Sunday, May 22, 2016

Six Hundred Thousand Trees to Bite the Dust

For some time, although most residents of the East Bay Region have been unaware of it (and kept in the dark), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has initiated plans to cut 600,000 trees from the East Bay ridge;. The plan includes areas stretching from Richmond through Hayward and some portions of Contra Costa County. The stumps, 600,000 of them, are to be treated twice a year for a ten-year period with Garlon and Glyphosate, cancer-causing products manufactured by Dow Chemical and Monsanto., which will leach into run off, ground water, and eventually major bodies of water.

What constitutes tree-shaded wilderness with thousands of miles of trails are to be converted into grasslands. Actualized, the plan will result in severe erosion (it has already caused
significant damage along certain stretches of Highway 13 which coincidentally runs on top of the Hayward Fault); it will raise the regional temperature and reduce moisture in the soils; it will adversely affect animal, bird, bat, butterfly and insect habitat; and it will not reduce fire hazard, although that of course is the rationale advanced to justify such a radical plan.

And, like the national movement to disappear library books (covered in my last newsletter) this plan to strip away wilderness extends to other areas of California as well.

Regional Park Meeting

Last  Tuesday, May 17, the Board of Directors of the East Bay Regional Parks held a meeting at their headquarters.  Public Comments were restricted to 3 minutes per speaker. I share my 3-minutes worth of comments below:

I am here today because it’s the 10th anniversary of  Al Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth.” According to NASA’s report last week, the planet’s air has gone beyond the tipping point of 350 PPM and now stands at 400 PPM.  No humans have ever existed before in this kind of atmosphere.
Atmosphere is a fancy word for the air you breathe, the Board members of the EBRPD breathes, and all the people in this Board Room room breathe. It is the air all living organisms on Earth breathe: marine animals, plants, and, including the soil bacteria and the bees which allow us and all other living things to eat.

There is no separate air conditioning for members of regional governments, city governments, and national governments. There is no separate air for the CEOs of Monsanto and Dow Chemical. The one thing left on Earth that remains democratic is air—the air everyone breathes.

We need full disclosure. What dollar amounts does the budget show for the Dow and Monsanto contracts negotiated by the EBRPD for this project? What does the budget show of the profits from the sale of wood chips and lumber to markets in China and Japan from this project?

The trees are the common property of all the citizens of the East Bay. They are our wilderness. As its owners, we have the right to determine the disposition of our property. We need to know who benefits from the destruction mandated by the FEMA clearcutting program affecting Richmond all the way to and including
Hayward and Contra Costa. We will use every means at our disposal to find out.

This planet is not the home of unlimited growth; it must not become the home of unlimited destruction.  This is not the moment to pollute our already polluted soils, watershed, and larger bodies of water with Dow and Monsanto cancer-causing chemicals.  We’ve been there, done that.

Which is why—if all living things are to avoid death by choking—we need to plant MORE trees. Trees are the lungs by which this home we live in breathes. This is not the place to cut 400,000 trees, not including the 200,000 more trees the UC has under its jurisdiction. Maybe on another planet. But not this one.

 More Information: 


Overviews and Resources

The Science:

History and Toxicology:

The Lawsuit and More History:

Art Action and More Science:

Forest Photos and More Resources:

Fire Hazards: conservation biologist David Theodoropoulos, retired firefighter Dave Maloney,

High Burning Fuel (includes pictorial evidence):

August 2015 Hills Conservation Network protest against Sierra Club's FEMA-supporting lawsuit: 



Oakland-specific petition (almost 65,000 signatures already):

Hills Conservation Network-specific petition:

Million Trees, SF Forest Alliance - Sierra Club-specific petititon:





  1. Thank you, Cecile, for this excellent article about the projects in the East Bay Hills and thanks for coming to the Board meeting of the East Bay Regional Park District to speak against the project.

    This is an article on the Million Trees blog that was published today about the attempt to convince the Sierra Club that they are on the wrong side of this debate about our urban forest: The article announces the demonstration planned at Sierra Club headquarters on Monday, June 13, 2016, noon, 2100 Franklin St (at 21st Street) in Oakland. We would appreciate your help to distribute this information about the demonstration and we hope to see you there. Thanks for your help with this issue.

  2. Hello Everybody,
    My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:( Thank you.


    1. Name Of Applicant in Full:……..
    2. Telephone Numbers:……….
    3. Address and Location:…….
    4. Amount in request………..
    5. Repayment Period:………..
    6. Purpose Of Loan………….
    7. country…………………
    8. phone…………………..
    9. occupation………………
    11.Monthly Income…………..

    Email Kindly Contact: