diversity of opinion expressed by people commenting on Fayetteville's
tree-sitting grandmother and others who oppose the destruction of
the majority of trees in an ancient grove to make way for a retail
development is thought-provoking.
woman who has given up home and hearth for some time now is serving
as a visible, living symbol of a major split in the thinking of
human beings. While she has been quoted relatively little, people
on both sides of the divide are saying a lot. No one, of course,
can ever be fully objective and see all sides of an issue; however,
a few have tried. Those are the people who point out that the retail
development could be built in the area without destroying the old-growth
timber. Unfortunately, the voices heard most often seem to miss
that obvious fact. The experiences people have had in life, their
education, training, upbringing ‹ numerous factors play a part in
which side they relate to. It appears that people who have grown
up with central heat and air-conditioning in well-insulated homes
without much outdoor experience don't have much notion of the value
who have spent time in houses that depend on shade trees to help
regulate temperature, understand shade.
who have worked outdoors or hunted or fished or hiked or watched
birds understand not only shade but many other benefits that trees
provide. People have depended on trees for building material and
fuel for untold centuries. The idea of building a house of wood
surely occurred first to a person who envied another person who
occupied a large hollow tree in some ancient forest.
could imagine that person deciding not to fight for possession of
a fine hollow living tree or stump but to shape himself a shelter
by combining logs and brush. In a natural forest with a balanced
population of human beings and other creatures, enough giant hollow
trees would stand to provide shelter for many, and storms and occasional
fires would bring down plenty of trees for building.
who values wildlife, whether for hunting or simply as a valuable
part of God's creation, can't easily accept the needless destruction
of wildlife habitat.
that brings up the point that is so obvious to many in Fayetteville.
There is no need to destroy those trees.
Northwest Arkansas needs more retail stores and restaurants, then
why not use existing buildings or construct new ones in already
cleared areas? At the other extreme are the comments that suggest
that not putting the shopping center where the trees now stand means
not getting to build. That isn't true.
only the open land ought to be less expensive than clearing trees
to build. Oh, yes, it is true that developers in this area seem
to just burn down fine groves when they get ready and then bulldozing
away whatever remains.
only do they destroy the wildlife habitat and waste the potential
lumber and firewood but also they add insult to injury by forcing
people and other living things downwind of their property to breath
the smoke. A really smart builder would incorporate the timbered
area into the development to create a park-like atmosphere. Isolated
trees could have a few parking spaces under the edge of their canopy
if designers and builders were careful to protect the roots of the
trees. Who wants to park in a paved lot without shade, anyway? Which
brings up another point: Why pave parking lots? Pavement near Mud
Creek and Clear Creek causes flooding of the Illinois River. People
in Oklahoma angry over such flooding are likely to file lawsuits
against the Fayetteville officials who ignored the city's tree-protection
ordinance and authorized the destruction of the trees in CMNII.
writers criticize the people protesting the destruction of trees
as though these people were speaking against the use of trees. That,
too, misses the point. These trees likely won't be used for lumber,
firewood, the making of paper or any such things. Most developers
in this area burn the trees they bulldoze on site, creating air
pollution sometimes for days.