[act-ma] Fwd: Save the Silver Maple Forest

Friends of Alewife Reservation info at friendsofalewifereservation.org
Tue Sep 23 20:18:21 PDT 2014

         FAR: Urgent Silver Maple Forest News  |  September/October 2014


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of Alewife Reservation        [image: Silver Maple Forest]
Erik Thorkenson*

*From The President <#148a59dded802a93_article1>*

*Belmont, Arlington, Cambridge: Stand up for the trees

*From World's Largest Climate March to New England's Vital Floodplain
Forest <#148a59dded802a93_anchor3>*

*Letter to Legislators from the Silver Maple Forest Alliance
<#148a59dded802a93_article4> What You Can Do From Home
<#148a59dded802a93_article5>*              *About Friends of Alewife

*Silver Maple Forest: a small river floodplain forest

*"100-Year Storms" Occuring Every 30 Years

*Floodplain Facts
the President *Ellen Mass, President of Friends of Alewife Reservation*

Truly devastated by the call from Belmont that the trees were to come down
very very soon, I jumped in the car.

As I drove down Acorn Park drive with heavy heart, I saw many more pink
flags along the road.

Stopping at a staging site laden with large underground culverts, I spoke
to a driver 10 feet up on a bulldozer. I was relieved when he told me the
site (old skating rink) was being used for Huron Ave. sewer separation for
the next 2 years and no one else was using it.

Now I wonder where the life killing bulldozers are going to be staged to
devastate our rare and precious forest. They will certainly not be from
Acorn Park Drive Discovery Park, so if anyone has an inkling, let us know.

Our first vigil is Friday at 6 at the forest area. Please join us.

And watch the FAR website
the dates and times of later vigils.
              Belmont, Arlington, Cambridge: Stand up for the trees

A Dramatic increase of precipitation and subsequent coastal sea changes
are predicted in coming years along the USA Eastern seaboard, strongly
assured by top scientists across the globe.

Tumultuous climate change will continue to result in sea rise and storm
surges which dramatically affect our coastal areas. We therefore call on
these coastal communities to request a delay in all permitting for the
Cambridge and Belmont’s silver maple forest, the Belmont Uplands and its
FEMA floodplain surroundings until the climate Vulnerability Assessment
Study of the City of Cambridge has been completed and interpreted,
projected out this November. The 100 year floodplain is receiving more
frequent significant rain events, causing flooding at these high ground
water areas which must remain permeable to absorb the flood waters.

Permits in the middle of process should be halted until the city’s regional
study can be completed.

Friends of Alewife Reservation together with other counterpart
environmental organizations, city and state officials and community
members invite the public to a candle light vigil Friday, September 26th on
the Cambridge border at Discovery Park. The forest is only 5 feet above sea
level. The 100 year flood plain with its forest is a vital and
non-replaceable climate adaptation center life saver for the surrounding
communities in this era of climate change. The Upper Alewife Basin natural
resources are critical for mitigating climate surges and sea rise impacts
to these regions of Belmont, Cambridge, Arlington, Somerville and
Medford to the Mystic River and to Boston Harbor.

For more information, call the FAR office 617-4115-1884 or the
Green Cambridge office 617 388-3799.
              From World's Largest Climate March to New England's Vital
Floodplain Forest

An urgent alert has been issued by several local environmental
organizations based on security contact from the town of Belmont that the
silver maple forest made be clear cut in the next 2 weeks and replaced with
a 300 unit building, according to their original design plan and
comprehensive permit. The Pennsylvania developer aims to remove hundreds of
floodplain trees for a building with parking. The environmental groups
claim that there is too much at stake as the sea level in this area is 5 to
8 feet and is threatened by future hurricane force water rise, similar to
the storm water and wind damage that recently hit New York and N.J. with
devastating impacts. The groups have appealed through the courts in 2010,
but engineers on the developer's side won. Wildlife, storm water run off
and other forestry and ecological considerations were not recognized by DEP.

Environmentalists claim that the standard of living of north and west
Cambridge, east Arlington and east Belmont residents will suffer greatly
with the removal of the floodplain forest which they say cools the area and
protects the surrounding communities from greater flooding than they
already have. It also gives them mental and recreational relief and joy.
Scientists for the group in a recent study (Horsley and Witten 2012) showed
that the area needs its porous surfaces for storm water and underground
precipitation functions to protect the area from climate change surges and
sea rise levels which will come to the Mystic River watershed in the
future. The groups plan to demonstrate their concern for the area for
future generations to come.

Come stand vigil with hand made signs and banners on Frontage Road facing
Route 2:
    Fri, Sep 26th, 6-7pm
    Thu, Oct 2, 4-6pm

Call 617-388-3799 or 617-415-1884 for more details.
              Letter to Legislators from the Silver Maple Forest Alliance (full
letter including table and references

September 22, 2014

Dear State Legislators, Cambridge City Council and Belmont Selectmen

We, the Silver Maple Forest Alliance, request that you take urgent steps to
halt imminent development on the Silver Maple Forest. This forest has vast
economic value to Cambridge, Belmont, Arlington and other surrounding
communities, to the tune of over $14,000,000 within the 20 years (Table 1)
as researched by Lesley University students and professors. This value will
continue to increase as the ecosystem services it proves (especially flood
protection) become more and more vital as we experience increased
precipitation with climate change.

There is strong citizen support across both towns and city to preserve this
land, as demonstrated by our rallies, online signature campaigns,
letter-writing campaign and widespread media coverage. For Cambridge, we
urge you to declare a moratorium on any wetland destruction before
assessment, or new permits which could aid in the deforestation
and building process until the Climate Change Vulnerability assessment in
completed so the value of this land can be more accurately understood. We
also urge you to reconsider previously issued permits to allow developers
to use Cambridge’s acreage as a conservation restriction, and to consider
retaking this acreage through eminent domain to substantially delay
development. For Belmont, we urge you to not issue the final building
permits that will allow clear cutting to begin and to demand that the
developers reconsider their design plans based on the most
accurate rainfall data and other design specs which were not officially
reviewed. Steps must be taken now or we will lose this amazing forest and
resource forever.

Signed by representatives of the Silver Maple Forest Alliance:
- Ellen Mass, Friend’s of Alewife Reservation
- Quinton Zondervan, Green Cambridge
- Michael Connelly, City of Cambridge
- Anne Marie Lambert, Belmont Citizen’s Forum
- David Morimoto, Lesley University
- Amy Mertl, Lesley University
- Ed Wall, Sierra Club of Massachusetts
- EkOngKar Singh Khalsa, Mystic River Watershed Association
- Walter Kittredge, Harvard University

Table 1: Estimated value of the ecosystem services provided by the 15-acre
Silver Maple Forest, with References

                What You Can Do From Home Check out things you can do from
to help save the Silver Maple Forest.                           *Copyright
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