This forest is about to be destroyed.
You can help to save it.
We are very concerned about the potential destruction of the native Monterey Pine forest north of S.F.B Morse Dr. along New Congress Rd. This unique old growth Monterey Pine forest can never be restored or recreated once it is destroyed.
If you would like to participate in our efforts to save the forest, please contact us by replying to OldForestGroup@gmail.com
The Monterey Co. Planning Commission hearing on proposed Pebble Beach Inclusionary Housing on Wed., June 8.
Click below to see the agenda packet.
“In summary, Alternatives 2 (Sunset Drive/17-Mile Drive) and 4 (Collins Residential Area) would result in similar direct overall environmental impacts, especially since both sites are previously fully disturbed, and both could be considered the environmentally superior alternative. If one were to choose, Alternative 2 would be less compatible with adjacent commercial/light industrial land uses,compared to the general compatibility of residential use adjacent to Alternative 4. In addition, Alternative 2 would require more substantial construction due to building demolition and there is some uncertainty about secondary environmental impacts if on-site uses are displaced. Therefore, Alternative 4 (Collins Residential Area) is considered the Environmentally Superior Alternative.”
To satisfy the inclusionary housing requirement of the $200 million build-out of the Del Monte Forest, Pebble Beach Company is proposing a 24-unit apartment complex with storage units, carports, an access road, manager’s office, and lighted parking lots in a native forest habitat
Pebble Beach is advertising the current 90 lots as the “last ones that Pebble Beach Company will develop in Pebble Beach“. If that is the case then why is Pebble Beach Co. threatening to develop an additional 31 houses on our beloved Monterey pine forest if the inclusionary housing is not approved there?
See the article in the San Jose Mercury News where Peter Ueberroth, one of the owners of Pebble Beach Co., is quoted as saying “And if the Coastal Commission, and then Monterey County, approves the latest plan, they will be finished with development forever”.
A Walk About Town: A slice of heaven in a neighborhood
By Patrice Vecchione, Monterey County Herald
There’s a swath of land at the edge of a Pacific Grove neighborhood where kids can and do go out to play, where grown-ups can and do go for walks, where minutes or hours can be enjoyed in nature’s reprieve and bounty. If you head down to the end of Miles Avenue or one of the four other dead-end streets, you’ll see what I mean.
Generations of families have enjoyed this spot, called Del Monte Forest. It’s a place where grandparents who loved it when they were young now take their grandchildren. And if that weren’t enough to ask of a 10-acre slip of land, the parcel serves another extremely important function. This length of diamond-shaped treed ground is a wildlife corridor. Wild animals who travel from one place to another use this tract as part of their migratory route; it’s one of their byways. The more that communities get built up, the more these necessary routes get destroyed. Makes me wonder, what if the ways I needed to travel to get where I have to go were blocked or made impassable? … (read more)
Letter of Objection to Monterey Co. Board of Supervisors member Jane Parker
Dear Supervisor Parker,
Our group, The Old Forest Group, is concerned about the proposed destruction of a section of old forest in Pebble Beach known as Area D. The destruction of this forest would kill over 700 mature Monterey Pine trees and coast live oaks and also the associated forest habitat.
Native groves of Monterey pine trees occur naturally in only five places in the world: three populations in Central California and on two small Mexican Islands. Ecologists have surmised that the extent of Monterey Pine Forest in the three native populations along California’s coast was approximately 23,900 acres at the time of first European contact. Today only approximately 60 percent of that acreage remains and only 10,173 acres are undeveloped native forest in a natural setting. Protected Monterey Pine Forest acreage is an even smaller 4,793 acres. … (read more)
The Del Monte Forest Land Use Plan policy guidance states:
In 2004 Pebble Beach Co. proposed dedicating Area D as a preservation area.
Monterey County did a project consistency study (Appendix D) of the DEIR they were doing for Measure A plan.
Pebble Beach Company’s Del Monte Forest Preservation and Development Plan’s Consistency with the Del Monte Forest Land Use Plan
Some relevant citations from Appendix D involving the dedication of Area D as preservation area are:
pgs D-1, D-13 – Dedicates Area D as open space.
pg D-13 – Proposes conservation & scenic easements for Area D.
pg D-24 – Includes Area D in Huckleberry Hill permanent open space dedication.
pg D-104, D-105 – Includes Area D as non-coastal areas to be preserved as open space.
The Benefit Of Trees (from Thousand Oaks General Plan Forestry Element)
In economic terms, the American Forests (AF) organization estimates the amenity value of a community tree to be twenty-five times greater than the value of a tree grown strictly for its lumber. According to the AF, such a tree “is appraised more like real estate than a commodity”. Its value derives from the multitude of benefits it bestows on individual residents, the community and the larger ecosystem.
Trees enrich the aesthetic experience of the City, adding pleasing shapes, colors, fragrance, texture, scale and seasonal change.
The beauty which trees add to any landscape is especially appreciated in urban settings, where the most people live and work and where environmental amenity is often hardest to find.
Trees soften and screen urban development.
Combined with good planning and design, they are effective healers of the visual environment, helping to meld diverse urban structures and uses with a green unity and adding a natural dimension to the City’s growth over time.
Trees help reduce perceived noise.
Dense foliage that visually screens a noise source helps reduce the perceived noise levels in the area.
Trees help increase and stabilize property values.
Realtors report that trees increase residential property values from 7 to 10 percent. Surveys in California identify mature trees as the most desired amenity in home sales. Commercial districts, as well, are strengthened by the enhanced image trees provide. The economic return to the City in the form of property, sales and transfer taxes is substantial.
Trees enhance children’s play.
They are natural playthings, full of life, and far more capable of stimulating a child’s imagination and sense of wonder than the most expensive toy.
Trees enhance people’s sense of connection to nature and history.
Emotionally and symbolically, trees represent people’s relation to that which is larger than themselves. They allow us to experience the natural world in a tangible form for which we feel responsible. Since trees, like people, grow and change through time, we identify with them. And since they often live longer than we do, they link us to times beyond our own, spanning past and future generations. In short, trees become part of our personal environment and as such have an important psychological value, enriching people’s passage through time as well as space.
Trees provide shade and help cool “urban heat islands”, reducing energy costs and consumption.
During the summer a shade tree may prevent 80 to 90 percent of the sun’s rays from reaching the ground. The daily moisture transpired from one large tree can have the cooling effect of five average room air conditioners running 20 hours a day. One study showed that air in a two-acre oak forest was 7 to 9 degrees cooler than air above a nearby grass fairway and 37 to 39 degrees cooler than in an asphalt parking lot.
Trees moderate wind.
The funneling of wind by buildings within a city, and its strength over large paved areas, can be reduced by vegetation. A 20-mph wind can be cut to 5-mph by a loose screen of trees.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide, counteracting the global “greenhouse effect”.
Photosynthesis fixes carbon in the biomass of a tree, where it stays “sequestered” as long as the tree lives. In this way, an average tree captures nearly half a ton of carbon dioxide over the first 30 years of its life. Worldwide planting efforts might therefore give our species the “breathing room” it needs to drastically reduce fossil fuel emissions before the atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide throws the global climate system out of control.
Trees produce oxygen and filter airborne particulates, helping to reduce air pollution.
A tree’s production of oxygen replenishes the atmosphere and dilutes pollutants. Airborne particulate pollution is also trapped on the surface of leaves, which act as significant “scrubbers” or filters–since the surface area of a tree may be a thousand times the surface area of the ground beneath it. In addition, the heightened humidity around plants condenses on particulates and causes them to settle out in a process called “air washing”. Some studies even indicate that plants directly absorb certain pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
Trees can help reduce soil erosion and surface runoff, leading to a steadier and cleaner supply of water.
Trees protect soil by breaking the fall of raindrops, absorbing water through their roots, covering the ground with protective humus, slowing runoff, and knitting the soil with roots. On the other hand, a square mile of land stripped for development may lose 25,000 to 50,000 tons of soil in a year. The resulting sediment can drastically reduce water quality. By removing the trees, the slow release of water from forested lands gives way to wasteful runoff and flooding, sometimes followed by parched drought conditions.
Trees provide habitat for birds and other wildlife.
Trees are a city’s prime medium for attracting wildlife. A single oak, for example, can provide home and food for as many as 300 species of insects, which in turn provide food for numerous species of birds.