05.25.12 Urban Forestry Council Approved Minutes

City and County of San Francisco

Department of the Environment



FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2012, 8:30 A.M.






  1. Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting convened at 8:38 a.m.  Present:  Chair D’Agostino, Vice-Chair Hillson, Members Barrow, Buck, Costello, Flanagan, Hillan, Muraoka, Sider, Sullivan, Sutherland, and Vargas (8:45); Excused:  Member Sherwin.


  1. Adoption of Minutes of the February 28, 2012 Urban Forestry Council Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  February 28, 2012 Draft and Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Chair D’Agostino, second by Member Hillson, the February 28, 2012 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES: Members D’Agostino, Hillson, Buck, Costello, Flanagan, Hillan, Sider, Sullivan, and Sutherland; Absent:  Members Sherwin and Vargas).


  1. Public Comment:  Members of the public may address the Council on matters that are within the Council’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.


  1. Forestry Management in the Presidio of San Francisco. (Explanatory Document:  Plan for the Cultivation of Trees upon the Presidio Reservation1883) Sponsor:  Chair D’Agostino; Speaker:  Peter Ehrlich, Forestry Manager, Presidio of San Francisco (Informational Presentation and Discussion)


Mr. Peter Ehrlich presented on the Presidio’s history and historic significance, the Presidio’s desolate geology at the time the Army occupied the land in 1846, and the Army’s plan for cultivation of trees and plantings from 1886-1907.  He discussed the evolution of forestry programs since that time reporting on reforestation, design and tree selection, significant tree-preservation, maintenance, protection requirements, and management zones for the historic forest, landscape zone, and native plant zone.  Council Members and Mr. Ehrlich discussed the Presidio’s development of a landmark tree program, tree-protection requirements, and Presidio resources, staffing, and funding for its forestry program.  


  1. Just One Tree, an Urban Sustainability Project Presentation. Sponsor:  Chair D’Agostino Speaker:  Isabel Wade, Chief Lemon Ambassador, Just One Tree (Informational Presentation and Discussion)

Dr. Isabel Wade, founder of the Just One Tree project, discussed her work promoting sustainable urban agriculture in San Francisco through the planting of lemon trees in San Francisco that could serve as a global model for other cities.   She discussed the need to update the Urban Forest Map to list all fruit trees in San Francisco and for the public to register their fruit trees.   Dr. Wade announced that Mt. Sutro Stewarts, Friends of the Urban Forest, and Just One Tree are registered in an Odwalla National award competition for tree planting and urged Council Members to vote for the project at www.Odwallaplantatree.com.  She reported that the American Community Gardening Association would be holding their annual conference in San Francisco this summer, and she would be speaking about the project.


Council Member Barrow discussed the educational component that this project would have for schools.  He also suggested that Dr. Wade consult the Public Utilities Commission who is investigating sites for urban agriculture.  Dr. Wade reported that she is working with the Recreation and Park Department and Public Utilities Commission and is planting a community orchard of lemons as well as researching a number of other sites.  She discussed her membership in the SPUR Advisory Council for Urban Agriculture Project and in the Urban Agricultural Alliance.


  1. Urban Forestry Council and Committee Workflow Procedures Review. (Explanatory Document;  Workflow Procedures) Speaker:  Chair D’Agostino (Informational Report and Discussion)


Chair D’Agostino reviewed the Urban Forestry Council and Committee meeting workflow procedures that include timeline requirements and process for quorum checks, agenda creation and posting, and explanatory document submittals.  A discussion was held on the role of Council Members, the Chair, Council Coordinator, and Council Secretary in the process of making meetings more efficient by following the workflow procedures.  A discussion was held on presentations planned for future Urban Forestry Council meetings.


  1. Update on the Street Tree Pamphlet.  Speaker:  Chair D’Agostino (Informational Report and Discussion)   


Chair D’Agostino reported that the Street Tree Pamphlet working group reviewed the tree species to include in the Street Tree Pamphlet image tree section and has made a list of trees based on the Recommended Street Tree List for this year.  The working group included experimental trees as a way to increase the diversity of trees included in the pamphlet and evergreens to promote storm-water diversion potential.  She reported that Friends of the Urban Forest and Bureau of Urban Forestry will be reviewing the list, text will be worked on, and it is projected that the Council will be presented with a draft for review and approval at its June 26 meeting.


  1. Approval of Press Release Issuance for the Urban Forestry Council’s 2011 Annual Report.  Speaker:  Chair D’Agostino (Discussion and Action)


Chair D’Agostino reported that the Council has not yet issued a press release for the 2010 - 2011 Annual Report that was issued in February.  The Planning and Funding Committee at its May meeting recommended that the Council authorize the Annual Report working group to prepare and issue a press release.   The intention was for the Board of Supervisors working group to bring the press release and Annual Report to their meetings with the individual supervisors.  Chair D’Agostino suggested that due to timing, the Council vote on either issuing a press release on a relevant subject and include the Annual Report or for the Annual Report working group to finalize and issue the press release as soon as possible. 


Upon Motion by Member Sider, second by Member Hillan, the Council voted to not issue a press release this year and work on issuing one expeditiously for the following year’s report (AYES:  Chair D’Agostino, Hillson, Buck, Costello, Hillan, Sider, Vargas; NOES:  Members Flanagan, Sullivan and Sutherland; Absent:  Member Sherwin).


  1. Nomination and Election of Urban Forestry Council Chair and Vice-Chair. (Discussion and Action) 


Member Hillson motioned to nominate Members D’Agostino and Costello for Chair and Members Costello, Flanagan, Sherwin, Sullivan, and Sutherland for Vice-Chair.  Member Vargas motioned to nominate Member Flanagan for Chair.  Members Costello and Flanagan did not accept the nomination for Chair.  Member D’Agostino accepted the nomination.  Members Flanagan, Sullivan and Hillson accepted the nomination for Vice-Chair.  Members Costello and Sutherland did not accept the nomination for Vice-Chair.  Member Sherwin was not present.    


Upon Motion by Member Hillson, second by Member Sutherland, Member D’Agostino was re-elected as Chair (AYES:  Chair D’Agostino, Hillson, Buck, Costello, Flanagan, Hillan, Sider, Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas; Absent:  Member Sherwin).


Member Costello motioned, second by Member D’Agostino, to re-elect Member Hillson as Vice Chair.  Did not pass (AYES: Members D’Agostino, Buck, Costello, and Hillson; NOES:  Members Flanagan, Hillan, Sider, Sullivan, Sutherland, and Vargas).


Upon Motion by Member Hillson, second by Member Sullivan, Member Flanagan was elected as Vice-Chair (AYES:  Chair D’Agostino, Hillson, Buck, Costello, Flanagan, Hillan, Sider, Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas; Absent:  Member Sherwin).


  1. Staff Report.  Staff will provide updates on Urban Forestry Council administrative and programmatic operations relating to research, planning, funding, outreach, and other related activities. (Informational Report and Discussion)


Council Coordinator Mei Ling Hui reported on the Clean and Safe Parks Bond and Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Preferred Alternative that has been chosen.  She stated that she is working on scheduling Board of Supervisor working group meetings with Board of Supervisors members.  Member Muraoka reported on the Technical Advisory Committee proceedings on the Van Ness BRT and the center lane alternative that was chosen that has side boarding platforms that would allow preservation of some of the median trees and would eliminate all left turns with the exception of two.  He asked that the Van Ness BRT staff present to the Council at a future meeting.


  1. Committee Chair’s Reports: (Informational Reports and Discussion)

Planning & Funding Committee. Committee Chair D’Agostino reported on the May 7 Planning and Funding Committee meeting discussion to identify the best way for the Council to interact on the Bus Rapid Transit Plan and other development projects, which will also be discussed at a future meeting.  The Committee received a report on the Board of Supervisors working group meet and greet meeting with Supervisor Campos who received the Council’s Annual Report and had recommended that the group present the report to the Neighborhood Services Committee.  Chair D’Agostino asked Council Members to sign in with their interest to attend future meetings.  An Organizational Assessment was reviewed at the May meeting, and questions will be selected at the June meeting to include in a survey that will be sent to all Council Members.   

Landmark Tree Ad Hoc Committee Report.  Committee Chair Hillson reported on the history and current status of the Committee’s work on landmark tree groves, nomination forms, and selection criteria. The Committee has selected definition and criteria for landmark groves for Sections 802 and 810 of Article 16 and is waiting for feedback from the Department of Public Works and review by legal counsel.


  1. Chair’s Announcements: Chair, Urban Forestry Council (Information and Discussion) There were no Chair’s announcements made at this time.


  1. Urban Forestry Council Member Announcements. (Information and Discussion)  Member Buck provided an update on the California Pacific Medical Center St. Luke’s and Cathedral Hill development project large-scale tree removal requests.  Member Vargas reported on grant funding received from CalFire to build a Smartphone application for the Urban Forest Map that is scheduled for release by the end of summer and an outreach campaign for citizens of San Francisco to add trees to the map.  Chair D’Agostino announced upcoming meetings of the Bay Area Landscape Supervisors Forum, Western Chapter ISA workshops on carbon offset programs and the role of the urban forest, and the International Society of Arboriculture.


  1. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion)  Member Flanagan suggested that Friends of the Urban Forest and the Planning Department present on AECOM findings for the Urban Forest Master Plan and their ideas for new funding mechanisms for street trees in San Francisco.  Member Hillan suggested adding a future agenda item discussion on Urban Forestry Council vacant seats.  Member Sider suggested adding a presentation on the Planning Department’s and Department of Public Work’s improved process for tree protection.  Member Hillson discussed the importance of attendance by Council Members at meetings, especially Committee Members.  She discussed her difficulty locating the Urban Forestry Council on the Department’s new website and suggested that a more prevalent link be established.  Member Muraoka suggested a discussion on establishing a public relations working group to promote activities of the Council.  


  1. Public Comment:  Members of the public may address the Council on matters that are within the Council’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There were no members of the public present at this time.


  1. AdjournmentThe Urban Forestry Council meeting adjourned at 11:17 a.m.


The next meeting of the Urban Forestry Council is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26, 2012, at 6:00 p.m., Room 416, San Francisco City Hall.


Copies of explanatory documents are available to the public at the Department of Environment, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., upon request to the Council Secretary at the above address or telephone number 415-355-3709 or via e-mail at Monica.Fish[email protected].  Explanatory documents are also available at the Council’s meeting or agenda website https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/urban-forestry-council as attachments with each agenda or meeting minutes.


Urban Forestry Council

San Francisco Department of the Environment

City and County of San Francisco

11 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA 94102


Respectfully submitted by

Monica Fish, Council Secretary


Approved:  August 28, 2012