Monday, June 17, 2013

My comment to FEMA

June 17, 2013

East bay Hills EIS
Federal Emergency Management Agency
PO BOX 72379
Oakland, CA 94612-8579

Dear FEMA Staff Members,

As a concerned citizen an resident of Claremont Canyon, I feel strongly about eradicating the eucalyptus from the East Bay Hills. These trees are suppressing a riparian woodland, stunted by the overhead eucalyptus canopy, increased soil pH, and poisoning native soil microbes.  

I have recently photographed the managed and unmanaged eucalyptus groves, as well as the post eradication recovery areas. All the photos, numbering in the hundreds, are publicly available via my blog.

These photos document the immediate threat these trees pose to the community, and the unfeasibility of routinely thinning, limbing and clearing literally tons of ground fuel every five years. This procedure is very disruptive, destroys habitat, kills wildlife and causes erosion.

Any sensible fire mitigation strategy undertaken should have as it's long range goal the eradication of eucalyptus in the East Bay Hills, particularly the Tazmanian Blue Gum. The tremendous amount of ground fuel they create, the rugged and inaccessible terrain they inhabit, and the extreme fire danger they pose, all make keeping these trees an unacceptable risk. 

After eradication, the entire ecosystem begins healing, the native microbes migrate back into the soil, and the native habitat returns. Once reestablished, the riparian woodland of the East Bay Hills is far less dangerous and easier to manage without major environmental disruption. The Sign Post 29 post eradication recovery area is clear evidence that the concerns of 2009, that the native woodland would not recover, were and are unfounded.

Clearly, the safest, most economic, environmentally sound, and sensible solution to the dire threat posed by the Eucalyptus trees in the East Bay Hills is eradication and restoration.



AND THIS . . .




The choice is clear and obvious. Eradication, then managed recovery of the native habitat is the sensible solution to long term fire risk management in the East Bay Hills.


Bob Strayer,
Resident, Claremont Canyon, East Bay Hills