Valley oak to get axed

BEC drops appeal of housing project set to remove heritage tree

The Butte Environmental Council (BEC) dropped its appeal of a proposed housing development that would require removing a huge valley oak tree from the corner of Salem and West Eighth streets.

In mid-November, BEC filed an appeal of the Architectural Review and Historic Preservation Board’s approval of the project, which will involve a couple of single-story duplexes to serve as Salvation Army transitional housing. On Nov. 28, BEC withdrew its appeal; during the Dec. 3 Chico City Council meeting, Mark Stemen, chairman of BEC’s board of directors, said the appeal was withdrawn because “we do not want to fight tree-by-tree battles with our fellow nonprofits.”

As for the doomed valley oak, Stemen said the blame lies not with the Salvation Army but “with the failure to move the Urban Forest Management Plan from draft to implementation.”