5/26/2013

No Respect For BC's Big Trees

2 homeowners hired an arborist to illegally cut or damage 35 trees
in Capilano River Park to 'improve' the view from the homes

"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in their way."

BC's big trees, despite attracting thousands of tourists every year, have a hard time getting respect from some of the people who live under them. Tragically, our government still allows the logging of the last of the big original trees out in what is remaining of our wilderness, while in our cities homeowners are illegally removing park trees to "improve the view".

A tree-cutting incident in a North Vancouver park made the news recently and highlights the attitude that many have in this province. Poet William Blake summed it up long ago when he said, "The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in their way."

Standing in the way of two homeowners living on properties bordering Capilano River Regional Park were 35 trees (in the park) up to 145 years old. The homeowners, in an attempt to improve the view and increase the value of their properties, allegedly found an unscrupulous arborist in the neighbourhood that was willing to take money to remove or damage the park trees.

All three are facing charges of mischief over $5000 dollars, and will have to pay for remediation.


Capilano River Regional Park on Vancouver's North Shore contains old growth forest
that has been surrounded by residential properties

As far as I am concerned, the homeowners reduced the value of their properties. I would be willing to pay extra for the privilege of living in a place with such incredible forest in the back yard. How could you possibly enhance that view?

Whatever they gained in view they lost in slope stability in the area below homes where the trees in question were  hacked down or severely trimmed. Maybe the houses will be at risk in the future when the slope fails, or when the hole in the forest canopy causes a blowdown event and trees begin to topple. Experts also say the illegal work increased the risk of fire.

Why would you spend $2 million dollars to live in forested North Vancouver if you don't like trees?

As audacious as this sounds, it is unfortunately not an isolated event in the old growth forest of Capilano River Park, which is surrounded by urban development. Last year another tree cutting incident in the park was dubbed the "North Vancouver Tree Massacre" by one news outlet. Again, 'improving' the view was the motive.



View Homeowners Illegally Cut Trees To Improve The View in a larger map


A little respect would go a long way when it comes to BC's old growth trees and public spaces.

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