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Areas Cleared of Mature Trees Tend to Fill with More Flammable Plants
the URS Corporation letter questioning UC Berkeley

URS expects non-native weeds to replace the eucs

doc-titleLetter to FEMA from consultant URS Corporation
quote... we question the assumption that the types of vegetation recolonizing the area would be native. Based on conditions observed during site visits in April 2009, current understory species such as English ivy, acacia, vinca sp., French broom, and Himalayan blackberry would likely be the first to recover and recolonize newly disturbed areas once the eucalyptus removal is complete. ... As written, the current plan assumes native vegetation will reclaim the treatment areas but does not include any plans for native revegetation. Instead, in order to "reduce undesirable weed invasions" and thus encourage the development of native grasslands, chaparral, and bay/redwood communities, UC plans to apply chip mulch to the ground. This mulch would be derived from the cut, non-native eucalyptus trees. ... Despite thorough research, we were unable to find documentation of the ability of exotic chip mulch to suppress undesirable species while encouraging favorable species. ... . In the absence of native plantings/seeding, it is likely that as the chips decompose ... dormant seeds in the seed bed from the exotics that dominated the site pre-treatment will germinate and regain dominance.
sourceFEMA consultant URS Corporation