Don’t Fence Me In.

Only in Berkeley, folks. Only in Berkeley.

You may have heard about the tree sitters on the Cal campus’ Oak Grove area, near Memorial Stadium. They’ve been there for well over half a year, protesting a plan to tear down the old trees.

This wouldn’t be anything more than your usual fodder for Berkeley hippie jokes except for the fact that administrators would like to tear down those 42 oak trees to build a new athletic complex (which is in coach Jeff Tedford’s contract, I believe), and now a fence is being built in preparation for the arrival of fans for this weekend’s showdown with Tennessee (76K are expected.) The problem is that this fence might just violate a restraining order:

It’s not clear if the barrier being put up today violates a temporary restraining order issued by an Alameda County Superior Court judge barring any construction on the site pending a hearing on a permanent ban scheduled to be heard in Superior Court in Hayward, beginning Sept. 19.

The court will decide three lawsuits surrounding destruction of the trees and construction of the sports complex.

The lawsuits include one from the city of Berkeley challenging the size and location of the facility.

The city’s suit was consolidated with those of two other groups, the California Oak Foundation, vying to save 42 mature oak trees at the site, and the Panoramic Hill Association, a neighborhood group concerned about traffic and other issues. A fourth group trying to save so-called Tightwad Hill, a grassy area behind Memorial Stadium where football games can watched for free, will be considered separately.

Frankly, it’s probably in everyone’s best interest that the fence go up for now — I fear what would happen if one of the tree dwellers tried to get in the face of a Vol fan who made the trip out West.  It could never be as ugly as a OU fan tearing a Texas fan’s scrotum, but there are SEC fans who could pick their teeth with your generic West Coast activist type.

Photo: Nader Khouri/Contra Costa Times


19 Responses

  1. […] fat. Tennessee fans making the cross-continental trip may also enjoy the sight of hippies behind oddly permanent-looking fencing, designed to “protect” the protesters living in trees behind the stadium […]

  2. but there are SEC fans who could pick their teeth with your generic West Coast activist type

    Possibly, but here’s the thing: those oh-so-tough SEC types have to go back to backwards, bottom-of-all-quality-of-life stats, red state Bible thumping shitholes like Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

    Game, set and match: West Coast treehuggers.

  3. Home is where the trees live. Like, deep. So what’s this guy trying to say, live sleep with a tree in your bed of take a shower in a tree? Hmm. #scratches head#

  4. Mr. Holland –

    As a fan of Alabama, and a graduate of South Carolina – not to mention a liberal, as well – I just have to say this one thing: Go fuck yourself.


  5. Southern hillbillies may suck but I’m sorry, tree-huggers suck even worse.

  6. The War Has Already Begun. And Ended.

    The site of battle: The Oaks outside Memorial stadium. The soldiers at arms, seen here wearing traditional Haradin gear (either that or we’ve found our local terrorist cell) are already beginning their steadfast defense of their majesties of natu…

  7. As a huge Vols fan and southerner, all I have to say is I’d rather be dumb and illiterate than 1. Have a large population of fags in my state, 2. Have Arnold as my governor, and 3. have people like britney spears and paris hilton living anywhere near me.

  8. […] Don’t Fence Me In. [image]Only in Berkeley, folks. Only in Berkeley. You may have heard about the tree sitters on the Cal campus’ […] […]

  9. The thing that bothers me the most about all of this is how announcer Brent Musberger announced that Cal’s plan to plant 3 trees for every 1 saved was a deal any tree hugger should love. That’s just feeding the fire, and just reiterates the sad ignorance that most people have about trees – they don’t just spring up like sea monkeys overnight. It’s an ecosystem, people. Trees provide homes for critters n such. Read more if you care to learn more:

    It was a cheap shot by the BM, but since his bosses seem to treat him the way he treats trees, let’s just say in response, “Hmm – we can get three young, cheap announcers for one Brent Musberger. Put ‘im out to pasture. Baaah.”

  10. And I will say that because of Cal’s attitude about this, I really hope the Vols whup Cal’s ass.

  11. Do you have to hate nature to love football? Just asking.

  12. Dear Chancellor Birgeneau, Mayor Bates, UC President Dynes, & Regents:

    Brent Musberger hates trees. Do you?

    Today on ABC Sports’ broadcase of Cal’s opener against the Tennessee Volunteers, the football announcer voiced his opinion of Cal’s plan to “plant three trees for every one” cut down as “a deal that any treehugger should be happy with.”

    Unfortunately for trees, they are not football players or football announcers or even sea monkeys. They do not spring up fully grown overnight. They don’t make deals or go out on their own as “free agents.”

    The saplings that would be planted to “replace” the killed Live Oaks would offer not nearly as much cover and shade for the small animals that called the Grove home for many years to come. In response to Cal’s offer, you can be certain that the Grove’s squirrels and birds are not giving each other high fives and saying, “Cool. In about thirty years, I hear there will be plenty of new shade about three miles away.” Those squirrels would have been long gone, and so would their descendents. A new training facility on that site means the destruction of a world.

    Musberger’s snide comment reflects Americans’ fundamental ignorance of the value of nature and the way nature works. This is because many Americans are raised in a sterile, suburban environment where trees are regularly cut down to increase a home’s saleability and where entire forests are destroyed to make way for golf courses, with nary a blink of an eye. Musberger can no longer utter racist epithets about Olympic track stars (see , but he knows it’s still open season on anyone who thinks nature matters.

    This flippant, retro attitude is not just ignorant, it’s destructive. And it’s why the planet is in serious trouble.

    The Memorial Oak Grove is an irreplaceable resource. It is the last surviving Oak-Bay woodland ecosystem in the Berkeley lowlands. The California Native Plant Society has stated that the grove is “an important gene-bank for Coast Live Oaks.” On top of this environmental importance the grove is also listed as part of a national historic site by the federal government.

    Every mature oak tree in the grove should also be protected by law under the City of Berkeley Coast Live Oak moratorium which forbids cutting large live oaks in Berkeley. But the University is choosing to ignore this local environmental law – in so doing UC is dismissing the values of the community and setting a terrible example for it’s students.

    Meanwhile, the University has already identified alternatives sites which do not require the destruction of the Oak Grove.

    I am writing to ask the University of California to adopt an alternative plan that will preserve this important Oak Woodland. The trees in this grove play an important role in the life, ecology and history of the University of California and the City of Berkeley.

    Please respect the value of this Oak Grove in your plans.

    Thank You,

    A Disgusted Cal Alumnus

  13. Go Vols!

  14. Rob said: As a huge Vols fan and southerner, all I have to say is I’d rather be dumb and illiterate than 1. Have a large population of fags in my state, etc., etc.

    We can disagree about trees and argue over football, but that’s no reason to be abusive and intolerant.


  15. […] by Signal to Noise on September 13th, 2007 It’s a requisite follow up, considering the hubbub that this has caused over usually placid Berkeley (god, I can’t believe I kept a straight face typing that; I […]

  16. Oak trees are people, too, and better people than most people.Just re-do the old sports center.!

  17. […] Of course, it’s no coincidence he is being a UCLA homer when he had this issue with Cal as well.  […]

  18. And all the while these bunch of nit-wits were sitting in the trees preventing birds fro nesting and holding up construction and learning dumb ideas from some dim-bulb like JULIA(BUTTERFLY)HILL and pushing such stupid films like TREE-SIT and FAMILY TREE I mean these people have been spending too much time in their room whhey smoke wacky weed

  19. And their all probibly PROCHOICE and have bumper stickers reading SAVE THE REDWOODS SAVE THE RAINFORESTS while having KEEP ABORTION LEGAL bumper stickers as well and still read PAUL EHRLICHes lie filled THE POPULATION BOMB. TREE HUGGERS ARE STUPID

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