CNFF Opposes the SANDAG Ballot Measure

July 5th, 2016

For Immediate Release
July 5, 2016

Jana Clark, (619) 659-8962
Jack Shu, (619) 460-9215
Duncan McFetridge, (619) 659-8962
Cleveland National Forest Foundation

The so-called transit improvements in the proposed SANDAG tax measure for the November ballot are propaganda. Frantic Last minute deal making wastes 7 billion in tax dollars for transit improvements that don’t even add up to a 1st phase transit system.

“This last minute deal making is misleading the public to think they are getting transit when actually it is more of the same- freeways and sprawl,” said Jana Clark of CNFF.  “The public is tired of it,” she continued, “what the public wants and needs is a real transit system in the urban core that will make housing, jobs and businesses flourish. When you do that, then biking and walking will also improve and you will make real progress in meeting climate change goals. The new tax is a joke, a prime example of greenwashing by SANDAG.”

Transit-first in our region means completing rail in the four main urban corridors of our region and connecting them at a downtown intermodal hub: North County corridor, Sprinter corridor, Coastal corridor, Downtown San Diego and the South Bay corridor. Experts say this first phase could easily be accomplished in a 10 year period. Without this true transit beginning that both connects the city centers in our region and activates planned mixed use density both in the city centers and along the transit corridors themselves, the so-called transit priority projects being advanced in the tax measure are meaningless.

Another way of saying this is that the so-called transit priority projects recently added to the SANDAG tax measure are piecemeal. As long as we do not have a complete system, we do not have functioning transit in the region. This is also exemplified in SANDAG’s pathetic 3-4% transit mode share goal for 2050 set in the 2015 RTP!

We cannot meet climate change goals for our region and for the CAPs of the cities in our region without dramatic changes in both land use and transportation. From SANDAG’s own website comes this overarching statement: “The goals of the transit strategy are twofold: first, maximize transit ridership in the greater urbanized area of the region; and second, test the role of the transit network to reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions. The second goal will help SANDAG comply with Senate Bill 375, which mandates that Metropolitan Planning Organizations develop a Sustainable Communities Strategy to align their transportation, housing, and regional land-use plans with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“What we the people are asking SANDAG to do is to meet their very own climate and transit goals,” said CNFF director McFetridge, “we don’t want half measures that have promoted sprawl projects like Lilac Hills which is also aiming for a place on the ballot to deceive the people with a pitch for affordable housing, we want transit. With the SANDAG plan, we’ll get 40 years of additional taxes and nothing to show for it.”

The Cleveland National Forest Foundation ( and ( is made up of private citizens who believe that action must be taken to protect the remaining undeveloped lands in the forest and that sound regional planning to build sustainable, quality urban communities is fundamental to saving the integrity of our wilderness areas.


Whitman on Romeo

December 27th, 2013

Read Whitman and think Romeo.  Broken hip, starving, in constant danger and yet no complaints.

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and
I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of
owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of
years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

So they show their relations to me and I accept them,
They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their

I wonder where they get those tokens,
Did I pass that way huge times ago and negligently drop them?

If we looked at Nature this way, we just might be able to live with each other.  Have we negligently lost our tokens and our way?

CNFF Launches Transit Campaign

July 16th, 2010

The Cleveland National Forest Foundation is proud to announce the launch of Transit San Diego, a transit campaign dedicated to increasing transit for the San Diego region.

Visit our website to see how you can get involved:

By increasing transit, we intend to reduce air and water pollution, lower water consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lessen traffic congestion, and prevent the loss of precious land in San Diego and beyond.

Preserve the Legacy — CNFF Video

March 8th, 2010

CNFF – Preserve The Legacy from CNFF on Vimeo.

This video was funded through the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and the County of San Diego Cable Television Review Commission. In the year 2000 the Cleveland National Forest Foundation was one of five non-profits awarded a grant by the Community Partnership for Cable Television. The Cleveland National Forest Foundation produced “San Diego’s Wilderness Treasure,” otherwise titled “Preserve the Legacy” in conjunction with the County’s Parks & Recreation department, to increase understanding and appreciation of the importance of preserving San Diego’s wilderness areas.

Homesickness at Home

February 10th, 2010

By Duncan McFetridge

In the above article, the modern phenomenon of losing place is identified as a new form of illness: “homesickness at home”. It is a sickness by which placeless projects gradually undermine the foundations of a community until one day we wake up and, seeing our city and our wilderness drifting away, we feel a surge of homesickness. Suddenly, like strangers in a strange land, we all ask ourselves, “Where is the farm? Gone. Where is the wilderness? Gone. Where is that beautiful town or city? Gone.” These are the same questions asked by all those rooted in and sustained by community when they see the elements of that community disintegrating. Chief Seattle posed the question once and answered it: “Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone. The end of living and the beginning of survival.”

What do the downtown stadium, harbor project, Merriam Mountain, Rancho Guejito, the Del Mar Fairground Expansion, Poseidon Desalinization, Lilac Farms, and Hwy I-5 projects have in common? All these projects –and countless others in San Diego County — are conceived without relation to place or function in the community. In fact, the idea of a functioning community as a standard by which to measure these projects has never even arisen. Yet we must ask ourselves, “What is a forest community, what is a farm community, what is a harbor? Indeed, what, is a city?” Pondering further, we ask, “What are the essential and vital parts of a forest, a farm, and a city — essences without which these places would cease to exist?” And, finally, we query, “Does the community measure the project, or does the project measure the community? Do we prize property first, or function?”

In architecture, there is a famous formula that says form follows function: the shape of the building serves to enhance and perfect the purpose for which it was constructed. Thus, whatever is added to or built on the farm promotes the function of farming; whatever is added to or built in the forest promotes the functioning of the forest; whatever is added to or built in the city should enhance the functioning of the city. Or, as Plato once put it: “The beautiful is the useful and the ugly the shameful”.

In the political realm, on the other hand, the shameful and ugly have become interchangeable with the useful and beautiful; form follows money rather than function. Thus, in San Diego County, the sole rationale of the above-mentioned projects is the market rationale of profitability. Even a cursory examination of these projects reveals that they do not come close to fitting or functioning in their immediate environment; nor do any planning documents even contemplate their existence. Yet, in the world of politics, the environment and community do not seem to matter because dysfunction can always be mitigated with money. Nevertheless, one cannot help but question whether we can build the foundation of a community on the awkward pairing of dysfunction and mitigation. Can we build a community by injecting placeless projects connected by placeless roads? Can we reach the beautiful by building the ugly? Can we ever get to the true by mitigating the false?

Without a strong sense of place and a clear knowledge of how parts organically function in our communities, we become rootless as a society. Just as a plant cannot grow without roots, so a farm cannot exist without a farm community and a city cannot thrive without a city-center. And the more San Diego pursues placeless projects guided by placeless thoughts, the more our community’s roots will shrivel up, leading to a profound homesickness for its members. In the end, who will blame our residents for desperately seeking substitutes for home in the form of the endless diversions and addictions of the marketplace where everything is for sale? Homesickness at home; the end of living and the beginning of survival.

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity…”

– From Yeats “The Second Coming”

San Diego’s Transportation Future

January 6th, 2010

The federal economic stimulus package presents San Diego with an unprecedented opportunity to build much-needed infrastructure for the community. For example, just when we thought that enhancing public transit in our region was impossible, federal funds may soon be available. Yet, rather than use this opportunity to address this vital gap in our transportation system, the San Diego Association of Governments is considering spending the vast majority of federal funds (which could be as high as $10 billion) on new highway projects. …Read the rest of this entry »

Paradise Lost – Cleveland National Forest Foundation

January 5th, 2010

CNFF blog goes live!