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I heard some of the protected trees are diseased anyway.

The initial study found some walnut trees with disease. But their roots are still protecting the hillside from erosion. Protected plant and animal species are protected even when they have disease or injury. The school’s project would destroy 147 protected oak and walnut trees.

Even trees with “canker disease” create walnuts and provide habitat for the many sensitive biological resources found on site. Furthermore, NONE of the oaks trees are diseased, and the particular disease (potentially in only 78% of the walnuts) has not been found to be fatal in the walnut trees (Southern Black walnut) that are present on site. (see Land Protection Partners Biological Impact Report, Dec. 2013)

The mitigation trees the school has proposed are tiny new trees — 1-gal and 5-gal — even at a 4:1 ratio these trees cannot replace the existing tree canopy from the 100s of mature trees on site. The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) and the Community Forest Advisory Committee called these mitigations “inadequate” and “insufficient”. The City found the project has a significant adverse impact to biological resources, and the SMMC said this project would result in the “most severe native woodland impacts in the Santa Monica Mountains east of the 405 freeway in at least three decades.”