Your Measure FF Money At Work:
Dead Trees and Poison
The East Bay Regional Park District’s Measure FF (formerly CC) will be on the ballot this election (2018). Will you vote for or against it? Measure FF continues to include the destruction of trees and chemical applications for “native plant restoration” and misguided fire hazard mitigation policies that actually cause greater fire danger.
Resist the war on trees and say NO to all pesticides!
VOTE NO ON MEASURE FF!
Throughout the East Bay hills healthy forests of all species, but especially eucalyptus, native Monterey pines, and acacia, are already being “thinned”—a euphemism for cutting most of the trees—with Measure CC funds.
The herbicides being used persist in the environment for decades, are endocrine disrupters, carcinogens, neurotoxic, cause chronic illness and ecological harm, including threatening endangered species. They are completely unnecessary, as shown by Fairfax and Arcata, two California towns that banned pesticide use many years ago.
WHAT WILL BE LEFT?
RESIST NATIVIST MYTHS ABOUT EUCALYPTUS AND OTHER TREES!
Myth: Eucalyptus caused and spread the 1991 Oakland Hills fire.
Fact: The 1991 fire restarted as flareups from the previous day’s fire. Sparks ignited dry brush, then spread to oak trees. By the time it reached the nearest eucalyptus grove above Charing Cross, it had become a structure-fueled fire, helped spread by wooden shake roofs, that consumed everything—houses, brush, trees native and non-native—in its path.
Myth: Eucalyptus and other non-native trees are especially flammable.
Fact: Native chaparral and grass ignite more easily than any tree. They have longer flame lengths creating more intense fires (like those recently in the North Bay and Lake County) that spread faster than tree-forest fires. Most California fires are brush and grass fires. Tall trees resist fire, keep the sun from drying out the soil, and in the East Bay precipitate 10 inches of fog drip annually that keep the forest floor moist. When trees are removed, highly flammable plants appear that could not thrive as well in their shade. The denser the forests the more they protect from wind and arsonists, the real causes of most catastrophic fire.
Myth: The leaves of eucalyptus trees are oily and may explode in a fire.
Fact: The leaves of chaparral species such as bay and coyote brush contain more oil than eucalyptus leaves. In a fire, oily leaves may “flare”, but flaring does not pose a risk; it is not an explosion.
Myth: Eucalyptus may advance a fire front by projecting burning embers ahead of the flames.
Fact: Eucalyptus leaves and bark embers do not fly any farther than other loose material such as chaparral branches, twigs, and wooden shingles, and they do not keep burning over long distances.
Myth: Eucalyptus trees are prone to crown fires.
Fact: Eucalyptus are no more prone to crown fires than other trees. The lowest limbs of a mature eucalyptus tree tend to be over 8 feet above the forest floor. Underbrush is usually consumed before fire reaches the top of the tree. The trunk naturally resists ignition. Films of Australian wildfires show the fire sweeping through the understory, leaving the trees’ trunks and crowns intact.
Myth: Eucalyptus trees are invasive and allelopathic; they crowd out other species; nothing can grow nearby.
Fact: Many plant and wildlife species coexist with eucalyptus trees. Eagles and other raptors need them for nesting, and their extended blooming season provides an important source of nectar for bees, hummingbirds, and, along with Monterey pines, makes them the preferred overwintering habitat of imperiled monarch butterflies. The real danger to other plants, wildlife, and our communities are the pesticides used to keep eucalyptus from resprouting.
THE TRUTH is: Tall trees are important to you and future generations because
- They fight climate warming by storing carbon (C02 is a greenhouse gas) and emitting oxygen
- They provide cooling shade and habitat for birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and other animals
- They are part of a complex mycorrhizal and microbial soil system that feeds forest roots
- Dense forests resist fire and act as windbreaks
- Stopping deforestation will save water and help to prevent landslides