Letter: Unfair to Compare Laguna Trees to Rest of OC

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I reviewed the Grand Jury’s Urban Forest Report—of the 12 cities in OC that responded, Laguna was the only coastal city. Laguna is so different in so many ways that to compare us to any city in OC makes no sense. We are hemmed in by ocean on one side and our hills. We know that this can create issues, such as the 1993 fire, and we do not want to repeat. We also are not a grid city—streets with sidewalks in nice tidy rows. Some of our streets are narrow and putting in sidewalks to accommodate trees makes no sense. Can’t plant trees where cars are parked, or in many cases, two-way traffic is difficult, forget emergency vehicles. Isn’t that part of our charm? Surely, we cannot afford to plant more eucalyptus trees—they are notorious for falling, losing limbs, etc. I just don’t get what Ann Christoph and friends want to achieve by continually going over and over this issue. What do they not get? Our city leaders are doing a terrific job in removing many of the dead/dying eucalyptus and other trees and replacing with more responsible plants. A $50,000 donation was made a couple of years ago wouldn’t even pay for a third of the salary of an arborist for a year to monitor these trees and make sure they are healthy and we are safe. It may have already been spent on the tax that comes with buying some of our new trees. We have replaced many already, including one beautiful flowering tree on Forest Ave. Can’t wait for it to grow up.

Can we move on to more critical topics? For example, every minute, an area the size of a football field is being cleared of native/critical trees in the rainforest of the Amazon Basin and indigenous people are moved out from their villages. These trees (we are not even aware of many species) are vital to maintaining the climate of our hemisphere and will play a key role in our future climate. I spent a week in the Peruvian Amazon and met with indigenous people sharing the secrets of many plants that can help us in so many ways in the future. Frankly, with the Brazilian government removing 30-year-old sanctions on the Amazon, we need to put pressure on them to stop and work with other countries who share the Amazon to safeguard it.


Ganka Brown, Laguna Beach


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