As you'll learn by reading our Board Member's stories, each is a long-time East Bay hills resident. Each has a personal story that motivated them to join HCN and remain involved in this unique, volunteer community service.
Each has devoted countless hours and energy, over decades, to reduce wildfire danger, while preserving the established plants, trees, forests and wildlife of the East Bay hills from being destroyed by numerous threats, including fear, ignorance and so-called "restoration" or "vegetation management" projects. Read on.
Peter Gray Scott
When the Hills Fire struck in 1991, Georgia, then an Art History professor at UC Berkeley, was in her Berkeley home. Her husband David was in Italy. Their house and all its possessions were destroyed, including David's 7,000-slide collection.
She joined HCN a few years later as she saw the narrative about the fire gradually shifting to blaming and targeting so-called “non-native” trees. The eucalyptus trees on her thrice-weekly walks on Berkeley's Jordan Trail were being cut down, and she watched fog-dampened, fire-resistant forests destroyed, denuded and dried out.
She knew from her eyewitness experience that specific tree species were NOT responsible for the 1991 fire’s destruction. (Nor do any of the many official fire reports. SEE THESE DOCUMENTS.)
Instead, it became obvious that the push to kill so-called “non-natives” — particularly by UC Berkeley and the Claremont Canyon Conservancy, a local group which destroys entire species of trees and forests including eucalyptus, had an agenda other than fire danger mitigation. Instead, they'd found a way to advance their aesthetic preferences, and used fear of wildfire as a powerful tool to advance their goals.
Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Georgia moved to Berkeley in 1966 and loved living here until her death in December of 2019.