HELP Save the Trees!
Urgent: Your help is Needed to Fight Clear-Cutting and Tons of TOXIC Herbicides slated for the East Bay Hills
Earth Day 2015
Dedicated to preserving the East Bay's urban forest, the Hills Conservation Network (HCN), a 501c3 non-profit, has been working for years to prevent massive clear-cutting in the Oakland/Berkeley hills. HCN recently filed a lawsuit against FEMA to SAVE the TREES . Your tax deductible donation is urgently needed now to continue the clear-cut fight in court. The Hills Conservation Network wants to stop UC Berkeley, the City of Oakland, and East Bay Regional Parks District from using about $6 million taxpayer dollars to ruin the 150-year-old Hills ecosystem, increase the risk of fire and poison the earth.
The HCN lawsuit is the ONLY thing that will prevent clear-cutting and environmental catastrophe in the East Bay Hills. FEMA would allow the application of tons of TOXIC herbicide after their clear-cut. In many hill areas, brush and weeds that would grow once the trees are removed will be sprayed year after year until nothing grows there. This toxic runoff would contaminate both our watershed creeks and the San Francisco Bay.
Trees, animals, waterways and the earth need your help right now. Your tax-deductible donations are essential to keep the lawsuit going. Please make a donation and share this urgent appeal so we can keep fighting in court
If allowed to go forward, the clear-cut plan would DESTROY the ecosystem as it exists today, exposing animals, insects (including bees), young children as well as adults, the earth and waterways to unprecedented amounts of toxic herbicides over a 10 year period. This bad plan could result in landslides, while wiping out the shade and fog drip that decreases fire risk especially during periods of drought.
HCN has a well researched plan to prevent fire—thinning the close-packed trees to a number that is fire-safe per acre, saving and maintaining large trees in a healthy ecosystem. This plan would reduce fuel and create fire breaks that would ensure effective fire department response.
The truth is--killing up to 486,000 trees would allow fire to rip through the Hills as never before . . .
The tax-payer funded clear-cuts are slated to begin in August 2015 and must be stopped!
Please HELP save the trees and all the wildlife depending on them by making a donation today.
Hills Conservation Network
Links for information:
HCN sees disaster in Oakland Wildfire Plan http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/03/10/greens-see-disaster-in-oakland-wildfire-plan.htm
HCN on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HillsConservationNetwork
HCN on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hillsconserv @HillsConserv
The Clear-cutting plan: http://www.saveeastbayhills.org/the-clear-cutting-plan.html
This is a hot issue with EBRPD having received extreme pressure (some would say threats) from the Sierra Club to move away from their somewhat moderate vegetation management efforts in favor of radical landscape transformation. This radical landscape transformation would involve large scale deforestation and application of large amounts toxic herbicides for decades to come.
It's critically important that the public let EBRPD management know that we're not ok with their bowing to the pressure of the Sierra Club and other nativist factions in order to get support for this funding initiative.
If you can please attend Tuesday's meeting where at approximately 1:45 PM this issue will be discussed. This is a case where your voice can have a real impact.
The meeting will be at EBRPD headquarters: 2950 Peralta Oaks Drive, Oakland
As you may know, the Claremont Canyon Conservancy, a local homeowner group whose primary reason for being appears to be to destroy trees in the east bay hills, has petitioned the court to be allowed in to this case as an intervener.
If this were allowed it would likely derail any prospect of settling the case and would likely jeopardize work currently under way to do fire risk mitigation work.
Among the CCC claims is that they are concerned that UC might accept a settlement that the CCC would find unacceptable to them.. Very odd that a homeowner's group would attempt to position itself superior to the entity that is the actual party to the suit....but this is what they are attempting to do.
The good news is that at this point FEMA, HCN, Cal OES and EBRPD have ALL filed motions objecting to CCC's attempt to undermine proceedings. It is quite remarkable that we've reached the point where it's a small group of folks at UC, a handful of members of the Sierra Club and the Claremont Canyon Conservancy Board (not their membership) against EVERYONE else.
For those who have been following this epic conflict over the last decade this marks a truly remarkable change in the underlying reality. As a direct result of YOUR support our side has gone from being a powerless minority to creating a rational and environmentally sound majority position amongst public land managers.
You can read all the filings on your new website at hillconservationnetwork.org.
Thanks again for your ongoing support and happy new year to you all!
As you know we have had a very successful year in keeping the forces that would clearcut our forests at bay.
The good news is that most recently Federal Magistrate Laurel Beeler not only approved our settlement agreement with FEMA but also threw out the Sierra Club suit against FEMA.
To make matters better yet, Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch ruled in favor of HCN in our attempt to get an injunction against UC to prevent them from clearcutting the hill campus. As a result of this ruling UC was forced to abandon this effort and was ordered to pay HCN attorney fees.
While we were hoping that this would have ended these fights this wasn't to be the case. First, the Sierra Club decided to appeal Magistrate Beeler's decision to throw out their suit. Then, subsequent to their defeat in Alameda County Superior Court UC decided to file a new lawsuit agains FEMA asserting that the earlier decision to accept the HCN/FEMA settlement agreement was unlawful.
After some deliberation HCN decided that we would have to "intervene" in this new lawsuit in order to ensure that the original settlement agreement was protected as best possible. UC strenuously objected to our request for intervention but Magistrate Beeler ruled in favor of HCN allowing the intervention.
Subsequent to this EBRPD decided to intervene as well, this time in support of maintaining the settlement agreement. So, at present FEMA, EBRPD and HCN are all on the same page in wanting the settlement agreement to remain intact.
Now we hear that yet again the Sierra Club/Claremont Canyon Conservancy faction wants to intervene in this case, presumably to prevent any possible settlement. The Sierra Club also filed an appeal of Magistrate Beeler's earlier decision to throw out their lawsuit against FEMA.
The long and short of this is that this was has taken an interesting course, with HCN, FEMA, Cal OES and EBRPD all advocating for common sense vegetation management focusing on addressing the very hazards that nearly destroyed Napa and are currently ravaging Ventura/LA.
In opposition to this approach is the local chapter of the Sierra Club (led by Jerry Kent and Normal LaForce) and the Claremont Canyon Conservancy, both supporting UC Berkeley in their desire to rid the land of virtually all tall trees.
While our prior lawsuits had provisions for attorney fees, and we were fortunate to recoup a significant portion of what was spent, this is unfortunately not the case with the latest legal action.
It is for this reason that we ask you once again to consider making a charitable tax deductible contribution to Hills Conservation Network.
Were it not for your continued support HCN would not have been able to fund 3 lawsuits and these forests we love would be long gone. We think our success in preventing this from happening and at the same time gradually changing the entire "atmosphere" around this issue is evidence that your contributions were well spent.
Looking forward to a happy and prosperous 2018.
thanks again for your support,
Your friends at HCN
Thanks for the update. I have written to the city of Oakland.
Great news, Dan!
This is such amazing news!!! I can't believe they actually backed down. Congratulations, and thank you Dan for all of your dedication and hard work!