Apparently the Audubon Society has just withdrawn its application for a permit to cut 120 eucalyptus trees in the East Sweet Springs Preserve. They say they want to do additional “studies” on the impact on monarch butterflies and raptors. I suspect they want to wait until the public outcry dies down. They cite a desire to “restore coastal habitat.”
Meanwhile, in the Tahoe National Forest north of Truckee, such “environmental restoration” is the cover for choosing to cut down conifers to save aspens.
Along the way, a Jeffrey pine, nearly 13 feet around, believed to be 250 to 300 years old, is slated to fall. Chad Hanson, director and staff ecologist of the John Muir Project, said, “This is just a very creative excuse to get some very large old-growth trees to the mill.”
Here in Los Osos, the motive is not acquisition of lumber but acquisition of improved views of the bay. While there are invasive species whose existence imperils an existing ecology, the existing Sweet Springs coastal habitat has, for many decades, included the eucalyptus trees, sheltering the monarch butterflies and providing raptors places to roost and nest.