Sadly, at risk is more than the loss of one grove of trees, more even than the loss of one of the last stands of a tree which once covered so much of our coastline. The threat here is one of statewide precedent. By allowing a developer to cut down 17,000 threatened trees, decision makers could well be helping to cut down one of California's strongest environmental protection laws.
The California Coastal Act is unique among conservation laws because it respects Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area. According to this law, it is not just the frog, or the bird or the flower that is worthy of protection, but the area in which the critter or tree lives. Our coastal protection laws are designed to protect the area, and in this case, that means the forest.
The Del Monte Forest has long been considered as Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area since the Monterey pines are not only threatened themselves, but also as protection for the wildlife that depend on the trees for survival.
There is still time, however, to save this forest. This is why on Saturday morning, February 18, Sierra Club's Coastal Director, Mark Massara will join outings leaders and Sierra Club members from throughout California to hike in this beautiful and threatened forest. With fun and easy hikes Sierra Club hopes to raise awareness of the importance of this forest. Join us for a fun morning and to learn the simple things that people can do to help protect this forest for future generations.
Check out the outings listing for February 18. And hike to save the pines.