Cutting of trees in Lincoln Park and other parks

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  • #899071

    Suzan Rood Wilson
    Participant

    I am including part of a letter below I sent last night to Laurie Dunlap,
    Superintendent For Seattle Parks and Recreation the Seattle Parks Department, Mayor Tim Burgess and both Jenny Durken and Cary Moon. See also below my signature line:

    [To addressees] This issue could be resolved by a swift phone call to Seattle Parks office, asking for a cease and desist order until a better plan can be implemented under a new administration. Our founders would never have moved to the northwest were it not for the beauty here. Yeah, they were also money-grubbers, unfortunately, which is what is happening now. Cutting healthy trees in our heritage parks for profit (obviously) is not our future. It is our past. And it needs to be our past. Thank you for taking this to heart. See the attached letter below my signature line.

    Sincerely,

    Suzan Rood Wilson
    _______________________________
    Suzan Rood Wilson
    Jungian Psychoanalyst and Psychotherapist
    Phone: 206.935.4744 – Fax: 206.937.1516

    Home

    Welcome

    “At times, I feel as if I am spread out over the landscape and inside things, and am myself living in every tree, in the splashing of the waves, in the clouds and the animals that come and go, in the procession of the seasons. There is nothing… with which I am not linked.” ~ C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams Reflections.

    The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to whom or to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemintation or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from any computer.

    Hello Laurie:

    Thank you for getting back to me recently about my concerns about Seattle’s forested lands.

    I still have concerns which I will express here.

    Our Seattle Parks Department has recently cut down 93 precious trees in Lincoln Park. While telling the environmentalist community that these trees had diseases that were rapidly spreading, they told the public nothing about any diseases spreading in the signs posted around the park. Someone I know who is knowledgeable about the fungi that were reportedly spreading rapidly through a grove of Grand Firs that were cut, has now examined the stumps and fallen wood, as well as the ground around the stumps. It turns out that none of the trees that reportedly were infected with 6 or 7 fungus species showed any evidence of those fungi. The fungi cited were: Ganoderma applanatum; Fomitopsis pinicola; Phellinus pini (a.k.a. Porodaedalea pini); Phaeolus schweinitzii (Dyer’s Polypore); laminated root rot (a.k.a. Phellinus weirii); and Cedar Laminated Root Rot; and Butt Rot (apparently all the same as Phellinus weirii).

    The signs posted at the park also warned that the trees they wanted to cut posed a danger to the public. Or that the park was undergoing a “design process” that reflected “thorough” public input. Yet there had been no public meetings about this, in which the public asked for a new “design” of the forest, replacing the old trees with new ones. Nor did any of the trees which were cut pose a greater danger to people using the park than was posed by people crossing the street out on Fauntleroy. We were told that all would be fine because the Parks Department would plant at least two 2 year-old trees for each 100 to 300 year old tree which was cut. This does not equal out in the least. It is the same sort of deceptive spin that Weyerhaeuser gives the public, when they cut down 500 year old natural forests and replace them with unnatural mono-culture tree plantations. In actuality, nothing at all should have been taken down (no fungi) and nothing should have been planted. Nature knows better than any of us how and what to plant, when and where, and that there is no current shortage of wild and natural trees, shrubs and herbs that germinate and grow in this forest.

    Also, most of the trees that have been cut so far were Grand Firs, a species which, in Seattle is only abundant in our unique Lincoln Park. Now, there is a big hole in what had been Lincoln Park’s unique Grand Fir-dominated tree top line. A couple of these healthy trees were over three feet in diameter and well over 100 feet tall. There are still taller and thicker Grand Firs that have not yet been cut. But these also had signs in front of them also, indicating that they were being slated for removal. Why would this be occurring, in the absence of disease or fungus?

    It appears as well that even older, larger trees, larger than the biggest Grand Fir, including healthy Douglas firs, which are 300 to 500 years old, have also been targeted for removal. These could never be replaced with “two or more new trees.” There are tags on the Douglas firs for potential future removal, which may indeed happen if there is no sufficient response and outcry to the cutting of this first round of precious trees. I have noticed that there is now a neat pile of perfect Grand Fir timber, with no sign of fungus infection, in the materials yard due west of the north ball fields.

    It is well known that the Department of Parks and Recreation has always been dominated by the ball park and recreation facility people. There has always been an obvious conflict of interest in their management of both our natural heritage lands and the recreation facility lands. I do not believe that any of the people in charge of the ball park department have ever shown much concern for our precious natural resources, nor have they demonstrated much knowledge about our precious unique local natural parks, where Seattlites, stressed by city life, go to renew their spirits in nature. Most people I have met who use the parks have no idea what has been happening, to remove healthy trees and to alter the natural development of the land. I have never heard of, met or seen anyone hired or retained in some way by DPR, any staff or anyone who has cared very much or knew very much about our local natural parks and their contents.

    Five years ago, this same parks department was stopped by overwhelming public opposition to institute a plan to give over total control of five to nine of the best natural acres in Lincoln Park, with the intention to turn it into a “nature theme park,” run by the British Go Ape Corporation. The idea was to install a huge zipline and accompanying structures to allow people to climb into the trees and pretend they were apes for $55 dollars a turn and $35 for kids. That is simply egregious. It was merely a money-making venture, which would have injured the forest and sold out to a corporation to the destruction of our natural lands. This would have been unconscionable.

    It is time to take a strong look at what is happening to our community, its natural sites, our trajectory as a city to maintain properly our amazing public lands. There needs to be a hierarchy of understanding, that nature cannot be made to take second place to ball parks and recreation facilities. Those can be replaced anytime. Our forests cannot. In my opinion we need to give priority to the management of our most valuable remaining public lands, our remaining relatively natural lands to a some kind of public natural heritage lands stewardship. This entity should have no conflict of interests or purpose. It should be headed by someone with a demonstrable life-long love of nature, and clear knowledge about our unique local natural community to hire staff that are best qualified to manage the stewardship of it.

    I intend to forward this letter to our current mayor, our mayoral candidates, the city council members, and the West Seattle Blog. It is shortsighted to believe that we can maintain the beauty of the natural lands we have been gifted if we do not act now to bring in true naturalists and scientists who will correctly identify and work to ameliorate problems, with an eye on protecting and preserving the beauty, health and future of our lands. These lands will be destroyed in too short a time, if we do not act now. We have already seen how quickly climate change has worked to destroy our oceans. Our forests will follow too quickly.

    Thank you for taking my concerns seriously.

    Sincerely,

    Suzan Rood Wilson

    #899199

    melissa
    Participant

    Not sure what you’re seeing, but I’ve been seeing the Parks Department removing dead and diseased trees from Lincoln Park. Trees that, as a near-daily walker in the park, I believe could fall in the next storm, or the one after that, and take down other trees or even hurt people. That’s what I’m seeing.

    #899299

    Vanessa
    Participant

    So what happened to the wood?
    Signed,
    Columbo

    #899072

    Suzan Rood Wilson
    Participant

    Dear Mayor Burgess:

    I know you are busy. Newcomers, homeless, traffic problems, crime, etc.

    I am including a letter below I sent last night to Laurie Dunlap,
    Superintendent For Seattle Parks and Recreation the Seattle Parks Department. This issue could be resolved by a swift phone call to her office, asking for a cease and desist order until a better plan can be implemented under a new administration. Please take this seriously. Our founders would never have moved to the northwest were it not for the beauty here. Yeah, they were also money-grubbers, unfortunately, which is what is happening now. Cutting healthy trees in our heritage parks for profit (obviously) is not our future. It is our past. And it needs to be our past. Thank you for taking this to heart. See the attached letter below my signature line.

    Sincerely,

    Suzan Rood Wilson
    _______________________________
    Suzan Rood Wilson
    Jungian Psychoanalyst and Psychotherapist
    Phone: 206.935.4744 – Fax: 206.937.1516

    Home

    Welcome

    “At times, I feel as if I am spread out over the landscape and inside things, and am myself living in every tree, in the splashing of the waves, in the clouds and the animals that come and go, in the procession of the seasons. There is nothing… with which I am not linked.” ~ C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams Reflections.

    The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to whom or to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemintation or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from any computer.

    Hello Laurie:

    Thank you for getting back to me recently about my concerns about Seattle’s forested lands.

    I still have concerns which I will express here.

    Our Seattle Parks Department has recently cut down 93 precious trees in Lincoln Park. While telling the environmentalist community that these trees had diseases that were rapidly spreading, they told the public nothing about any diseases spreading in the signs posted around the park. Someone I know who is knowledgeable about the fungi that were reportedly spreading rapidly through a grove of Grand Firs that were cut, has now examined the stumps and fallen wood, as well as the ground around the stumps. It turns out that none of the trees that reportedly were infected with 6 or 7 fungus species showed any evidence of those fungi. The fungi cited were: Ganoderma applanatum; Fomitopsis pinicola; Phellinus pini (a.k.a. Porodaedalea pini); Phaeolus schweinitzii (Dyer’s Polypore); laminated root rot (a.k.a. Phellinus weirii); and Cedar Laminated Root Rot; and Butt Rot (apparently all the same as Phellinus weirii).

    The signs posted at the park also warned that the trees they wanted to cut posed a danger to the public. Or that the park was undergoing a “design process” that reflected “thorough” public input. Yet there had been no public meetings about this, in which the public asked for a new “design” of the forest, replacing the old trees with new ones. Nor did any of the trees which were cut pose a greater danger to people using the park than was posed by people crossing the street out on Fauntleroy. We were told that all would be fine because the Parks Department would plant at least two 2 year-old trees for each 100 to 300 year old tree which was cut. This does not equal out in the least. It is the same sort of deceptive spin that Weyerhaeuser gives the public, when they cut down 500 year old natural forests and replace them with unnatural mono-culture tree plantations. In actuality, nothing at all should have been taken down (no fungi) and nothing should have been planted. Nature knows better than any of us how and what to plant, when and where, and that there is no current shortage of wild and natural trees, shrubs and herbs that germinate and grow in this forest.

    Also, most of the trees that have been cut so far were Grand Firs, a species which, in Seattle is only abundant in our unique Lincoln Park. Now, there is a big hole in what had been Lincoln Park’s unique Grand Fir-dominated tree top line. A couple of these healthy trees were over three feet in diameter and well over 100 feet tall. There are still taller and thicker Grand Firs that have not yet been cut. But these also had signs in front of them also, indicating that they were being slated for removal. Why would this be occurring, in the absence of disease or fungus?

    It appears as well that even older, larger trees, larger than the biggest Grand Fir, including healthy Douglas firs, which are 300 to 500 years old, have also been targeted for removal. These could never be replaced with “two or more new trees.” There are tags on the Douglas firs for potential future removal, which may indeed happen if there is no sufficient response and outcry to the cutting of this first round of precious trees. I have noticed that there is now a neat pile of perfect Grand Fir timber, with no sign of fungus infection, in the materials yard due west of the north ball fields.

    It is well known that the Department of Parks and Recreation has always been dominated by the ball park and recreation facility people. There has always been an obvious conflict of interest in their management of both our natural heritage lands and the recreation facility lands. I do not believe that any of the people in charge of the ball park department have ever shown much concern for our precious natural resources, nor have they demonstrated much knowledge about our precious unique local natural parks, where Seattlites, stressed by city life, go to renew their spirits in nature. Most people I have met who use the parks have no idea what has been happening, to remove healthy trees and to alter the natural development of the land. I have never heard of, met or seen anyone hired or retained in some way by DPR, any staff or anyone who has cared very much or knew very much about our local natural parks and their contents.

    Five years ago, this same parks department was stopped by overwhelming public opposition to institute a plan to give over total control of five to nine of the best natural acres in Lincoln Park, with the intention to turn it into a “nature theme park,” run by the British Go Ape Corporation. The idea was to install a huge zipline and accompanying structures to allow people to climb into the trees and pretend they were apes for $55 dollars a turn and $35 for kids. That is simply egregious. It was merely a money-making venture, which would have injured the forest and sold out to a corporation to the destruction of our natural lands. This would have been unconscionable.

    It is time to take a strong look at what is happening to our community, its natural sites, our trajectory as a city to maintain properly our amazing public lands. There needs to be a hierarchy of understanding, that nature cannot be made to take second place to ball parks and recreation facilities. Those can be replaced anytime. Our forests cannot. In my opinion we need to give priority to the management of our most valuable remaining public lands, our remaining relatively natural lands to a some kind of public natural heritage lands stewardship. This entity should have no conflict of interests or purpose. It should be headed by someone with a demonstrable life-long love of nature, and clear knowledge about our unique local natural community to hire staff that are best qualified to manage the stewardship of it.

    I intend to forward this letter to our current mayor, our mayoral candidates, the city council members, and the West Seattle Blog. It is shortsighted to believe that we can maintain the beauty of the natural lands we have been gifted if we do not act now to bring in true naturalists and scientists who will correctly identify and work to ameliorate problems, with an eye on protecting and preserving the beauty, health and future of our lands. These lands will be destroyed in too short a time, if we do not act now. We have already seen how quickly climate change has worked to destroy our oceans. Our forests will follow too quickly.

    Thank you for taking my concerns seriously.

    Sincerely,

    Suzan Rood Wilson

    #899402

    JanS
    Participant

    is there a purpose in posting the same letter twice?

    #899410

    anonyme
    Participant

    It wouldn’t hurt to have a team of independent arborists look at the situation. I admit to being confused by some of what I’ve seen – dead trees that appear in imminent danger of falling were left, while the biggest trees, no apparent rot, were felled. But it’s odd that I haven’t heard any rumblings about this in the tree hugger community (confessed member). And many of the Abies grandis I see in residential settings are diseased.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by  anonyme.
    #899429

    newnative
    Participant

    a simple search on this blog turns up discussion dating back a few months. I know there are other stories but I think this was the first one.

    City plans to remove at least 91 trees from Lincoln Park

    #899436

    anonyme
    Participant

    NN, not sure if you were responding to any post in particular, but I, for one, was very aware of previous posts in regard to the plans to remove trees in Lincoln Park. I think (if I’m understanding correctly) the question being posed by the OP is whether or not the official version is a complete and accurate one – including the possibility that healthy trees are being removed for commercial (or other) reasons.

    #899444

    newnative
    Participant

    Maybe I misunderstood your post then? I took it to be that you hadn’t seen prior discussion/debate on the subject.

    #899464

    anonyme
    Participant

    Sorry I was unclear. I meant that I had not heard any buzz among tree huggers that the tree clearing was anything but legit, from the time that the news was announced until now. This thread is the first I’ve heard that the cutting might be questionable.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by  anonyme.
    #899994

    So it sounds like maybe it’s legit, and the ones that aren’t obviously dead might have had some problems not visible to someone who’s not a tree expert? Or is there still some concern they might be taking them for commercial reasons?

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