Feds May Clear-Cut 82,000 Trees Near UC Berkeley

FEMA grant sought for Strawberry, Claremont canyons

The federal government may chop down some 82,000 trees near Berkeley's Strawberry Canyon and in Claremont Canyon in the hills near North Oakland, according to reports.

The University of California Berkeley applied for a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cut down the trees, which the school says are a fire hazard, the California Progress Report reported.

The plan, according to the Web site, is to cut the trees and replace them with "wood chips two feet deep."

"And it will pour between 700 and 1400 gallons of herbicide" to keep plants from "re-sprouting," according to activist and nonprofit manager Randy Shaw, who says that UC Berkeley and the government "cleverly" scheduled their proposal for the plan when Berkeley students were busy with finals or "gone for the summer."

"UC Berkeley has done its best to keep [the plan] secret," wrote Shaw, who added that one of the herbicides proposed for use in the area is the "toxic" Roundup, which is produced by much-loathed agribusiness company Monsanto.

The last public hearing on the project was on Saturday, May 18, at a middle school in Oakland.

In the meantime, the public can sound off until June 17.

No word on when the clear-cutting would begin, if approved, or a tally on the cost of the project.

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