Letter to the editor: Trees along Elroy-Sparta State Trail shouldn’t have been cut down

By TERRY BINGHAM-KUNICK

Last fall, I watched as almost all trees on one side of the creek in the park in Norwalk were cut down, leaving no shade on the bike trail in that area. I contacted Bob Micheel, the county conservationist, who assured me they were only removing the bad trees like box elders. When they were done, there were only two small trees left standing. We took pictures of leaves, and some were identified as locust and willow, both trees whose root systems are known to help hold soil in place on riverbanks. Trees are also the most powerful and efficient carbon-capture system on the planet and help to lower temperatures and reduce global warming.

On April 17–18, the destruction resumed, and the majority of trees on the other side of the river were also cut down, destroying  birds’ nests and eggs, and killing baby birds that had already hatched. I found only one nest, with one dead baby, but the trees were piled up and burned, and the fire left unattended all night while there was a burn ban in effect in the village. I have to ask what kind of conservationist worries about the fish but destroys the habitat, nests and young of songbirds, and probably other small wildlife who lived in that area. A conservationist should be concerned about all the wildlife and the plants and trees, not just the fish. The view from the bike trail is also pretty ugly now, with tires pushed into the creek and no trees or wildflowers, only concrete blocks and rocks. I am personally no longer walking the bike trail and picking up other people’s trash, as I have done in the past. There is no shade left.

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