Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: On Sweet Springs Nature Preserve

Gradual replacement

The board of the Morro Coast Audubon Society wishes to respond to fliers being distributed to residents of Los Osos and Morro Bay regarding future eucalyptus removal from the MCAS-owned East Sweet Springs property in Los Osos.

Since acquiring the eight-acre parcel in 2008, MCAS has conducted the needed surveys and gathered information to include in the minor use permit application required by the county. MCAS plans to open the property to the public while protecting the sensitive biological and cultural resources, consistent with the MCAS’ mission.

After much discussion, the board plans to gradually replace the eucalyptus trees on East Sweet Springs with native trees that would increase the biological diversity on site. This process would take place over the next 10 years pending funding. Trees found to harbor butterflies or birds’ nests would not be removed. MCAS urges community members to read the permit application at www.slocounty.ca.gov/Assets/PL/referrals/coastal/DRC201100013_MORRO-COAST-AUDUBON-SOCIETY.pdf.

The Los Osos Community Advisory Council will meet twice: the Land Use Committee at 6:30 tonight and the full board at 7 p.m. Oct. 27, both at the Los Osos Community Center.

MCAS wishes not to divide the community but to multiply support for this project.

Jan Surbey

Board member, Morro Coast Audobon Society

Irrevocable change

I was surprised to learn the local Audubon Society chapter (of which I am currently a member) has plans to eliminate the eucalyptus trees from the Sweet Springs Nature Preserve in Los Osos. Their initial proposal calls for removing nearly 100 trees, most large, with diameters larger than 8 inches, over a period of 10 years and replacing them with native plants and small trees.

Not only will the trees be removed, but herbicides will be used to kill the stumps. This will irrevocably change the preserve and affect wildlife, habitat and the overall ecosystem of this precious area of our county.

If you have concerns, you can attend the Land Use Committee meeting at 6:30 tonight at the Los Osos Community Center.

Dane Jones

Los Osos

Risky to remove

I wish to express my feelings regarding Audubon’s proposal to incrementally eliminate 120 healthy beautiful eucalyptus trees at the east side of Sweet Springs Nature Preserve in Los Osos, with the intent of increasing small bird diversity.

This is one of the only high-canopy forests we have in the county, as well as an already established ecosystem. It provides a sanctuary for humans as well as home to hawks, owls, egrets, monarchs and many birds.

We already have many other places for smaller birds to inhabit. Eucalyptus trees remove carbon dioxide from the air and provide us with oxygen. Since nature is constantly evolving, it seems risky to rip out trees that have been here for more than 100 years.

On the existing property, there is a huge veldt grass area that would be great for establishing native plants and small trees.

I would like to suggest to anyone interested to go to the little pier at Baywood Park and look across the bay at the beautiful trees. Many are going to be removed, changing the peaceful beauty forever.

Please attend the meetings at Los Osos Community Center at 6:30 tonight and Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. and email kbrown @coslo.lca.us and vickilocacchair@earthlink.net.

Carol Baker

Los Osos