New Tree Troubles Hit Cal

The University of California is embroiled in another tree-cutting confrontation.

School officials are squaring off against Berkeley residents over a plan to reduce the threat of wildfire.

The university has spent four years seeking a $5 million federal grant to remove about 12,000 eucalyptus, pine and acacia trees from the Berkeley and Oakland hills.

But a neighborhood group has stalled the cutting with a claim that the project is actually a native-plant restoration plan that does little to make the hills safer.

Federal officials say the university needs to do more to show that removing the trees will reduce the fire hazard.

In September, tree-sitters ended a 21-month occupation of a campus oak grove felled to make way for a new athletic center.

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