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Path To Destruction

Path To Destruction

Santa Barbara News Press writer Bonnie Donovan nails it with the Op-Ed piece she wrote for today’s “Did You Know?” column…click on link to read full article because she also hits on the State St. issue.

“Speaking of a path to destruction.  

Now what we see on the veritable chopping block are the famous stretch of Canary Island palm trees that grace Modoc Road and resemble a painting.  
These are the irreplaceable Canary Island Palm heritage trees that were planted by Pearl Chase’s brother, Harold over a hundred years ago. They could tragically be chopped down and destroyed in one afternoon.

The magic trick is understanding Santa Barbara County’s shell game and just what is behind doors 1, 2 and 3. How many trees are being removed under each plan?

The Community Association for the Modoc Preserve, which is 4,400 (now 4626) strong in its petition drive to save the trees, have proposed Greenbelt Alignments, which is a ¾ mile extension of the Obern Trail, instead of the county’s Alignment A or B. And of course, what lies under the county’s shells is the number of trees to be axed. 

Chris Sneddon, the Santa Barbara County deputy director of transportation, and Morgan Jones say engineering made significant changes to the earlier plans, which would remove X number of trees, according to the different options. Mr. Sneddon says the current numbers for tree removal are accurate.  And because the stakeholders were heard, the numbers were scaled back. However, he stated some trees on the eastern end must be removed,which are the very Canary Island palms trees.  

Warren Thomas of CAMP begs to differ and noted that the Canary Island palm trees can be saved, with an outcome that is a better and safer experience for equestrians and pedestrians.

According to the  La Cumbre Water Co, “the project’s impacts to the Conservation easement area and the Modoc Preserve are not limited to physical ground disturbance or tree removal. The county should evaluate the environmental impacts caused by lighting, water management conflicts with existing uses, utility infrastructure and utility easements.”

A high-pressure natural gas pipeline crosses the eastern end of the project area. This gas line lies underneath the proposed 14-foot wide multi-use asphalt path. The Mitigated Negative Declaration is considered by many to be incomplete and inaccurate.

For example, native oak trees are omitted in the County’s revised MND Alignment A tables and maps.   

Two divisive factions are at stake in the preservation of the historic trees along Modoc Road to be sacrificed for a multi-use path.

Recreational bicyclists are in league with Santa Barbara County Transportation vs. the Land Trust of Santa Barbara County, the La Cumbre Mutual Water Co. and townsfolk driving to school, to work, to soccer practice, the grocery store, and many more residents who drive or walk in the area.

The bottom line: Does the county hear people as they listen to the public engagement and outreach? (As all government entities vow they do.) And do they pay heed to what the townspeople/residents want?

It’s about more than perception this time, but reputations and public trust, as well as the many beautiful, iconic trees are also at stake.

The Board of Supervisors will be voting on this matter on Nov. 1.”

Please write to the BOS and tell them to VOTE NO on Alignments A & B to stop this environmentally destructive project.

SB County Board of Supervisors Email Addresses

The legal research work and letter that our attorneys have written and submitted to SB County outlining the discrepancies and deficiencies that we found in the revised MND…required a significant amount of billable hours that we are paying for…if you would like to help us offset these legal bills to protect the Modoc Road trees…


We are very grateful to you all…this thing is winnable…and, we couldn’t do this without you…thanks again so much!

Don’t just talk about it…BE ABOUT IT!!!
Please join us for a rally to SAVE THE MODOC ROAD TREES!!!
We have extra signs and sign making materials…so, show up and support the trees!!!
Saturday , October 29th between 11am and 1pm at Encore and Modoc Road.

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