October 23, 2003

Logging-The Unkindest Cut II

By Fred H. Arm
About a year ago, I wrote an article entitled “Logging-The Unkindest Cut” condemning the indiscriminate cutting down of about 40 beautiful Monterey Pine trees on two empty lots on Buena Vista Avenue. I protested that Point Richmond has long enjoyed the coolness and the beauty of pine-forested hillsides. The trees bring the flavor of rural countryside to the urban jungle. I suggested that the harmony with nature has been threatened and marred by this so-called march of progress - -the logger’s saw.

The owner, Jay Fenton, claimed that the trees were cut because of Pine pitch tree disease. I maintained that this was fallacious thinking. Leading experts attest that clear-cutting is a drastic remedy and not the preferred treatment. It has also been asserted that the trees needed to be cut so that the land can be easier sold. Whichever the rationale, the community should have been consulted. Not only did the owner cut down 40 some trees on his own property, he cut down several trees belonging to the city as well. Consequently, a great open wound now confronts hapless residents who stroll among the hills.

The new owners of the lots, Karen Kittle of Point Realty fame, apparently had a formal survey done. The boundary markers unmistakably show that at least 4 of the trees are not on their lots, rather they are on City property.

It would seem that an ordinance to monitor tree cutting is long overdue for the Village of Point Richmond. Trees provide communities with many environmental, social, and economic benefits. They filter pollutants, provide shade and homes for animals, create desirable living and working places, increase property value, attract shoppers and businesses, help control storm water runoff and soil erosion, and decrease cooling costs. Such benefits far outweigh the costs when communities manage their forests through a tree program that includes a tree ordinance.

We need to do what we can to save the remaining trees before such wholesale slaughter eventually returns the hills once more to the barren community it was at the turn of the Nineteenth Century.

Posted by fredarm at October 23, 2003 05:32 PM
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