RSF Golf Course Trees Still In Limbo

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The RSF golf course renovation project has been on a bit of a tear cutting down old growth trees for various reasons including being damaged due to the renovation. This resulted in an an-hoc committee to be formed in July to oversee the removal of trees going forward.

In August, a proposal was hammered out by RSFA director Bill Weber to not only oversee the removal of trees, but also start the process of replanting new trees. However, the Association board would only agree to the first phase, and not subsequent phases that would replant new trees.

In last week’s September board meeting, the matter was never given an agenda slot. Chet Koblinsky was relegated to the member comment section to plea for a creation of a tree replanting committee. You can read his complete comments below.

Meanwhile, the golf course renovation continues and without standard precautionary measures like having identified no go zones around trees to prevent large mature tree roots from being damaged due to irrigation placement, as has already happened.

Chet Koblinsky’s Comments

Chet Koblinsky, Member Input for RSFA Board meeting, on Sept 2, 2021

Good morning, my name is Chet Koblinsky. I own a home adjacent to the golf course and I’m a member of the Forest Health and Preservation Committee.

At the past two Association meetings, Board members addressed the golf course renovation. While there’s been great progress in replacing the turf, community members have also recognized the significant loss of golf course trees and the need to plant new trees on the course and trails. At its last meeting, the Board unanimously voted to establish a group to develop and oversee a tree planting plan, which I’d like to address today.

Fall and winter are optimal seasons for planting young trees, giving them a chance to acclimate and begin rooting in the cooler months. Therefore, the Forest Health Committee recommends  immediately launching the process of creating this tree planting committee to take advantage of the upcoming planting season.

The Forest Health Committee can help.  Its members has spent the past 9 years studying trees and forests on the Ranch. They oversaw the 300-page “Rancho Santa Fe Forest Health Study.”  The Committee consulted with tree experts to create a list of trees resistant to drought, pests, and disease for our Ranch landscapes, and helped to establish an arboretum showcasing these trees on the south end of the golf course.

Given the Forest Health Committee’s extensive knowledge of our trees and forests, I recommend that you charge this Committee to recruit the group to develop the golf course tree-planting plan. The Committee would seek community “stakeholders” with appropriate expertise and interest in replenishing the golf course forest, including those who golf and those who frequent course trails.  These stakeholders could include: a Golf Club Member, Forest Health Committee member, Trails Committee member, equestrian representing trail riders, and resident whose home overlooks the course, as well as an independent arborist, landscape architect, Golf Club Agronomist, and Association Assistant Manager. Prospective members of this group would then be presented for Board approval at its October meeting.

Our golf course property is owned by all Association members, who, like golfers, enjoy the course, trees, and trails. Assuring “the right trees are planted in the right places” requires a thorough process and input from key community groups. The Forest Health Committee is well-prepared to recruit and vet potential members for a tree planting committee to ensure the best possible outcomes for golf course playability, landscape design, and trail quality for present and future generations.

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