Can't see the forest for the lack of trees!

Aaron Morris SYSAM at uacsc2.albany.edu
Fri Apr 15 06:33:15 EST 1994


Round Lake is a small village in upstate New York that was founded in
1868 as a Methodist campground.  It grew into a year round community
and is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places,
to recognize the largest collection of Victorian houses in such a
concentrated area and also to recognize the oldest, largest, working
pipe organ of it's kind in the country.
 
This quaint little village was built under the canopy of a then
untouched forest.  Unfortunately, the natural balance has been disrupted
since the village was built, and new trees have not grown up to replace
their parents.  Over a century later, a good number of the mature trees
are reaching the end of their life cycle and ocasionally a tree will be
blown down in high winds or strong storms.  This loss of mature trees
has been exacerbated by a zealous village superintendent whose attitude
is that it's better to chop a tree down before it's time than to have it
fall in a storm.  The Village has started an agressive tree replacement
program, but the old trees are coming down faster than the new trees
will grow to fill in the holes in the canopy.
 
I am looking for sources that I can use to back up statements that it is
important to move slowly in removing the mature trees from the Village
grounds.  Arguements along the lines that the mature trees are still
valuable to provide housing for fauna are helpful, but weak when
stacked up against an irate resident who just had an ancient oak crash
down on his car.  I can make the case for the value of the mature
trees, but I have a hard time defending against lawers seeking hefty
settlements should someone be hurt by falling limbs.
 
So, what I'm looking for are arguements that I can use when trying to
persuade the Village Superintendent to spare the old trees (he has a
$7000 yearly budget item to chop trees and he has been superintendent
for almost 20 years) and I need published support for the arguements
that I may use.  Please help!  It's getting to the point that I can't
see the forest for the lack of trees!



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