Resolution Endorsing the Natural Resource Areas Management Plan Goals of Increasing Maintenance of Trees and Urban Forest Areas

Environmental policy and legislation in San Francisco

[Resolution endorsing the Natural Resource Areas Management Plan goals of increasing maintenance of trees and urban forest areas.]

Resolution endorsing the Natural Resource Areas Management Plan goals of increasing maintenance of afforested areas within San Francisco’s Natural Areas and urging further goals to support increased management of mature tree stands.

WHEREAS, The Urban Forestry Council is charged with guiding the stewardship of San Francisco's trees by promoting a healthy and sustainable urban forest that benefits all San Franciscans while ensuring public health and safety; and,

WHEREAS, The Recreation and Open Space Element of the General Plan, the City commits to a policy to “maintain, restore, expand and fund the urban forest”; and,

WHEREAS, the General Plan has an objective to “protect and enhance the biodiversity, habitat value and ecological integrity of open spaces…”; and,

WHEREAS, High quality, well maintained landscapes, including both urban forests and natural areas, are important components of parks in San Francisco, and provide numerous long term ecological, public health, economic, and environmental benefits; and,

WHEREAS, The Urban Forestry Council adopted the Guiding Principles for Mature and Historic Tree Stands as a reference document to assist Council members with evaluating plans that may affect mature and historic tree stands; and,

WHEREAS, the Guiding Principles identify lack of management, low species diversity, and competing land use priorities as some of the challenges that affect urban forestry management decisions; and,

WHEREAS the Guiding Principles state that site use priorities and goals need to be identified before management decisions can be made and that urban forestry management decisions need to fit within the overall objectives for the site, including the context of citywide urban forestry management goals and site specific needs, objectives, and priorities; and,

WHEREAS, Urban forest areas require ongoing management, which can include tree planting, maintenance, as well as tree removal; and,

WHEREAS, In the Urban Forestry Council’s Annual Urban Forest Report, the Recreation and Park Department (RPD) has reported planting an average of approximately 550 trees per year over the past five years; and,

WHEREAS, the Natural Areas Plan estimates that RPD will remove 3,423 trees from Natural Areas within San Francisco City borders over the 20-year life of the Plan, which is approximately 170 trees per year; and,

WHEREAS, RPD has committed to replant one tree for every tree removed, the Urban Forestry Council urges RPD to consider an increased planting rate of a three to one replanting ratio; and,

WHEREAS, In Urban Forestry Council Resolution No. 007-14-UFC, the Urban Forestry Council urged the Board of Supervisors, Planning Department and other City Agencies to prioritize funding and support for the completion of the next two phases of the Urban Forest Plan, which includes planning for urban forest management within parks and open spaces; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Urban Forestry Council does not condone tree removals that result in a net loss of trees in San Francisco; and be it,

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Urban Forestry Council urges the Recreation and Park Department to set a goal of planting 1060 trees per year (550 current planting average, plus 510 trees to replace an estimated 170 annual tree removals within San Francisco) to ensure that the goals of the City’s General Plan to maintain and expand the urban forest is met, by ensuring that tree removals are offset by additional tree planting; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Urban Forestry Council requests that the Recreation and Park Department provides reporting information on the number of trees removed, pesticide and herbicide use, and the replacement tree plantings within San Francisco above RPD’s system-wide current planting levels, in their annual reporting to the Urban Forestry Council for the Annual Urban Forest Report; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Urban Forestry Council requests that the Recreation and Park Department present project plans for the Natural Resources Areas Management Plan to the Urban Forestry Council for review and advice before implementation; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Urban Forestry Council renews their request to the Board of Supervisors, Planning Department and other City Agencies to prioritize funding and support for the completion of the next two phases of the Urban Forest Plan; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Urban Forestry Council supports the Natural Resource Areas Management Plan goals of improving management of the forested areas within San Francisco that fall under the Plan.

Anthony Valdez, Commission Affairs Manager           Dan Flanagan, Council Chair

Vote:               10-0 Approved

Ayes:              Members Flanagan, Short, Carter, Crawford, Hillson, Kida, Lowman, Andrew  Sullivan, Swae, Taylor

Noes:            None

Absent:          Members Hillan, Lacan, Manzone, Michael Sullivan