Measure Ff Creates Fire Danger, Clearcuts, And Pesticide Sickness. Vote No!

Maxina Ventura, East Bay Pesticide Alert
Monday November 05, 2018 - 02:40:00 PM

We love our parks. So why vote no on Measure FF, the 20-year continuation of a parcel tax to fund wildfire protection and restoration of "natural habitat"? Outlined in the East Bay Regional Park District's (EBRPD) Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Resource Management Plan, and its sections in the East Bay Hills Hazardous Fire Risk Reduction Environmental Impact Statement produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), this tax funds killing healthy trees, and pesticide use.

FEMA's environmental review clarified that, EBRPD is one of several agencies, including the University of California (UC) and the City of Oakland, planning to destroy about half a million trees in the East Bay Hills, and spread toxic, carcinogenic pesticides to prevent re-sprouts. They claim these trees are not native and therefore a fire hazard, including the endangered Monterey pine from just 80 miles away.

FEMA was stopped by a Hills Conservation Network lawsuit form funding UC and Oakland, because the projects would increase the risk of fire, which is not surprising when masquerading "Native Plant Restoration" projects as wildfire protection. Roughly 50% of Measure FF money is earmarked for such projects: 22% for the Wildfire Plan, and 30-40% for the "Natural Resource Related" category in which "natural habitat" to be restored is equated with keeping species believed to have been here at an arbitrary point in time, and eliminating newcomers.

Like Anti-Immigrant policies, species Nativism segregates living things and natural processes with human-made borders. Claims that species moving around the planet is unnatural or harmful are based on ideology, not science, as Conservation Biologist David Theodoropoulos demonstrates in his book "Invasion Biology: Critique of a Pseudoscience".

At a UCB 150th Anniversary lecture, "Climate, Fire, and the Future of California's Forests", audience members referred to, "the dangers of non-native Eucalyptus", while glorifying native grasslands. Professor David D. Ackerly, College of Natural Resources Dean, set them straight about the 1991 hills fire, and wildfires throughout the state. He said: "Homes are catching trees on fire and it goes homes to homes to homes. Trees have moisture."

Dense tree trunks don't catch fire easily, but anything burns if a fire is hot enough. When removing tall trees that shade the forest floor from hot sun, and collect 10" of fog drip which keeps vegetation moist, our hills become heated, and fire danger increases. Without trees as windbreaks, winds drive fire across flammable grasslands, as seen in every wildfire in the news. The National Fire Protection Association Handbook singles out no tree species as a fire danger and admonishes, "Every tree is a fire mitigation factor."

But Nativists are hell-bent on converting healthy habitat to flammable Oak Savannah in spite of fire experts and biologists acknowledging that Eucalyptus has acclimated since it was planted here.

Even supposedly native 100 year-old redwoods are not safe from the Nativist hills gardening project, and were destroyed in East Oakland's lower-hills Dimond Park. That park is no longer a cool oasis.

While hills forests are "thinned" in stages into deforestation, and for 10 years after each stage pesticides are used (toxicology is on our website), worldwide people are planting trees to combat climate change. Four decades ago, Kenyan climate justice advocate and Nobel laureate Wangarĩ Maathai, focused the Green Belt Movement on reforestation, and later implemented the United Nation's Billion Trees Campaign. This year China reassigned 60,000 soldiers to plant trees on a landmass the size of Ireland. NBC reported in August, "Pakistan plans to plant 10 billion trees to fight climate change." National Geographic wrote, "India Plants 50 Million Trees in One Day, to help the country fight climate change."

Meanwhile Rapa Nui, Easter Island is eroding into the ocean because it was deforested by religious fervor valuing monuments more than trees.

YOU CAN STOP SOME OF THE DESTRUCTION HERE by refusing to help fund it.

East Bay Pesticide Alert has opposed these dangerous plans since January, 2005, and is part of the Coalition to Defend East Bay Forests. We support our parks but along with The Alameda County Green Party, and other groups listed in the official voter handbooks, we refuse to sell off our hills, residents, and wildlife in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

Join us in voting NO on Measure FF!