Letter: Clear Cutting Of Trees

Letter: Clear Cutting Of Trees

To the Editor:

This morning I watched as contractors for WMATA cut down tree after tree after tree along the property line adjacent to my apartment complex. The Metro Office of Systems Maintenance property at 195 Telegraph Road (actually Mill Road), Alexandria, runs along a creek bed, where all the trees are being clear cut. This creek bed is a tributary to Taylor Run, part of the Potomac Watershed, ultimately contributing to the Chesapeake Bay. The foreman of the company contracted to cut down the trees shook his head as he informed me that WMATA was clearing trees on all of their properties across the Washington Metro area. Why? At least along this creek bed there is no apparent need. No electrical lines, no criminal activity. (Unless you count the leaves dropping on the employees’ cars in the WMATA parking lot as criminal). In fact the opposite is true. The trees provided a privacy screen between the residential apartments and the unsightly metro yard building and parking lot behind it. The creek bed was a small, but vital area of nature and animal life.

All those trees on all that land on all those Metro properties …. at what cost? I’m sick of hearing that Metro has no money. How much does this tree cutting cost? There were at least 10 contractors for at least five days (including Sunday — overtime pay?) at this location alone to cut down all the trees along this Metro property. Is that what our tax dollars are going to — subsidizing the destruction of the environment?

I suggest that an inquiry be made into the necessity and cost of this wasteful project. My personal suggestion is also to call for an immediate stop to the unjustified cutting down of trees, and a withholding of any taxpayer dollars towards the unnecessary destruction of the environment. WMATA should immediately replant at least one tree for every tree they have had cut down. WMATA wonders why ridership is down, perhaps they should remember that riding the Metro is supposed to be good for the environment — "not destroy it!

Emily Olhoeft