Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Once again, our leaders grab for the chainsaw

I recommend to you Mary Louise Schumacher's fine piece on the pending destruction of a unique grove of horse chestnut trees in downtown Milwaukee
That pulse-lowering dose of nature in the heart of the city stands in contrast to what it's now up against, the pragmatic and urgent arguments the Marcus Center is making to destroy this seminal work of landscape architecture by Daniel Urban Kiley....
The horse chestnut trees can live for centuries, too, by the way, according to Joe Karr, a Chicago landscape architect who picked out each of Kiley’s chestnuts by hand more than 50 years ago.  
Spare me these kinds of 'improvements' which the leadership at the Marcus Center wants make on its grounds at the expense of trees similar to this one.
Horse-chestnut 800.jpg
When I worked at City Hall across the street I'd often take a coffee break there and grab a few minutes of peace and quiet. Which is exactly why it was installed.

Why do people with their hands on the levers of power seem to have a chainsaw at the ready?

What came to mind when I read about the Marcus Center plan was the 'improvement' which the Kohler Co. has in mind for much of a Sheboygan-area nature preserve it wants to clear cut for a golf course.

Excerpts from the DNR's environmental impact statement are in a blog posting, here:
Page 36: Much of the 247-acre Kohler parcel currently includes forested habitat. The golf course design would remove approximately 100 to 120 acres of forested land cover....Opening up blocks of forested land will result in greater potential for windthrow and wind damage to the remaining trees.
Page 50:...Tree clearing would occur on the Property for each hole, the access road, the clubhouse/parking lot complex, the practice range, the maintenance facility, the restrooms, and the irrigation pond. Tree clearing may also occur in forested areas between tee and fairways to provide lines of sight. Interior forest bird nesting habitat is likely present within and adjacent to the Project boundary and would essentially be eliminated. Wildlife species inhabiting these areas would be permanently impacted by the loss of habitat. 
Ditto for the rare tree sand in a Monroe County wetland an out-of-state sand mining company wanted to bulldoze, the old, hearty bur oaks threatened on the Foxconn site and the forests in northwestern Wisconsin that an out-of-state cola mining firm hoped to turn into an open-pit iron ore mine.

Cooler heads, science and logic  saved the northern Wisconsin Penokee Hills and, so far, the Monroe County stand of rare oaks.

Will the Marcus Center and other Milwaukee decision makers see the light?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's sad when trees that take years to grow are just cut down. People think you can put new ones in but it isn't the same. It never is.