Misguided Policy May Result in Some Good

By incorrectly clear cutting the trees which helped illegal campers hide in the Parkway rather than getting in there and evicting them, the resulting coming together in shock at what has been done by the clear cutting, with a renewed commitment to restore Sutter’s Landing Park, is a very good thing, as reported by this Sacramento Bee Editorial.

An excerpt.

“Sutter’s Landing Park, 172 acres along the American River and on the site of the old 28th Street Landfill, in coming years could be a destination park on a scale comparable to Land Park.

“The park, however, suffered a setback in September. City workers clear-cut 100 to 200 trees in a one-acre retention pond area just outside the fenced-off landfill mound. That was a loss of 80 percent to 90 percent of the trees in Sutter’s Landing Park, including young cottonwood trees that are important for wildlife along the American River.

“The incident has proved to be a community builder and catalyst – not only to restore a forest, but to start planning a larger park vision.

“The City Council last Tuesday approved a plan not only to plant cottonwood trees within the retention basin and oak trees next to the retention basin where the trees had been removed, but to restore a large area of theAmerican River riparian zone on the other side of the Union Pacific railroad tracks.

“The city’s Solid Waste Division, which removed the trees in September, has funds to spread the restoration work over seven years, starting with $24,000 this year for plants and design work.

“The bulk of the restoration project would occur the following year: removing non-native plants; seeding grasses and other native vegetation; planting native shrubs, cottonwood, valley oak, California buckeye, California wild rose and California blackberry (including caging and fencing where appropriate to protect trees from animals and vandals); establishing irrigation; and monitoring to ensure tree survival.

“The estimated cost of $103,000 to $117,000 could come down considerably with help from the Sacramento Tree Foundation, American River Parkway Foundation and Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps. In the out years, the solid waste division estimates it will cost $15,000 to $25,000 a year to monitor and maintain the site, with cost savings if volunteers step up.

“A citizen task force also explored ways that Sutter’s Landing Park could be better connected to the American River Parkway, other trails, to Glenn Hall Park and to California State University, Sacramento– and explored a variety of funding sources other than city funds.”

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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