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Second Silver Maple Forest Motion
Passed by Cambridge Democratic City Committee
January 12, 2010

Cambridge Democratic City Committee

Resolution for Environmental Preservation in Cambridge and Region

Whereas in an environmental resolution was passed by the Cambridge Democratic City Committee on May 7, 2009 supporting the preservation of the silver maple forest located at Alewife Reservation in Belmont and Cambridge the Committee restated its opposition to the destruction by the private land owner of that 7 acre forest and its concern for the serious impact to the adjacent 15 acres wetlands and marshes in Cambridge and to the communities downstream on the Mystic River; and

Whereas a second legislative acquisition bill, HB 701, was recently filed on behalf of the silver maple forest by Representative Brownsberger HB 701, similar to the 2008 Environmental Bond Bill which was passed by the legislature but subsequently vetoed at the time, which would require Arlington, Belmont and Cambridge to provide supplement funding; and a state hearing was held in which Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School youth from the Friends of Alewife Summer Ecology Camp testified before the hearing on behalf of the bill, co-sponsored by Representatives. Wolf and Hecht, and Senators Tolman and Donnelly and

Whereas the City of Cambridge has granted Conservation Commission permits to the developer in advance of a civil action suit recently completed by Department of Environmental Protection, supported by residents of the area and by Cambridge citizens, and

Whereas the aforesaid acquisition bill would expand the Alewife Reservation established in 1903 as part of the Metropolitan Park system developed by Charles Eliot and the office of Frederick Law Olmsted beginning in 1893 thereby reversing the series of reductions and adverse impacts to the Metropolitan Park land over the years; and

Whereas the contemplated acquisition of the Belmont Uplands and its addition to the Alewife Reservation will reduce floods, provide for a greatly needed environmental learning center, preserve significant wildlife habitat, and strengthen the Greenway, all priorities under the 2003 Department of Conservation and Recreation Alewife Master Plan; and

Whereas the City of Cambridge has failed to date to designate and flag its wetlands, as initiated by Cambridge Conservation Commission over 6 years ago;

Therefore be it resolved: That the Cambridge Democratic City Committee opposes elimination of the forested Belmont Uplands for urban development and supports the HB701; and

Therefore be it further resolved that Cambridge withhold any permitting of the development until the case is resolved both by the Department of Environmental Protection, and politically resolved by the submitted legislative bill that will continue through the House and Senate in 2010 and

Therefore be it further resolved: That Cambridge develop wetlands by-laws for its conservation lands, floodplains and open spaces noting precedents of other towns and cities; and

Therefore be it further resolved: That the global warming concept now before the legislature on "adaptation" be applied to the Alewife area and to any other applicable Cambridge area; and that the City of Cambridge consider in depth, open space acquisition via Community Preservation Act funding by purchase of the regional treasure: jointly owned silver maple forest ecosystem of the Belmont Uplands together with funds from Arlington and Belmont, making the Department of Conservation and Recreation the beneficiary of this conservation endeavor; and

Therefore be it further resolved: That the Community Preservation Act Committee to consider as part of its open space allocations, partial financing of the 3 acres of silver maple forest buffer in Cambridge and surrounding area in 2010 and 2011; and

Therefore be it further resolved: That the Secretary of the Committee will forward copies of this resolution to Governor Patrick's office, to all members of the Cambridge legislative delegation and the Cambridge City Council, and to the Cambridge City Manager, at the Secretary's earliest convenience and within 10 days from the enactment of this resolution, and send copies of this resolution to the Arlington Advocate, the Belmont Citizen-Herald and the Cambridge Chronicle and to the Committee's webmaster for posting on

Passed by the City Cambridge Democratic Committee on January 14, 2010.

Sponsored by Ellen Mass and Linda Sophia Pinti, members of Ward 6.