City and County of San Francisco
DEpartment of the ENvironment
URBAN FORESTRY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2009, 6:00 P.M.
CITY HALL, ROOM 416, ONE DR. CARLTON B. GOODLETT PLACE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102
ORDER OF BUSINESS
1. Call to Order and Roll Call. The Urban Forestry Council Meeting convened at 6:05 p.m. Present: Chair Milne, Vice-Chair D’Agostino, Council Members Blair, Cohen, Hillan, LeBeau, Rodgers, and Vargas; Excused: Members Buck, Nervo, Sherk and Sustarich; (1 Vacant).
2. Adoption of Minutes of the September 22. 2009 Urban Forestry Council Regular Meeting. (Discussion and Action) Upon Motion by Member Cohen and second by Member D’Agostino, the September 22, 2009 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES: Chair Milne, Vice-Chair D’Agostino, Council Members Blair, Cohen, Hillan, LeBeau, Rodgers, and Vargas; Absent: Members Buck and Sherk) (Explanatory Document: September 22, 2009 Approved Minutes)
3. 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.
Items 5 and 6 were heard together before Item 4.
4. Effect and Management of Pine Pitch Canker on Trees. Presentation by Larry Costello from the UC Extension and City Agency representatives, followed by Council discussion. (Explanatory Documents: Pitch Canker in San Francisco Presentation, Reports from San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and Recreation and Park Department) (Informational Presentation and Discussion)
Mr. Costello presented on the effect and management of pine pitch canker on trees, which is a disease of Monterey Pine, a significant tree species in San Francisco. He stated that the Council should be aware of the disease and know as much about it as possible in terms of management and future of the urban forest. Mr. Costello presented on pitch canker symptoms, causes, effect on trees, early stages and progression of infection, range of susceptibility within the species, resistant varieties, current distribution, strategies, management, and unknown future. Additional information can be found in the explanatory document. Council Members discussed the causes, patterns, possible solutions, funding mechanisms, prevalence in other countries, and alternatives for future management.
Public Comment: Mr. Martin Escalante, San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) discussed the current situation of pine pitch canker on Monterey Pines on school sites. He stated that there are many large, old and diseased trees on SFUSD school sites, many of which were appropriate species and planted in inappropriate places relative to their size and subsequently, are a danger to people and are damaging to sidewalks. It was explained that there are fourteen gardeners for the school district’s 150 sites and 430 acres of landscape, and there are no tree-toppers. Any tree removal or pruning of large trees is done by a contractor.
Mr. Escalante expressed his concern that some of these trees are located in areas where their target would be a building or a play yard, places where children go. They do have trees in areas that are less frequented that are less of a concern, but there are approximately 383 Monterey Pines and approximately 260 are infected. Mr. Escalante stated that gardeners are monitoring the trees to make sure they do not pose a falling hazard, but no-one is ever sure when a tree is going to fall, and he would ideally like to remove the trees because of the target areas that they are planted in. These trees are about 14% of the school district’s entire canopy, which numbers about 3000 trees to date. It is hoped that funding becomes available through a state or federal agency so they can take care of the trees more expediently; otherwise, it is a safety gamble.
Chair Milne explained that the SFUSD pine trees are located in hazardous locations and recommended that this matter be reviewed closer by the School Board, the Board of Supervisors, or another agency. It was explained that the Council is conducting this meeting to bring this matter to the public’s attention and to determine whether funding might be available to address problem areas, with school-ground sites as a priority.
Mr. Escalante stated that the SFUSD has been fortunate that there have been no injuries over the years from trees falling during storms. He explained that people are usually not in the area during storms, so there have been cases where trees have fallen but have not injured anyone. Mr. Escalante stated that there were instances of cars being damaged and cited a recent experience when a Eucalyptus branch fell and demolished an employee’s car at one of the elementary schools.
Chair Milne discussed the importance and prevalence of Monterey Pines in San Francisco and recommended that the Council educate the public and discuss developing guidelines and identifying funding mechanisms for dealing with pine pitch canker to recommend to the Board of Supervisors. Chair Milne stated that he appreciates Mr. Costello’s presentation and hopes that the Council can discuss possible solutions at future meetings.
5. Resolution Commending Mike Boss for his Service to the Urban Forestry Council. (Explanatory Document: Resolution File 007-09-UFC) (Discussion and Action)
Chair Milne read the Urban Forestry Council Resolution commending Ex-Officio Member Mike Boss for his service to the Urban Forestry Council. Ex-Officio Member Boss, a Mayoral appointment, was also presented with a Mayoral Certificate of Commendation. Ex-Officio Member Boss thanked and expressed his appreciation to the Council for their work on San Francisco’s urban forest, provided recommendations for their future work, and wished them well in their future endeavors. Upon Motion by Member Rodgers and second by Member Hillan, Resolution File 007-09-UFC commending Mike Boss for his service to the Urban Forestry Council was approved without objection (AYES: Chair Milne, Vice-Chair D’Agostino, Council Members Blair, Cohen, Hillan, LeBeau, Rodgers, and Vargas; Absent: Members Buck and Sherk). (Explanatory Document: Approved Resolution)
6. Resolution Commending Department of Public Works Representative Carla Short for her Service to the Urban Forestry Council. (Explanatory Document: Resolution File 008-09-UFC) (Discussion and Action)
Chair Milne read the Urban Forestry Council Resolution commending Ex-Officio Member Carla Short, who was appointed by the Director of the Department of Public Works, for her service to the Urban Forestry Council. Ex-Officio Member Short thanked the Council and stated that the Council would be well represented by her replacement Member Buck, and that she would continue to be involved in future work with the Council in her role as the Department of Public Work’s urban forester. Member Cohen discussed the value of Ms. Short’s role to the Council and expressed her concern that she would no longer be a member. Upon Motion by Member Rodgers and second by Member Hillan, Resolution File 008-09-UFC commending Carla Short for her service to the Urban Forestry Council was approved without objection. (AYES: Chair Milne, Vice-Chair D’Agostino, Council Members Blair, Cohen, Hillan, LeBeau, Rodgers, and Vargas; Absent: Members Buck and Sherk) (Explanatory Document: Approved Resolution)
7. 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)
Coordinator Hui provided a staff report and discussed the Urban Forestry Council email address change, current landmark tree nominations, the urban gleaning project, Green Christmas program, and the upcoming strategic planning session on November 20th. Chair Milne inquired whether there was any progress at the Mayor’s Office in regards to filling the vacancy on the Council and asked Council Members for their recommendations for a potential member. Council Coordinator Hui discussed the application process at the Mayor’s Office. Council Coordinator Hui discussed the application process at the Mayor’s Office.
8. Committee Reports: (Informational Reports and Discussion)
Planning & Funding Committee, Chair. Council Chair Milne reported that the Planning and Funding Committee meeting of October 15 was cancelled. The next meeting is scheduled on Thursday, November 19, 2009, 4:15 p.m. at City Hall, Room 421. Landmark Tree Ad Hoc Committee, Chair Malcolm Hillan. Council Chair Milne reported that the Landmark Tree Committee would be meeting on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. at City Hall, Room 421 to discuss three tree nominations.
9. Chair’s Announcements: Terry Milne, Chair, Urban Forestry Council (Information and Discussion). Council Chair Milne reported on (1) correspondence received from Mr. McCloud recommending that property tax breaks be given to encourage planting trees (Explanatory Document: Correspondence); and (2) letter from Ms. Rose Hillson to Mr. Bill Wycko of the Planning Department regarding revision of the Tree Disclosure Statement (Explanatory Document: Correspondence). Member Rodgers reported that the Planning Department reviewed processes for tree protection and realized that there wasn’t an avenue to protect significant/protected trees during construction. As a result, a Director’s bulletin was issued requiring a tree disclosure statement when certain types of construction are proposed. Member Rodgers stated that Ms. Hillson makes a good point that even though the tree canopy may not overhang the site, the tree may be impacted on adjacent property because its root zone may be larger.
Council Chair Milne asked Council Members for their approval to send former Council Members commendation letters for their service to the Council. There was no objection. He also indicated that he would like Council Members to consider practical steps to recommend for pine pitch canker for discussion at a future meeting. Member Cohen recommended inviting former members to the strategic planning session.
10. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion) There was no new business/future agenda items discussed at this time.
11. 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.
12. Adjournment. The Urban Forestry Council Meeting adjourned at 7:32 p.m.
Explanatory documents are available to the public at the Department of the Environment, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., by clicking on the attachments with each agenda or meeting minutes, or upon request to the Council Secretary at the address listed below, telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at [email protected].
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: December 11, 2009
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