Letters for October 10, 2002

Different kind of green
Somebody always makes a profit when a tree gets cut down. Nobody makes a dime leaving them alone. At the Chico State amphitheater, where not long ago Julia Butterfly Hill spoke out against the wanton cutting of ancient trees, two historic oaks are forever lost. This is happening all over town, and I want to know if anyone is getting a second or third opinion before opting to destroy a beautiful, shade giving, living landmark.

Chico, after all, is the “City of Trees,” but it won’t be for long if this trend continues. Are all these trees suddenly “too sick” to be left standing? They have been there in some cases for hundreds of years, and it is a rare event for one to fall or even lose a limb. Is anybody doing a “post-mortem” after the tree is cut down to see if it really was dead, or at least nearly gone?

I’m sorry, but I just see too many trees being cut in the last couple of years not to suspect that somebody is a little too eager with the chainsaw. Please, property owners, city councilmembers, don’t just take one person’s word as gospel. Get a second or third opinion before cutting a tree and make sure that your counsel is unbiased.

Paul Hood
Received via e-mail

More tree help
Chico can be justly proud of its urban forest, both for its beauty and for its other benefits. All those trees produce oxygen for us to breathe. As hot as every summer in Chico can get, imagine what the streets would be like without the shade of the trees. It is estimated that our trees reduce summer ambient temperatures by as much as 10 degrees, which has a direct impact on the amount of electricity used for air conditioning. Economically speaking, trees are an asset that affects everyone. Realtors claim tree-lined neighborhoods can increase a home’s value by over $5,000.

Currently the Park Department employs only six full-time tree maintenance workers and a few seasonal part-time employees. Despite a substantial increase in workload, there has been no increase in the number of park employees since 1995. That means each member of a tree crew is responsible for looking after more than 3,432 trees, a figure based on their visiting each tree only once every four years. A broken limb caused by wind requires an immediate response, perhaps leaving some other tree without its scheduled four-year inspection. Lack of regular inspections can lead to untreated disease or unnoticed damage and ultimately the possibility of the loss of the tree.

The Strategic Plan for the City of Chico Park Department includes, beyond the current staffing level, the addition of one more full-time tree worker for effective implementation. Please let the Park Commission and the City Council know that you would support a Park Department budget increase so that sufficient staff can be hired to maintain the health of all of our beautiful trees throughout the city.

Elizabeth Tice

There are times when one sees something dreadful coming with no apparent means of avoiding the inevitable outcome. Like watching as I once did while Glen Canyon sank inch by inch under the rising waters of the Colorado River. Like realizing that my friend would die of cancer no matter what desperate measures might be taken to prevent it. Like being caught in the path of a speeding truck with no escape.

But if ever I have dreaded the coming of anything, I have never dreaded anything more than the coming of this war with Iraq.

To watch our president pushing forward with this war is like watching a blind man who has stumbled to the very edge of a 1,000-foot precipice and is unknowingly about to plunge to his death. I watch helplessly as he takes that last fatal step, knowing that a whole nation, a whole world perhaps, may very well fall with him.

I ought to be able to bring our nation back from the brink of this disaster by simply pointing out that we can’t hope to defend anything we care about by becoming the bully of the world. I might say that our superior power is so fatal to us that we hardly need to worry about being attacked from without when are doing such a good job of attacking ourselves from within. I might say that, should we ever realize our ambition of “defense through world conquest,” we’d have nothing left worth defending.

Lin Jensen

Pledge of resistance
I believe that, as a person living in the United States, it is my responsibility to resist the injustices done by our government in my name.

Not in my name will you wage endless war. Not in my name will you invade countries, bomb civilians and kill children. Not in my name will you erode the very freedoms you claim to be fighting for. Not in my name will you supply weapons and funding to individuals and governments for the repression of families on foreign soil. Not in my name will whole peoples or countries be deemed evil.

Fear will not silence me as I hope to join with the people of the world to bring about justice, freedom and peace with a better world possible.

Norm Dillinger

Defense of the hunt
This is in response to Joel Felice’s letter [“Is that a gun?” Oct. 3]. Mr. Felice stated that masturbation is a substitute for the real thing. If this is the case, then anyone who has ever played a video game is guilty of this.

The definition of masturbation, according to Merriam-Webster, is “erotic stimulation especially of one’s own genital organs.” Both the American Heritage and Cambridge dictionaries confirm this. So to say that hunting in Big Chico Creek Ecological Preserve is masturbation is incorrect.

Also, hunting is not a substitute for war. When people are at war, they are battling with an enemy over land or beliefs, and the end goal is to bring the enemy to submission. Death is a consequence of war. Hunting is, and has always been, a means of putting food on the table. It is a true, primal escape that people have to get out of our modern world and back into our roots. It allows people to spend time with nature and helps control wildlife populations, which have fewer natural predators due to human intervention.

Animals are not defenseless, either; they know their environment better than people do, and a person has to use his or her intellect to outsmart an animal’s instinct.

Hunting, just like all other daily activities, such as driving a car, parenting or using a credit card, is full of responsibility, and most hunters are taught this in hunter safety classes, which are required before a license can be issued. The stereotype of a drunken hunter shooting anything that moves is not the norm; the vast majority of hunters are safe and respect their responsibilities.

I am not from Chico, but I do know that people should be allowed to use a resource, such as the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve, in all responsible manners that help conserve the area.

Matt Simons
Student, Chico State