consideration the rainy season as well as the bird nesting season.