Glen Canyon Trees: Who Knew?

We believe that if neighbors had realized how many trees are targeted for destruction in Glen Canyon, most them would object. Even of those who support the Capital projects, perhaps even some of those who support the Native Area Program. But we haven’t found anyone who actually knew how many trees they stood to lose – even those who are regular visitors to the Park. To recap, our estimate is upwards of 400 trees will be felled:

  • Rec Center Capital Project – 2008 Bond (Fall 2012): 68 trees
  • Forestry Capital Project – 2008 Bond (Fall 2012): 160 trees
  • Trail Restoration Capital Project – 2008 Bond (Fall 2012): 32 trees
  • SNRAMP Large, Healthy Tree Removal Proposal (2013): 120 trees
  • SNRAMP Young Tree Thinning Proposal (already occurring): unknown number
  • Willows (native) for daylighting creek (already occurring): unknown number
  • Documented Past NAP Creek Projects (2008): 24 trees

In addition, there are reports of trees cut before 2012 (including evidence such as stumps) of around a 100 trees.


An example is the tree removal for the Rec Center Project, slated to begin this Fall. Some 68-70 trees are to be felled in this part of the project alone (not counting the Trails project or the Natural Areas Program).  This was never defined or discussed in the Glen Canyon Recreation community meetings or other public meetings held in 2011 but instead announced only in June 2012 by Dennis Kern announced, at a meeting of the Diamond Heights association.

In fact, the “final” presentation on the Rec Center capital project (December 2011) clearly does not show such extensive tree removal (see the picture below).

Source: Final Glen Canyon Community Meeting Presentation — Dec. 10, 2011

Click to access GlenCanyonCommunityMeetingPresentation-Dec.10.2011.pdf


Also, the Tennis Court Relocation Diagram that was produced to specifically to address community concerns regarding trees doesn’t indicate any plans to remove trees because of “poor suitability” or to remove trees from the hillside slope or meadow. The only trees identified for removal are the cluster behind the tennis court – outlined in white on the picture below. If you compare it with the map at the bottom of this article, you will see that it’s not just those trees – sad as that loss will be – it’s all the trees behind them as well.


To complicate matters even more, we had to use a Sunshine Act public records request to get the Rec & Park hired arborist’s recommendations for tree removal. It’s a long, cryptic report with dense maps that recommends removing between 200-400 trees.

“Poor Suitability” was the arborist’s only justification for removing 176 of these trees. “Invasive” (aka non-native tree) is likely a significant factor in the criteria that the arborist used to determine the “poor suitability” designation. But Rec & Park continues to present the tree removals as “hazardous” in meetings when in fact it’s the “non-native species” criteria driving tree removals for this project.


We developed the map below from the bid contract documents and the arborists report. It shows how many trees are being felled under this one contract – and  the reasons why, which have very little to do with safety.

In addition, the area for tree cutting included in the contractor bid (pink + green in the map below) is much larger than discussed in the community meetings (green area).


In his speech – and again at the August 16th meeting of the San Francisco Parks Commission – Dennis Kern stated that 60 trees are being removed as “hazardous.’ In reality, almost none of the trees slated for removal in Glen Canyon has been evaluated as hazardous.

[Click HERE for an analysis of Hazardous trees in Glen Canyon from the arborist.]

In fact, money is being wasted on destroying trees that pose no threat and most people enjoy their sheer size and beauty.

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2 Responses to Glen Canyon Trees: Who Knew?

  1. Pingback: Glen Canyon Park: These Trees are Targets (Photos) « Save the Trees of Glen Canyon Park, San Francisco

  2. Pingback: Glen Canyon: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly « San Francisco Forest Alliance

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