As I was coming home from Tonasket, I was dismayed to see that the big pine tree that I grew up with was gone, leaving nothing but an ugly stump and a memory. That tree has been a historical landmark for as long as I can remember, which is a very long time. My mother and dad used to tell me stories about the Indians that used to camp under it and that it was known as a birthing tree.
I was told that the culprit who committed this act was the DOT who apparently has to regard for local history. This never should have been done without discussion and input from the local population. According the Forest Practices Act, the DOT has the power to take down the occasional tree if it poses a danger. Just because it was big doesn’t mean it was dangerous. It was a perfectly healthy tree so it wasn’t going to fall down any time soon. If someone in Wenatchee made the decision that all of a sudden it was too close to the road, a quick look would have shown that there was plenty of room across the way to widen the road a bit. If the DOT is going up the highway with a ruler we’re all in trouble. The fact is, my mailbox is about the same distance from the road as that tree was, but no one seems to have any trouble missing it.
Imagine the uproar if someone cut down a huge tree with this kind of history in King County! We would hear the screaming outrage all the way over here. This letter is my outrage.