Tag Archives: Eric Gustafson city of Chica Ca

Was the “oaks massacre” in Bidwell Park really a mistake?

16 Mar

The Nature Center used to be a special place,  run by a professional and caring staff,  and then the money grabbers from CARD took over. Now the programs for kids are expensive – CARD makes no bones about wanting more money.

Now they want the city to forgive a loan made to the previous management.

So excuse the mismanagement, CARD isn’t in this to serve anybody but themselves.

I assume you’ve heard the outrage over a stand of perfectly healthy valley oaks mowed down at the center recently. The city contracted Cal Fire, who brings in inmates from a low security jail called Salt Creek. These crews are trained to do fire safety clearance, and they’re great. But they’re not foresters and they need to be told exactly what to cut. According to an article in the News and Review, city public works director Eric Gustafson admits – they had no consistent symbols for marking the trees.

Oh give me a fucking break!

We have a city forester, hired a few years back, that’s supposed to be exactly what he was hired for. We have a “Parks and Resource Director” – Linda Herman. We have Gustafson. And the Center is supposed to be overseen by CARD. All this “management ” – Honey, I’m calling it MISMANAGEMENT.

I want to see dead brush, non-native species and sick trees removed from the park, this is work that needs to continue,  but I don’t want the whole park turned into parking lots and buildings.  I’m afraid this wasn’t really a mistake. The city has wanted to develop the area around the Nature Center for a long time, build more money makers like the center.

CARD, with the city’s blessing, has taken a facility that was a free resource for everybody and instituted an admission fee. Low cost Summer “nature camp” has turned into a daycare scheme that closes the center to the public for weeks at a time. The south side neighborhood has complained all the way back to Shakespeare in the Park about cars flooding their streets for these events, it’s no different with the daycare center.

Now the city is talking about a  Maidu Village -another attraction that will bring in cars and necessitate more parking.

A friend reminds me – if Gustafson asked the city for permission to remove the trees for a parking lot, the shit would hit the fan. But now he can blame it on Cal Fire and oh well it’s just too late to do anything about it.  He doesn’t even seem sorry about the incident.

This is how the city and CARD will continue to “manage” Bidwell Park unless we step up and say GUSTAFSON NEEDS TO GO. The park needs a true resource manager.

Write to the Park Commission and tell them you want your park back.