Op-Ed

Letter to the Editor: Fort Bragg Planning- Please Preserve Cypress Street’s Cypress Trees

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 Dear Fort Bragg Planning Chair and Commissioners

The Parents and Friends Building plans at 350 Cypress Street need modifications that can preserve the existing trees that are slated to be cut.

The existing trees are nowhere near failing.

Planned tree removals should be reviewed as part of a public process and in accordance with  CEQA and in light of the California Native Plant Society listings. 

The City of Ft. Bragg’s commitment to Climate Change is to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and protecting existing living trees is part of that mitigation. One tree can mature and consume 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. Trees that live long lives as well as trees that can grow rapidly are known to have the most effective carbon absorption abilities.

The City of Ft. Bragg has an obligation to protect Rare or Endangered or Critically Imperiled trees and to plant more trees and not keep cutting them down to accommodate development.

The California Native Plant Society updated listing (2021-07-14 ) lists Monterey Cypress, Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey Cypress, Macrocarpa; syn. Callitropsis macrocarpa (Hartw.) D.P.Little)as a California 1B.2 rare plant

Rare or Endangered — Plants rare, threatened, or endangered in California and elsewhere. These plants are rare throughout their entire range with the majority also being endemic to California. Most of the plants that are ranked 1B have declined significantly over the last century. California Rare Plant Rank 1B plants constitute the majority of taxa in the CNPS Inventory, with more than 1,000 plants assigned to this category of rarity.All of the plants constituting California Rare Plant Rank 1B meet the definitions of the California Endangered Species Act of the California Department of Fish and Game Code and are eligible for state listing. Impacts to these species or their habitat must be analyzed during preparation of environmental documents relating to CEQA, or those considered to be functionally equivalent to CEQA, as they meet the definition of Rare or Endangered under CEQA Guidelines §15125 (c) and/or §15380. ( See —https://rareplants.cnps.org/Home/Glossary#_Toc72398838)

Cupressus macrocarpa  is also listed in Category S1: Critically Imperiled — Critically imperiled in the state because of extreme rarity or because of some factor(s) such as very steep declines making it especially vulnerable to extirpation from the state.

The Global Rank of the Cupressus macrocarpa is G1: Critically Imperiled — At very high risk of extinction due to extreme rarity (often 5 or fewer populations), very steep declines, or other factors

Many cities and small town in California ( San Mateo, Temecula, Pacifica, have adopted ordinances to protect  rare and  endangered trees.

Example:

12.20.020 Categories of Protected Trees.

(a) Five categories of Trees are protected as specified below:

(1) Native Trees. All Gowen cypress, regardless of size; all Coast live oak, Monterey cypress, Shore pine, Torrey pine, and Monterey pine six inches or greater in trunk diameter, measured at 54 inches above native grade.

My Best Regards,

Mary Rose Kaczorowski

Categories: Op-Ed

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