Protect the Endangered Torrey Pines & Stop the Power Company from Destroying San Diego!

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The Torrey Pines are an endangered species of pine that only grow in one area in San Diego, California, Torrey Pines – a scenic area now named for the tree. It was one of the rarest pine species in the world in the early 20th century, with only around 100 trees surviving. Because of this, Torrey Pines is visited by travelers from all over the world and by local residents who come daily to rest at the stunning overlooks, walk a peaceful trail or parks, or exercise in a clean, beautiful environment. It is also the namesake of many tourist destinations and local favorites, such as Torrey Pines golf course, Torrey Pines High School, Torrey Pines hiking trail and more. Here's the issue:

  • The power company, SDG&E are proposing to clear cut 75 endangered, Torrey Pine trees in the town of Carmel Valley, City of San Diego over the next 3 years. Their plan includes clear cutting 25 trees a year in large clusters in public parks and by private homes. You can see their plans to clear-cut the Torrey Pines here (red is trees they plan to cut down next year, blue are trees that can stay "for now").
  • Their initial justification for this was public safety. They cited one tree fall last year, which could have happened from due to a vast number of causes, none of which SDG&E has bothered to look into.
  • At a public meeting representatives from SDG&E explained that they “must think in worst-case scenarios” and that the trees “pose a potential danger to the power lines, should they fall.”
  • With SDG&E's logic, one could argue that every tree on every block in America should be cut down, since most suburban trees are located by power lines!

We live in this neighborhood and we know these beautiful, endangered trees pose no risk to us. They have been here for decades without any problem to the residents! Most citizens live here BECAUSE of the trees - not in spite of them!

  • Also troubling is that the Torrey Pines SDG&E proposes to cut down looks like it leaves them plenty of room to “co-anchor” or add more power lines to these areas in the future. This is in SDG&E’s best interest ALONE and takes NO public interest into consideration. We’ve added the photos SDG&E provided at the meeting of their clear-cutting plans, showing vast clusters of trees that were scheduled for removal. You can view them here.
  • We have postponed the removal and proposed various alternative solutions, such as top-cutting branches that pose potential risks to power lines. However, there are no branches that we as residents can visibly see right now that even seem to pose this risk.
  • SDG&E’s response to our compromise was that it was “unhealthy for the tree” to cut off various branches as necessary. Well, since we are now talking about the health of the trees, let us remind SDG&E that the MOST unhealthy thing for the trees would be to cut them down completely, leaving only stumps!
  • Also unaddressed is that this would leave no space to plant more trees, but STUMPS of the trees that once were all over our neighborhood. Who profits from the endangered tree bark gathered from these trees is still unclear.

SDG&E has been asked simple questions, such as how many endangered Torrey Pines they intend to cut down and how many would be left. So far, we have received no response to these inquiries.

With a $1.37 billion dollar annual revenue last year ALONE, SDG&E is certainly profiting from clear cutting in this way. We cannot let them destroy another neighborhood; a move which will affect our community for decades to come.

This petition is two fold:

  • With enough public interest, SDG&E MUST listen to the citizens of the town which they propose to change and NOT their own pockets and self-interest.
  • We plan to use this petition as a pre-cursor to a city ordinance that protects the endangered Torrey Pines in the City of San Diego. Neighboring areas of Del Mar have a similar ordinance, so it should be easier to get through with this kind of community support.

This species grows ONLY in the coastal northern San Diego county. EVERY signature counts. These trees cannot speak for themselves and someone must speak for them. We will not stand by and watch a power company change the landscape of our neighborhood and destroy the namesake of our town. Once they do it to one city, they can use that as justification to repeat this behavior nationwide.



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Tara Mackey needs your help with “Save the Endangered Torrey Pines & Stop The Power Company from Destroying San Diego!”. Join Tara and 4,233 supporters today.