Mr. Pitman’s letter published in the March 21 edition of the Rancho Santa Fe Review was not accurate. Mr. Pitman’s headline was incorrect regarding the number of trees; there will be a net loss of 101 trees, not 200. Many trees will be replaced with a more suitable species than the trees that will be taken down. To address Mr. Pitman’s points:
1) We agree that the golf course is the glamour spot. To say it will look sterile is quite an exaggeration. We believe that the changes will be an enhancement and look great. We are not planning little replants but rather good-sized replacements.
2) There are no lumberjacks on the loose. Not to be nitpicking, but the golf course is not 100 years old but rather 84 years old. If you look at photos of the golf course in the 1930s you won’t see any trees at all. We are not blind but rather have foresight to avoid problems in the future.
3) We do thin out the branches every year, alternating the first 9 holes with the second nine holes. There is still too much shade on the fairways that prevents the sun from drying the fairways.
4) The roots from the trees do not prevent erosion, the turf does. When there is thin turf there is more possibility of erosion, but frankly that is not a problem.
5) The golf course will not be closed at all while the tree management plan is being carried out.
6) The expense of removing the trees is less than what we pay for thinning out the branches every year and will save money in the long run.
7) The golf club members are entrusted with maintaining and managing the golf course. The members pay a substantial initiation fee and monthly dues to maintain and manage the course. While we realize the course is a community asset, we have enhanced the course over the years and should be trusted to continue to do what’s best for the community.
8) We agree that everyone should tour the course and read the handout that identifies the trees and why they are scheduled for removal. Many are at the end of their useful lives. Even trees die, you know. Also, some are being shaded by larger trees and are unhealthy. Others are being removed to enhance air flow and reduce the chance of passing disease from one to another.
We ask that all residents become informed regarding our tree management plan and not rely on rumor and innuendo. Please attend the meeting on April 3 and hear the real truth about the tree management plan and hear the presentation given by an expert.
Bill Roberts, Chairman
Rancho Santa Fe Green Committee