00:11 Chris Johnson, introductions
04:48 Dan Grassetti
19:02 Tom Klatt
33:38 Peter Scott
48:06 Jon Kaufman
1:02:56 Chris Johnson - closing statements
The North Hills Community Association (NHCA) understands the work proposed in the EIS is controversial and the basis of longstanding, vigorous disputes between North Hills neighbors. Our goal and intent is to provide a fair and balanced opportunity for proponents and opponents of the EIS to explain their respective positions. This is NOT a debate, and we will not allow back and forth discussion between opposing sides. Nor will we entertain or allow questions or comments from the audience or any other attendees or participants.
The informational forum will go from roughly 10:30 a.m. to 11:40 a.m., with 20 minutes allowed after for people to mingle and chat. We will start on time. I will be the moderator for the event. We will have a timekeeper. I will spend the first few minutes introducing the speakers and explaining the format and ground rules, after which we will start the discussion. At the end, I will encourage people to consider what they've heard and, if they feel so motivated, provide comments to FEMA.
Questions received via the NHCA website:
1. What is the exact number of trees proposed for cutting?
2. Exactly where are these located?
3. Is there a map available online to show the areas affected?
4. And the numbers of trees in each area?
5. How long would the removal process take?
6. Will it be phased over an extended period of time or accomplished in one fell swoop in a few weeks/months?
7. Has there been an EIR on the impact on the local ecology, including: wildlife habitat (both flora and fauna), erosion, public and private property, water supply and quality, etc.? If not, why not?
8. What action[s] would be required if the community demands that an independent EIR be done before this plan is implemented? What EXACTLY are the chemicals -- their active ingredients -- to be used on tree stumps?
9. How will these be applied? How often? What are their compositions and side effects?
10. What guarantees do citizens have that neither the chemicals nor their application methods will poison the water supply, ground water, the soil, other flora and fauna, our pets, or us?
11. What redress do we have -- as a community as individuals -- if there is provable harm?
12. Does this proposal include replacing the cleared trees with new plantings of native trees such as Coast redwoods, California live oak trees, buckeye, laurels etc.? If not, why not?
13. What process would be required to DEMAND that the defunct trees be replaced with native trees?
14. What role or say, if any, does the UC Botanical Gardens have in this proposal? The EPA? Other independent environmental researchers and/or research groups with expertise and understanding of East Bay flora, fauna and ecology?
15. What other independent individuals / groups should be brought in to review and comment on the proposal before it is implemented?
16. Why should ANY sane citizen who remembers Hurricane Katrina or any other recent environmental disaster supposedly managed by FEMA have ANY confidence that this process will be accomplished competently, if it is allowed to proceed?
17. What kind of oversight will it have and by what agency(ies) apart from FEMA itself?
18. I live in a house that is a re-build from one that was firestorm destroyed. One my kids favorite teacher was killed while trying to help others escape. I really want the project of reducing fuel load to proceed as soon as possible. As far as I can tell, the only practical way of retaining this reduction is the proposed approach.
My concern is that the public has not heard enough to convince them that the application of herbicides will be safe. I am afraid that without more persuasive details opposition will delay or even prevent the application of herbicides. The procedures sound appropriate, staying away from water etc. However I believe the public needs to be convinced that the procedures will be followed. After all, the appliers will be human beings, and humans are subject to error. Due to stories about the Bay Bridge , it is clear that several levels of checks are required to prevent errors. Trust is low.
Perhaps groups of independent public inspectors should be formed; dye could added to herbicides so we will see where it has been applied. Don't tell me my suggestions are impractical, no doubt they are. Please convince us that this issue has been carefully thought out and the public need not worry.
19. There has been a test of what UCB plans for the canyons and that was Angel Island. 80 acres of Eucs were removed between 1990 and 1997. In 2004 there was the first fire ever recorded on the island--2.5 acres. In 2005 a fire of 25 acres. In 2008 one third of the island burned. And the Park Service had eliminated all the slash piles and chips, while UCB will leave piles and do no management.