ORDER OF BUSINESS
1. Call to Order and Roll Call. The Urban Forestry Council meeting convened at 6:05 p.m. Present: Chair D’Agostino, Vice-Chair Hillson, Members Costello, Flanagan, Hillan, Muraoka, Sherwin, Sider, Sullivan, Sutherland, and Vargas; Excused: Members Barrow and Buck.
2. Adoption of Minutes of the January 27, 2012 Urban Forestry Council Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Document: January 27, 2012 Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action) Upon Motion by Chair D’Agostino, second by Vice Chair Hillson, the January 27, 2012 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES: Chair D’Agostino, Vice Chair Hillson, Members Costello, Flanagan, Hillan, Sherwin, Sider, Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas; Absent: Member Buck).
3. Public Comment: Members of the public may address the Council on matters that are within the Council’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda. There was no public comment at this time.
4. The Effects of Utility Vegetation Management Practices on the San Francisco Urban Forest. Sponsor: Member Sutherland; Speakers: Member Sutherland; Joel Smith, Forester, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E); Anthony Parks Sr., Area Superintendant, Asplundh. (Explanatory Document: PG&E Presentation) (Informational Presentation and Discussion)
Mr. Joel Smith reported on his work overseeing the PG&E vegetation management program in San Francisco and San Mateo counties. He discussed (1) PG&E’s electric system that involves the cycle from generation to energy delivery to end users; (2) PG&E’s compliance with California laws on utility vegetation management for tree pruning and removals for trees that may pose a hazard around PG&E distribution lines; (4) program scope for San Francisco; (5) distribution vegetation zones, (6) tree inspection patrol standards and assigned territories; (7) customer interface and educational outreach; and (8) city challenges. (Reference Explanatory Document presentation.)
Mr. Anthony Parks, Sr., Asplundh, Tree Expert Company, reported that Asplundh provides line clearance service to PG&E for vegetation management services. He discussed his work overseeing the tree crew in San Francisco referencing workflow and schedules, the inspection process, outreach to agencies and homeowners, worker training requirements and job levels, compliance with ANSI pruning and California Occupational Safety and Hazard Association (OSHA) standards, and city challenges.
Council members inquired about training requirements and line-clearance certifications that PG&E contractors are required to have to perform this work. Mr. Smith reported that ISA certification is encouraged but not required. Mr. Parks reported that Asplundh workers comply with ANSI tree pruning standards and the company’s line-clearance certification program meets OSHA safety standards. A discussion was held on alternate strategies to address consistent tree pruning near above ground conductor lines such as conversion to underground lines. Mr. Smith reported that fund prioritization is targeted to areas where it serves the most number of citizens.
5. Arbor Day Planning. Speaker: Mei Ling Hui, Council Coordinator (Discussion).
Council Coordinator Hui reported that this year’s Arbor Day event is scheduled for March 10, will be located on Brotherhood Way and Arch Avenue, and will emphasize tree-care related activities. She reported on agencies and activities scheduled for Arbor Day, and stated that work is in progress to secure tree-care presenters for the Eco Fair that the Department of the Environment coordinates. Coordinator Hui reported that the Council’s work plan includes more involvement in local activities and suggested that Council members express their interest in staffing an information table and/or volunteering at the event.
6. Review and Approval of the 2012 Recommended Street Tree List. (Explanatory Document: Draft 2012 Recommended Street Tree List, Resolution Adopting 2012 List and Approved 2012 Recommended Street Tree List) (Discussion and Action).
Chair D’Agostino reported that the Draft 2012 Recommended Street Tree List for consideration is the most current proposal made by the working group. The group would be meeting quarterly to make recommendations for additions to future lists and to work on the street tree pamphlet. A discussion was held and suggestions were made to the current list format and future lists. Upon Motion by Chair D’Agostino, second by Member Sider, the 2012 Recommended Street Tree List was approved as amended (Explanatory Document: Approved 2012 Recommended Street Tree List) (AYES: Chair D’Agostino, Vice Chair Hillson, Members Costello, Flanagan, Hillan, Sherwin, Sider, Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas; Absent: Member Buck).
7. Review and Possible Approval of the Urban Forestry Council’s 2011 Annual Report. (Explanatory Document: Draft and Approved 2011 Annual Report) (Discussion and Possible Action)
The Council discussed the Draft report and recommended edits and additions to the content. Upon Motion by Member Sullivan, second by Vice Chair Hillson, the 2011 Draft Annual Report was approved with amendments (Explanatory Document: 2011 Approved Annual Report) (AYES: Chair D’Agostino, Vice Chair Hillson, Members Costello, Flanagan, Hillan, Sherwin, Sider, Sullivan, Sutherland and Vargas; Absent: Member Buck).
Public Comment: Mr. David Pilpel asked that all acronyms and abbreviations in reference to departments be consistent. He spoke in support of approving the Draft Report and achieving a broader urban forest in the future. He also commended the Council for their good work.
8. Staff Report. Staff will provide updates on Urban Forestry Council administrative and programmatic operations relating to research, planning, funding, outreach, and other related activities. (Informational Report and Discussion). There was no additional staff report issued at this time.
9. Committee Reports: (Informational Reports and Discussion)
Planning & Funding Committee. Chair’s Report on the agenda for the March 5, 2012 meeting. Council Chair D’Agostino reported that the February Planning and Funding Committee meeting was cancelled. Member Costello was invited to attend the March 5 Planning and Funding Committee meeting to discuss how to best communicate Council goals and priorities to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors.
10. Chair’s Announcements: Chair, Urban Forestry Council (Information and Discussion). Council Chair D’Agostino reported that Committee appointments would be made in the near future and asked Council members to send her their preference for Committee selection.
11. Urban Forestry Council Member Announcements. (Information and Discussion) Member Costello reported on a meeting he attended with Supervisor Farrell about the park bond that would be on the next ballot. He suggested that the Council hear an informational presentation from the Recreation and Park Department since forestry is an element of the bond and reported on Recreation and Park Department meetings that would be held in different districts to request community support and input.
12. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion) This agenda topic was not discussed at this time.
13. Public Comment: Members of the public may address the Council on matters that are within the Council’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda. There was no public comment at this time.
14. Adjournment. The Urban Forestry Council meeting adjourned at 8:43 p.m.
The next meeting of the Urban Forestry Council is scheduled for Friday, March 23, 2012, at 8:30 a.m., Room 400, San Francisco City Hall.