(Hey, they have a valid perspective, here's a brief version.)
In response to the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve allegedly functioning as a “cloud forest”:
Mount Sutro is not a “Cloud Forest” (these are native forests found in tropical and subtropical areas of the world), but Mount Sutro does experience fog drip. Fog drip encourages the growth of undesirable highly flammable understory (the area of a forest which grows in the shade of the forest canopy). Even a forest that exists in largely foggy conditions becomes dry in the fall. Wildfires in the Bay Area typically occur in September-November when dry, high intensity winds blowing from the northeast combine with high air temperatures and low humidity. Forests with eucalyptus and a high amount of brush, especially the blackberry that exists throughout Mount Sutro, are particularly susceptible.
In response to the allegation that the fire hazard is overstated:
In December 2008, the City and County of San Francisco adopted the San Francisco Hazard Mitigation Plan (http://campusplanning.ucsf.edu/pdf/CCSF_Hazard_Mitigation_Plan.pdf ), which identified portions of the Sutro forest as a “Very High Wildfire Hazard” (see page C-13).
In response to the allegation that “thousands of applications of roundup” would
be used on Mount Sutro:
UCSF is proposing to limit the use of herbicides to spot treatment of eucalyptus stumps, cut vines and blackberry roots only where needed to prevent regrowth, and where other means of prevention are expected to be ineffective. Herbicides will not be used on a wide-scale basis, but only as necessary for up to three years after project implementation where regrowth is particularly troublesome. Herbicides will
not migrate off-site primarily because the stumps will absorb them and application will be done long before the rainy season. The use of organic herbicides will be investigated, and if it has been demonstrated that they are effective, they will be used. UCSF is as concerned as the public about the use of herbicides and we intend to minimize use to the greatest extent practicable.
In response to the allegation that selective removal of vegetation would precipitate
The proposed fire mitigation projects will not cause landslides. The remaining vegetation will help infiltrate rainfall. On slopes over 30%, vegetation removal will be done selectively and by hand with this in mind. No private homes are downslope from either of the demonstration project areas.
Regarding the appearance of the areas after implementation of the fire mitigation
There will be no clear-cutting. The overall character of the forest would not be dramatically changed because a substantial number of trees in the two project areas would remain. These two areas will be visible from very limited points of view off-site because of their locations in the Reserve.
For further information, please see http://campusplanning.ucsf.edu/physical/mountsutro.php