Oakland accepts divisive grant to cut trees to prevent fires

June 3, 2015

City officials have accepted a $4 million federal grant to chop down trees in the ritzy Oakland hills, a decision that ignited debate over how best to prevent deadly wildfires.

The vote came after 2 a.m. Wednesday. The densely populated and wooded hills in drought-stricken California have long served as a potential fire hazard, especially when hot winds blow.

The city says clearing young and other non-native plants would deter another deadly firestorm like the one that killed 25 people and destroyed nearly 3,500 homes in 1991.

But some residents and environmentalists argue that low-lying brush is the primary concern. Hills Conservation Network, an environmental group, has filed a to scuttle the tree-cutting project. The Sierra Club also sued, arguing the plan doesn't go far enough.

Explore further: Wildlife groups sue feds over California logging

Related Stories

$4 million in US projects aim to protect sage grouse habitat

April 29, 2015

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Wednesday announced more than $4 million in projects in four states as part of a wildfire-fighting strategy to protect a wide swath of intermountain West sagebrush country that supports ...

Recommended for you

On-chip, electronically tunable frequency comb

March 18, 2019

Lasers play a vital role in everything from modern communications and connectivity to bio-medicine and manufacturing. Many applications, however, require lasers that can emit multiple frequencies—colors of light—simultaneously, ...

Alligator study reveals insight into dinosaur hearing

March 18, 2019

To determine where a sound is coming from, animal brains analyze the minute difference in time it takes a sound to reach each ear—a cue known as interaural time difference. What happens to the cue once the signals get to ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.