Plant Trees SF Events 2013 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Event

 
10. Lose the GG Bridge for sedimental reasons?  And more

Nature News from Jake Sigg
http://naturenewssf.blogspot.com

10.     On May 27, 2013, at 9:14 AM, Libby Lucas wrote:    Jake,
Am not sure if  EIRs are at the top of your reading list but wondered if you had glanced at couple that to my aging, atrophied mind, have serious implications for San Francisco Bay?
 
The One Plan Bay Area from ABAG and MTC is to address how they plan to handle global warming reality, relative to highway improvements and housing density. This plan seems slightly flawed in concept in that though it acknowledges a 24 inch rise in bay levels it does not list raising #101, #37 or #237 above high tide, to causeway height, but rather focuses on retro housekeeping projects of widening highways and upgrading clover leafs . It also references wetlands impacts in rather general terms of fractions of miles and miles.
 
The other EIR is California State Lands Commission's San Francisco Bay and Delta Sand Mining Project, of September 2012, (on which permit applications US Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District takes comment until June 7) is to permit 2,040,000 cubic yards of sand to be mined annually between 2013 and 2023 in San Francisco Bay, Middle Ground Island Sand Shoals and Suisun Channel in Suisun Bay.
 
In a September 2010 article in San Francisco Estuary Watershed, SCIENCE, "Anthropogenic Influence on Recent Bathymetric Change in West-Central San Francisco Bay" it shows in Figure 5 that between 1997 and 2008 there has been a volume change of bay sands in the west-central quadrant of San Francisco Bay of up to 14.1 million cubic yards, (9.2 million cubic yards in lease areas, and 4.9 million cubic yards in non-lease areas). While most deep holes in bay floor are where sand mining leases are located, there is a depth change of over 2 meters loss just inboard of the Golden Gate Bridge.
 
If one is to compare this Bathymetric map of the West Central Bay with the 1992 Bathymetric chart, Plate 8, of the "Sediment Budget Study for San Francisco Bay" Prepared for the San Francisco District Corps of Engineers by Ogden Beeman & Associates and Ray B. Krone & Associates, between 1955 and 1990 they show an accretion of over 6 feet of sediment inboard of the Golden Gate Bridge and extending to Sausalito.
 
This appears to illustrate a critical loss of sediment in just a seven year period. Fascinating details given by the Ogden Beeman report for 70 years of flows from tributaries of the Estuary show that diminished flows are bound to result in diminished sediment loads into the Bay and out through the Golden Gate, but this can't begin to account for this sink hole now appearing under the Golden Gate.
 
With pressure building to increase diversion of Delta flows, sediment supply can only continue to decline, and sand mining permits are likely to be renewed to satisfy cement needs of development and clover leafs.
 
 As bay levels rise incrementally each year with global warming, the volume of tidal water flushing through the Golden Gate will become increasingly greater and its eroding power unrelentingly stronger.  So to the point of this missive...how soon will Golden Gate Bridge straddle a gorge? How deep a gorge can beautifully engineered bridge piers withstand? How much erosion of bay floor will destabilize this engineering marvel?
 
And lastly, who of our regulatory agencies is qualified to address this sad but perhaps inevitable scenario? If ABAG and MTC are not concerned with high tides over highways, and CalTrans is enmeshed in Bay Bridge problems, think US Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District is only hope for an intelligent appraisal.
 
If your extensive sphere of readers has concerns on sand mining permits in San Francisco and Suisun Bays for the next ten years, they should reference on http://www.spn.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory  Public Notices 2013-00129, 2013-00130, 2013-00131 and 2013-00132 to conduct sand mining operations of up to 150,000, 300,000, 50,000 and 1,540,000 cubic yards annually between 2013 and 2023 within the 367-acre submerged lands MIddle Ground private lease area in Suisun Bay, within a 938-acre area of submerged lands within the Suisun Channel in Suisun Bay leased from the California State Lands Commission, within a 367-acre of submerged lands known as Middle Ground Island Sand Shoals in Suisun Bay, and from a 2,601-acre area consisting of nine parcels of submerged lands that comprise four leases from the California State Lands Commission in Central San Francisco Bay. (Sand Mining at the locations were previously authorized  under USACE permits nos. 1998-235730, 1999-243050, 1999-244410, and 2000-249970.)
 
Will not mention impacts proposed mining leases might have on all but collapsed salmon runs in Estuary, on loss of sand on beaches and below bluffs just outside of Golden Gate, or on need for substantial sediment loadings to travel to South Bay marshes for Salt Pond Restoration efforts.
 
Sorry to send you such a shaggy submittal but am dashing off on vacation. Just salvage what is serviceable.
 
Always appreciate your depth of content, and enjoy allusions to Greeks. You might suggest to TV moguls that next Memorial Day they replay Peloponnesian War rather than W.W. II, Korean and Vietnam conflicts.
 
JS:   Libby - I am flattered that you think I知 Superman.  I used to fly through the air and prevent the no-goodniks from performing their evil ways, but I can稚 do that anymore.  I have long been of the view that our economic system is destroying the earth, and that we are unable to change its course.  If anything saves it it will be the collapse of the system--it simply will not be able to deliver the goodies anymore.  Some people noticed that long ago, but most haven't, and it will have to hit them personally before they take notice.

And as to giving advice to the TV moguls--sure, I値l get right on it.  They値l be glad to accommodate my least whim, I知 sure.  :-)

"The image of myself which I try to create in my own mind in order that I may love myself is very different from the image which I try to create in the minds of others in order that they may love me."   WH Auden

1.   Job opportunity - San Mateo County Parks Ranger
2.   Job opportunity - Horticulture Program Director for CNPS
3.   Have fun and help Arc Ecology too - June 29 in San Francisco
4.   Feedback:  Reinhold Niebuhr
5.   BCDC puts brakes on Warriors Arena Plan
6.   Ants of Jasper Ridge 
7.   Late Self-Portrait by Rembrandt, by Jane Hirshfield
8.   A way to delay demise of India痴 elephants
9.   Colorado River droughts worsens/immigration deluge to drain water resources
10. Lose the GG Bridge for sedimental reasons?  And more
11.  This is my heart.  It is a good heart, says Joy Harjo
12.  New Zealand Christmas Tree, Metrosideros excelsa

1.
Job opportunity
San Mateo County Parks Dept
Park Ranger II (Open)
$4,228 - $5,285 /Month 

San Mateo County Public Works is seeking experienced Park Rangers II to provide a variety of public services to preserve, protect and enhance the natural, historical, recreational and educational resources of the County. Under supervision, Park Rangers II are responsible for maintaining trails and picnic, camping and boating facilities; performing facility maintenance; assisting the public in taking full advantage of the facilities and grounds; and coordinating interpretive and educational programs. Incumbents also supervise temporary employees and provide guidance and training to staff. 

The ideal candidate will have at least two years of experience as a park ranger, park aide or a similar position, which includes responsibilities in trail and facilities maintenance, customer service, and educational programming with minimal supervision. In addition, the ideal candidate will have experience in handling complaints from park visitors; performing First Aid, CPR and other safety procedures; interpreting and enforcing laws, rules and regulations; and performing basic carpentry work. This position requires outdoor physical labor and may include exposure to hazards, sun, bees, ticks, poison oak, nettles, pollen, etc. 
Deadline for submission of application:  June 27
(JS:  I do not have a URL for this position.  Interested people should contact San Mateo County Parks [presently under Public Works, but soon to be a separate department]; if unsuccessful, ask me and I will forward the complete job description and application information.)

########################
2.
Job opportunity
California Native Plant Society
Horticulture Program Director

The job is located in Sacramento, but view the complete announcement for wiggle room.  Review of applications begins 9 July 2013

http://www.cnps.org/cnps/jobs/hort_director_cnps-20130618.pdf

#######################

3.  Fund Raiser for Arc Ecology 

Fun event for a great cause!

Saturday June 29 at 8 PM, at FAME Venue, 443 Broadway, SF (between Kearney and Montgomery):
$10 in advance, or $15 at the door

"House on Fire": a rockin' benefit for Arc Ecology, featuring  The Trouble with Monkeys and LordRifa, plus special guests.  Presented  by Floating Records, City of Dis Productions, and Guitar Player Magazine.

The past 3 years have been hard on nonprofits.  Arc Ecology,  the Bayview-based nonprofit which has been fighting for environmental  and economic justice in the Bay Area for the past 30 years, has had the additional burden of being the target of local political forces.

So one purpose of this fundraiser is to help Arc recover financially. But the other purpose is to kick off BAYVIEW 2020:  a campaign aimed at getting pollution levels in the Bayview on a par with those in the rest of  San Francisco.  Isn't it about time?!

Please join everyone on June 29.  Bring your checkbook.  If you can't  make it, please go to http://www.arcecology.org/ and click on "Donate"  in the upper right corner.  Or send a contribution to Arc Ecology,  1331 Evans, San Francisco 94124.

#######################

4.  Feedback

Arthur Boone (re Reinhold Niebuhr):
I started at Union Seminary in NYC in 1962, only a few years after Reinhold Niebuhr had retired and died. I read much of what he wrote in the summer before I entered and have always thought he has shaped my thinking. 

But the scuttlebutt was that his brother, H. Richard Niebuhr at Yale, was the more interesting scholar and I have found him more varied and thought-provoking. 

But nice of you to mention him, especially as the Democrats have lost their way. 

On Jun 24, 2013, at 5:21 PM, karen arnold wrote:
HI Jake,
I saw a lady petitioning the bogus, misleading 8 Washington Square material in front of Stonestown Trader Joe's this afternoon. She wouldn't give me a brochure, claiming that the deadline for signatures was too close or something, but she tried to get me to sign it. I wonder if she knows what she's really promoting, i.e, the loophole which would allow taller buildings to be built, diminishing one of the remaining open spaces with a waterfront view. It's a really dirty trick, selling people a bill of goods, telling them there will be open space, while leaving out the fact that the huge buildings will be there too.

Oh, she knew what she was doing alright--she was making a few bucks.  Signature gatherers for this phony petition are paid, as who would volunteer to promote such scurrile?  As for the 電irty trick of selling people a bill of goods...how old are you - three?

##############################

5.  BCDC puts brakes on Warriors Arena Plan - Votes to oppose AB 1273 unless it becomes a two-year bill 

San Francisco, CA裕he Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) voted 12-6 yesterday to oppose Assembly Bill 1273 典he Warriors Arena Bill if the project sponsor refuses to make AB 1273 a two-year bill, sending a strong message to the California State Legislature protesting the legislation that would undermine its regulatory authority to protect the San Francisco Bay and slowing down the fast-tracked approval process.  BCDC痴 request for a two-year bill was based on concerns expressed during the meeting that the Warriors arena plans have been incomplete, especially with providing details about the true mass, bulk and height of the project which would be built over open Bay waters on Pier 30-32.
 
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan was among the dozens of people urging BCDC to oppose AB 1273.   Mayor Quan said, 典his bill doesn稚 play by the rules.  We all have this Bay in common and we need to protect it. 
 
BCDC Commissioner and Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates was instrumental in guiding BCDC in taking the position to inform the Legislature that BCDC would oppose AB 1273 unless it became a two-year bill.
 
State Senator Loni Hancock traveled from Sacramento to discuss AB 1273  with the Commission, asking the Commissioners to strongly oppose the bill.  Senator Hancock stated, 鄭B 1273 is a stunning reversal of decades of decision-making by BCDC to determine public trust benefits.
 
Despite the Port of San Francisco痴 strong support for AB 1273, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was absent from the BCDC meeting.
 
AB 1273 would circumvent BCDC痴 customary regulatory process  and take away the Commission痴 authority under the McAteer Petris Act to determine if a major project on the San Francisco Bay meets the requirements of the public trust.  The bill passed the Assembly and will be heard on June 25 in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee.
 
The San Francisco Waterfront Alliance, Save the Bay, the Sierra Club and Baykeeper have all strongly opposed AB 1273 and are pleased that BCDC voted to fight to maintain its authority and ensure its full oversight of the Warriors arena project for Pier 30-32. 
 
Gayle Cahill, President of the San Francisco Waterfront Alliance said of the BCDC vote yesterday, 典he Warriors want to build an entertainment complex of unprecedented bulk and mass on the San Francisco Bay.  We are gratified that BCDC has voted to fight to keep full jurisdiction over this project and sought to slow down the process.  AB 1273 is wrong for the Bay and wrong for our waterfront.

###########################

6.  Hans Weber:

Hi Jake:
If some of your readers are interested in ants, native or the invasive Argentine ant, they should view Dan Quinn's website for close-up photos of various ant species, still or in action. Dan is a gifted photographer and has produced a gorgeous photo book, Jasper Ridge Ants (2013). Deborah Gordon, biology professor at Stanford, has a team of volunteers surveying the Jasper Ridge ants in Spring and Fall since 1993 to determine how much and how far Argentine ants invade this biological preserve. As you probably know, Argentines outcompete our native species, thus reducing biodiversity with ecological consequences (eg, reduced spread of seeds). I have participated in several ant surveys and learn something new each time. Besides being allowed to visit this gated beautiful preserve.

http://capturethelight.zenfolio.com/antbook

"Quite simply, the terrestrial world is turned by insects and a few other invertebrate groups:  the living world would probably survive the demise of all vertebrates, in greatly altered form of course, but life on land and in the sea would collapse down to a few simple plants and microorganisms without invertebrates."		Edward O. Wilson

########################
7.


Late Self-Portrait by Rembrandt
 
The dog, dead for years, keeps coming back in the dream.
We look at each other there with the old joy.
It was always her gift to bring me into the present
 
Which sleeps, changes, awakens, dresses, leaves.
 
Happiness and unhappiness
differ as a bucket hammered from gold differs from one of pressed tin,
this painting proposes.
 
Each carries the same water, it says.
 
~ Jane Hirshfield ~
 
(After)

######################

8.  Elephants in India

Low-cost methods like torches, chillies and bee cultivation have helped farmers in northern Karnataka protect their crops from marauding elephants.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Bees-acrid-smoke-from-chillies-keep-elephants-away-reduce-conflict/articleshow/20736795.cms

(JS:  Such stories give me a temporary lift, but only temporarily, as it is immediately succeeded by the realization that elephants--and oh so many other creatures--are doomed by the inexorable increase in our numbers.  India is Exhibit A in this regard, as its population has doubled in just the last 40 years--at which time it was at an alarming 600,000,000 and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was proposing drastic measures to curb the increase.  It is now 1.2 billion, and counting.  In the next few years it is expected to be 1, 400,000,000, passing China.
Why the complacency in the face of this impending catastrophe beggars understanding.  When monsoons failed huge numbers would starve.  The monsoons have not been failing in recent decades, which has led to complacence, which in turn has been fostered by the "green revolution" and by groundwater pumping.  Aquifers are being depleted.  All this magnifies the great tragedy that will happen.)
____________________

We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature's inexhaustible sources of energy -- sun, wind and tide. ... I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. -Thomas Edison 1847-1931

(Well, Thomas, I don't know how to break this to you, but a century after you died we still haven'tOh, never mind.  It's too depressing.)

human wandering through the zoo / what do your cousins think of you. -Don Marquis


典he raging monster upon the land is population growth. In its presence, sustainability, is but a fragile, theoretical concept. Edward O. Wilson

########################

9.  As Colorado River drought worsens, water officials parley By Tony Perry May 27, 2013, 5:03 p.m.

SAN DIEGO - Amid a worsening drought along the Colorado River, 40-plus water agency officials, environmentalists, farmers and Indian tribal leaders from the seven states that depend on the river for survival are gathered here for a 杜oving forward meeting called by federal officials.

Last year was dry; this year is even worse, officials said.

If the trend continues, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, the Colorado River痴 two giant reservoirs, will be at 45% capacity by year痴 end, their lowest since 1968. Shortage looms.

滴ydrologically, we池e not going in the right direction, Michael Connor, commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, said in advance of Tuesday痴 meeting.

The strategy to avoid cutbacks, officials said, lies in conserving more water in cities, suburbs and farms without resorting to the political bickering and legal fights that have marked the river痴 recent history.

The federal government in December released the results of a three-year study warning that drought, climate change and population growth are fast outstripping the water supply from the Colorado River. The report found a 鍍roubling trajectory of rising demand colliding with a shrinking supply.

The river provides for the daily needs of 40 million people, including in the thirsty cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Las Vegas and Phoenix, and for farmers and ranchers in western states who need water to irrigate 4 million acres of cropland where 15% of the nation痴 food supply is grown.

The December report and its 田all to action cannot become 殿 study that just sits on a shelf, said Anne Castle, assistant Interior secretary for water and science.

Three committees, to be announced Tuesday, are being formed: One will involve municipal water agencies, a second will deal with agriculture, and a third will have representatives of environmental groups.

An official from the Imperial Irrigation District, the largest user of Colorado River in the nation, has agreed to serve as co-chair of the agriculture committee, along with a professor and a Bureau of Reclamation official.

But that does not signal that the district, which is already selling water to San Diego in the largest sale of farm water in the nation, is eager to sell more water or see more acreage left fallow.

Imperial district farmers are fallowing 36,000 acres, soon to increase to 40,000, in order to save enough water to sell to the San Diego County Water Authority and to replenish the imperiled Salton Sea.

的 tell people: We gave at the office, said Tina Shields, Colorado River resources manager for the irrigation district. 展e like to farm. I don稚 think anybody down here is going to volunteer for more transfers" [sales].

Bottom line: The move forward will not be easy if planners envision more water sales from the Imperial Valley. The contract for the Imperial Irrigation District to sell water to San Diego was signed only after arm-twisting by the federal government and remains hugely unpopular among Imperial Valley farmers and officials.

Still, there is some guarded optimism that getting various 都takeholders together to discuss a common problem will be helpful.

Speaking of the farmers, Connor said there has been 杜ore active dialogue over the last few months than we致e had recently. We池e encouraged by that participation; it痴 absolutely critical.

Last year, for example, Imperial Irrigation District officials boycotted the signing of a pact between the U.S. and Mexico that could lead to building a 鍍urnout from the All-American Canal at Calexico to take Colorado River water south of the border.

Now, Imperial Irrigation District officials are discussing the possibilty of such a project with federal officials, although they have yet to give their approval.

The Colorado is frequently listed by the Washington, D.C.-based American Rivers environmental group as among the nation痴 most troubled waterways. Gary Wockner, campaign coordinator of the Save the Colorado group, said he will be closely monitoring the environmental committee.

Wockner said he wants to see that the 杜oving forward approach 菟rovides hope for both the ecological health of the river and the millions of people who depend on it.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-as-drought-worsens-along-colorado-river-water-officials-discuss-moving-forward-20130527,0,1884048.story


"A sense of history should be the most precious gift of science and of the arts."	Aldo Leopold

_______________________


Immigration Deluge Will Drain Water Resources 
Bonnie Erbe/Commentary
Santa Barbara NewsPress
June 1, 2013

As the Obama administration attempts to press its version of immigration reform through Congress, here are three relevant issues unlikely to be considered in the debate.

First, you probably won't hear a thing about droughts, either present or future. Yet according to the Science World Report website, 2013 has the potential to outdo the record drought of 2012:

''Farmland across the country experienced a devastating combination of high temperatures and low precipitation, leading to the worst harvest yields in nearly two decades. At its peak, nearly two-thirds of the country experienced drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Worse still, instead of an anomalous year of bad weather, 2012 may have provided an alarming preview of how climate change will impact the future of agriculture."

Second, you'll hear no mention of the fact that the Colorado River -- which serves the needs of 40 million people living in the Southwest and irrigates 4 million acres of farmland growing 15 percent of the nation's food -- is drying up.

According to the Los Angeles Times this week: "As a regional drought tightens its grip on the Colorado River, water agency officials, environmentalists, farmers and Indian tribal leaders from the seven states that depend on the river for survival" are gathering for a "meeting called by federal officials. Last year was dry; this year is even worse, officials said. In December, the federal government released the results of a three-year study warning that drought, climate change and population growth are fast outstripping the water supply from the Colorado River."

Third, don't expect to hear about how our rapidly growing population is depleting groundwater resources. As Robert Glennon, author of "Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What to Do About It," said in a recent commentary for "Marketplace" radio program:

"It used to be that only Western farmers pumped groundwater to irrigate crops. Now, it's happening across the country. The cumulative effect of this change has profound implications for the country's water supplies because irrigation uses more water than anything else. Defenders of unrestricted groundwater pumping insist that landowners have a property right to the groundwater beneath their land. But adjoining landowners share the same 'right.' Unlimited pumping is like a circular firing squad. It guarantees mutually assured destruction. Or in this case, mutually assured depletion of a precious resource."

What does immigration reform have to do with water shortages? Plenty.

The vast majority of U.S. population growth since the 1970s has been fueled by massive legal and illegal immigration and the children of new immigrants. The fertility rate of U.S.-born American women has been at replacement level since that time.

There's irrefutable evidence that the U.S. is on the verge of a major water shortage.

There are things we can do to conserve water -- above and beyond limiting showers and lawn watering. The most effective reform would be to limit crop irrigation, which consumes the lion's share of water resources. But then we face the possibility of food shortages. Do we really want to go there?

Wouldn't it be easier to have a national conversation about the environmental impact of mass immigration and to make a rational decision about the number of immigrants we might comfortably accommodate?

We are destroying the American dream by opening it up to too many people. Mother Nature is warning us of the dangers and we are not listening.

(Bonnie Erbe, host of PBS' "To the Contrary," writes this column for Scripps Howard News Service. Email bonnie.scrippshoward@gmail.com. Distributed by SHNS; see www.shns.com.)


#######################
10.
On May 27, 2013, at 9:14 AM, Libby Lucas wrote:
Jake,
Am not sure if  EIRs are at the top of your reading list but wondered if you had glanced at couple that to my aging, atrophied mind, have serious implications for San Francisco Bay?
 
The One Plan Bay Area from ABAG and MTC is to address how they plan to handle global warming reality, relative to highway improvements and housing density. This plan seems slightly flawed in concept in that though it acknowledges a 24 inch rise in bay levels it does not list raising #101, #37 or #237 above high tide, to causeway height, but rather focuses on retro housekeeping projects of widening highways and upgrading clover leafs . It also references wetlands impacts in rather general terms of fractions of miles and miles.
 
The other EIR is California State Lands Commission's San Francisco Bay and Delta Sand Mining Project, of September 2012, (on which permit applications US Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District takes comment until June 7) is to permit 2,040,000 cubic yards of sand to be mined annually between 2013 and 2023 in San Francisco Bay, Middle Ground Island Sand Shoals and Suisun Channel in Suisun Bay.
 
In a September 2010 article in San Francisco Estuary Watershed, SCIENCE, "Anthropogenic Influence on Recent Bathymetric Change in West-Central San Francisco Bay" it shows in Figure 5 that between 1997 and 2008 there has been a volume change of bay sands in the west-central quadrant of San Francisco Bay of up to 14.1 million cubic yards, (9.2 million cubic yards in lease areas, and 4.9 million cubic yards in non-lease areas). While most deep holes in bay floor are where sand mining leases are located, there is a depth change of over 2 meters loss just inboard of the Golden Gate Bridge.
 
If one is to compare this Bathymetric map of the West Central Bay with the 1992 Bathymetric chart, Plate 8, of the "Sediment Budget Study for San Francisco Bay" Prepared for the San Francisco District Corps of Engineers by Ogden Beeman & Associates and Ray B. Krone & Associates, between 1955 and 1990 they show an accretion of over 6 feet of sediment inboard of the Golden Gate Bridge and extending to Sausalito.
 
This appears to illustrate a critical loss of sediment in just a seven year period. Fascinating details given by the Ogden Beeman report for 70 years of flows from tributaries of the Estuary show that diminished flows are bound to result in diminished sediment loads into the Bay and out through the Golden Gate, but this can't begin to account for this sink hole now appearing under the Golden Gate.
 
With pressure building to increase diversion of Delta flows, sediment supply can only continue to decline, and sand mining permits are likely to be renewed to satisfy cement needs of development and clover leafs.
 
 As bay levels rise incrementally each year with global warming, the volume of tidal water flushing through the Golden Gate will become increasingly greater and its eroding power unrelentingly stronger.  So to the point of this missive...how soon will Golden Gate Bridge straddle a gorge? How deep a gorge can beautifully engineered bridge piers withstand? How much erosion of bay floor will destabilize this engineering marvel?
 
And lastly, who of our regulatory agencies is qualified to address this sad but perhaps inevitable scenario? If ABAG and MTC are not concerned with high tides over highways, and CalTrans is enmeshed in Bay Bridge problems, think US Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District is only hope for an intelligent appraisal.
 
If your extensive sphere of readers has concerns on sand mining permits in San Francisco and Suisun Bays for the next ten years, they should reference on http://www.spn.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory  Public Notices 2013-00129, 2013-00130, 2013-00131 and 2013-00132 to conduct sand mining operations of up to 150,000, 300,000, 50,000 and 1,540,000 cubic yards annually between 2013 and 2023 within the 367-acre submerged lands MIddle Ground private lease area in Suisun Bay, within a 938-acre area of submerged lands within the Suisun Channel in Suisun Bay leased from the California State Lands Commission, within a 367-acre of submerged lands known as Middle Ground Island Sand Shoals in Suisun Bay, and from a 2,601-acre area consisting of nine parcels of submerged lands that comprise four leases from the California State Lands Commission in Central San Francisco Bay. (Sand Mining at the locations were previously authorized  under USACE permits nos. 1998-235730, 1999-243050, 1999-244410, and 2000-249970.)
 
Will not mention impacts proposed mining leases might have on all but collapsed salmon runs in Estuary, on loss of sand on beaches and below bluffs just outside of Golden Gate, or on need for substantial sediment loadings to travel to South Bay marshes for Salt Pond Restoration efforts.
 
Sorry to send you such a shaggy submittal but am dashing off on vacation. Just salvage what is serviceable.
 
Always appreciate your depth of content, and enjoy allusions to Greeks. You might suggest to TV moguls that next Memorial Day they replay Peloponnesian War rather than W.W. II, Korean and Vietnam conflicts.
 
JS:   Libby - I am flattered that you think I知 Superman.  I used to fly through the air and prevent the no-goodniks from performing their evil ways, but I can稚 do that anymore.  I have long been of the view that our economic system is destroying the earth, and that we are unable to change its course.  If anything saves it it will be the collapse of the system--it simply will not be able to deliver the goodies anymore.  Some people noticed that long ago, but most haven't, and it will have to hit them personally before they take notice.

And as to giving advice to the TV moguls--sure, I値l get right on it.  They値l be glad to accommodate my least whim, I知 sure.  :-)

#######################
11.

 
This is My Heart
 
This is my heart. It is a good heart. 
Bones and a membrane of mist and fire 
are the woven cover. 
When we make love in the flower world 
my heart is close enough to sing 
to yours in a language that has no use 
for clumsy human words.
 
My head is a good head, but it is a hard head 
and it whirs inside with a swarm of worries. 
What is the source of this singing, it asks 
and if there is a source why can't I see it 
right here, right now 
as real as these hands hammering 
the world together 
with nails and sinew?
 
This is my soul. It is a good soul. 
It tells me, "come here forgetful one." 
And we sit together with a lilt of small winds 
who rattle the scrub oak. 
We cook a little something 
to eat: a rabbit, some sofkey 
then a sip of something sweet 
for memory.
 
This is my song. It is a good song. 
It walked forever the border of fire and water 
climbed ribs of desire to my lips to sing to you. 
Its new wings quiver with 
vulnerability.
 
Come lie next to me, says my heart. 
Put your head here. 
It is a good thing, says my soul.
 
~ Joy Harjo ~
 
 
(A Map to the Next World)
 
for H.T.

########################

12.  New Zealand Christmas tree, Metrosideros excelsa, by Jake Sigg

The New Zealand Christmas tree has become one of San Francisco's favored street trees, along with the scarlet-flowering eucalyptus.  Both trees are in that related group of the myrtle family which attracts pollinators with showy, colorful stamens rather than petals:  eg, the approximately 600 species of eucalyptus and the bottle brushes (also a common street tree here).

The genus Metrosideros contains many viny and epiphytic species.  Some, such as M. robusta (occasionally seen here, such as in the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum, and one on Clayton at Parnassus) start life in a pocket of leaf litter in a tree crotch high above the New Zealand forest floor.  Aerial roots travel down the trunk of the host tree until they touch ground, at which time they expand in girth, all the roots eventually fusing together to strangle and kill the host tree; a huge but hollow-trunked tree is the result.  Its brother, Metrosideros excelsa, which the Maoris and other New Zealanders call by the musical name pohutukawa, is terrestrial, but betrays its epiphytic kinship by copiously producing red aerial rootlets from lateral branches, elongating until they touch ground, at which time they start to develop into a separate trunk, much like a banyan tree.  Older street trees in our fog belt develop these aerial roots, although they seldom develop completely, because of the exposed, dry situations on the street. 

This trait is well expressed in a large tree in the botanical garden, near the garden entrance opposite the Japanese Tea Garden, and adjacent to the lake.  Aerial roots extend from every branch, some reaching the ground and increasing in diameter until they become large props helping to sustain the weight of the outward-reaching branches.  When I was gardener supervisor and de facto curator of collections there during the 1980s, one set of these rootlets was depending from a large limb that hung out over a road.  I encouraged the rootlets to elongate (by wrapping them in burlap to retain moisture) so that the tree, being rooted on both sides of the road, would form a high arch over the road.  The rootlets were about to hit ground and produce a trunk when I left the arboretum in 1988.  Subsequently a gardener severed the nascent trunk, and the arch never formed.  

In New Zealand, pohutukawa is the dominant tree in much of the coastal and lowland forests of the North Island.  It frequently grows along the coast in difficult situations, such as cliffsides, where it puts out long sweeping branches (the wood is extremely strong and durable--metrosideros means heart of iron) that sweep out over the water and even dip into it.  The Maoris had deep reverence for the tree, and one huge old specimen at Cape Renga (the extreme northern tip of New Zealand)  that stretched out over the sea served as a bridge for their departed spirits.

Pohutukawa flowers at height of summer, which is Christmas in the southern hemisphere.  It is flowering copiously here now, but individual trees flower at different times, so expect some to be blooming throughout the summer.  It makes a good street tree for the city and the foggy coast.  Foliage, with green upper surface, white-wooly underside, and contrasting new growth, supports charming forked clusters of tightly-curled buds covered with woolly tomentum, which open into bright red stamens.  It takes pruning well; it even tolerates bad pruning--fortunately, because bad pruning is the norm in this city.  The leaf痴 dense wool on the underside and tough leather on top protects it from desiccation; it takes strong winds very well, which is why you see them in the median strip on Geary Boulevard.

A note about the Strybing tree:  I was reading some documents regarding the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition at the Palace of Fine Arts, and a note caught my eye regarding the New Zealand pavilion, where it stated that John McLaren descended on the Exposition after it closed and swept up all the plants to plant in Golden Gate Park.  That seemed the likely source for this tree.  I had independently decided that the Strybing tree was approximately that age, and I am certain that that is its origin, alongside other New Zealand plants, such as the arboretum's totara (Podocarpus totara), a handsome but slow-growing conifer tree.  

San Francisco has been largely indifferent towards its own history.  Raymond Clary left a couple of books about Golden Gate Park's human and structural history, but he had no plant information.  This knowledge has been disappearing, and will soon be beyond reach entirely, as little is written down.  Those who knew some of the history have been disappearing.

########################

This newsletter is posted at http://naturenewssf.blogspot.com/ the same day it is emailed to recipients--but without provision for feedback.
To unsubscribe this email newsletter, put UNSUBSCRIBE in the Subject field
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.