This post is an outgrowth of comments I made on Commission Impossible on the new proposed strengthened tree ordinance.
I like trees, and I recently planted four, but at the same time I’ve had to remove a couple of trees from my home and business property. In the latter case, the City did the work because they agreed with me that the tree was unsafe and posed a public hazard.
This tree ordinance thing is taking on overtones of the abortion battle, except that the roles seem to be reversed, with the “right to life” being on the left. Lately, it seems that meadowfoam, garter snake habitat (see Sundays letters to the editor) and beetle habitat Elderberry bushes are more important than the rights and lives of people.
Case in point – how many people have died at the Highways 70/149/99 interchanges in the 10+ years that environmentalists have placed roadblocks in front of that project? I remember one little boy, about two years ago, who died when the car he and his mom were riding in was broadsided by a car on 70 as she turned onto 149. If the road had been improved on schedule, that never would have happened.
Was that worth 10 years of delay to protect some Meadowfoam and beavers? I think not. Meadowfoam is being grown in quantities at reserves near Vina and commercially in Oregon, and the Limnanthes Flococcus Californica aka Butte County Meadowfoam can just as easily be grown with it. Beavers relocate with ease too. Anybody who tells you otherwise is just pushing an agenda.
Now we have the City saying there’s a delay in authorizing a bid to fix drainage problems for a man made stormwater retention basin near south Chico street Paseo Campaneros that becomes a West Nile hotspot. Two people have died on that street from West Nile in the past year…yet the “garter snake habitat” aka man-made retention basin gets hands-off priority according to what the city said recently.
It’s lunacy and its morally wrong. Public health, be it an accident prone intersection or a festering man-made mosquito pool should always trump protecting bugs, plants, snakes, and the occasional beaver. If you think these things are more important than the health of the community, then you have your social priorities reversed.
Environmentalists digging in their heels on this only hurts their cause, because it makes them look unreasonable, and maybe they are. But most people I know, on either side of the political spectrum actually want to protect the environment, me included, but they want to protect their children and grandparents more.
Making them choose through obstruction is a no-win polarizating situation. We CAN have it both ways.
In the case of trees, the folks pushing this strengthened law act as if the tree, once cut down, could never be replaced. We’re not talking giant Redwoods here…more like Dogwoods and Pines, available at Home Depot.