I live in an environmental state where cutting of trees, especially near the water, is rarely granted. A dead tree or dangerous tree might be given approval for removal, but over two dozen trees...on another's property...never would happen. I will not go into details about why removal of trees is not good, but trust me, you want to keep as many trees as possible on this planet. Well, our county commissioners not only granted this permission and pushed the permit office to move the paperwork along, but they had the audacity to require the museum to pay for the 20 to 30 thousand dollars in cost! Since the museum depends on these commissioners for budget approval, it was in a difficult spot.
Many of us were concerned about this blatant abuse of power and finally we went to several environmental groups as well as wrote and emailed the Commissioners' offices for an explanation.
I was one of the first emails sent to request politely how this approval came about. I mentioned my strong environmental concerns and how I had worked hard to keep my shoreline as natural as possible. I also asked that since my tax money was going to pay for this, why was there not a public hearing? One of the Commissioners responded almost immediately to my email:
"There is somebody passing along an incomplete story who does not have all their facts correct. May I suggest you go back to them and request they get the complete story before they spread stories?" Sent from my iPad
This is jaw-dropping. An elected official indicating that I go find out the correct facts for myself! And to go back to the original source. Needless to say we had gotten a response from the county permit office AND the staff of the museum both officially stating that a permit had been granted (reluctantly) to remove these trees at the request of the Commissioners' Office. I researched this prior to my email even being sent. I was amazed that an elected official could be so rude and cavalier and actually lie! Boy am I naive. He added in a second email that he was sure a formal report would be forthcoming...in other words 'Don't hold you breath, you stupid tree-hugger."
Well, as the day (less than 24 hours), passed, these turkeys in office had to back off on the whole thing and the museum was going to be contacted officially this week to learn that no trees would be required to be removed! I am guessing they were inundated with emails and realized they could not justify this cronyism.
I asked my co-volunteers how this idiot got into office and was told that our local Tea Party had worked hard for his election. Golly, golly am I naive. I keep forgetting that living in a 'good-old-boy' county is really scary and that I should read the minutes of meetings more closely!
I am guessing since I am not a religious person, if God is on the side of the religious right, He may punish me with a hurricane this year or next that will remove all of these trees in one fell swoop...shallow rooted as they are!