Sunday, February 24, 2013

Oh dear, which utopia to choose?

by Keely Chalmers, KGW Staff
Posted on February 21, 2013 at 9:01 AM
PORTLAND -- Neighbors in Portland's St. Johns area have been battling a city plan to cut down a decades-old tree in Pier Park.
The tree at the center of the controversy is a giant sequoia that stands about 120 feet tall and measures 18 feet around.  It's one of a couple dozen giant sequoias in Pier Park, but the only one on the chopping block.
Park visitors have already pinned up a little memorial on the tree’s trunk asking the city to reconsider.  The problem is that the tree sits in the way of a major project, according to Portland Parks and Recreation officials.
The city is building a ten-mile long pedestrian and bike trail called the North Portland Greenway.  Once completed, the trail will connect North Portland to downtown.  Plans call for a bridge to be built over a set of railroad tracks, and according to the city, that sequoia tree is in the way.
Park visitors want the city to build around the tree instead of taking it down.
“If I come here tomorrow morning and that tree isn't there, I’m going to cry," said Chris Fountain, one of a number of neighbors fighting to save it. "It means a lot to me.”
The city said it looked at several alternatives. In the end, however, city officials felt that removing this one tree was the best option.
“The only way to do this trail, which is going to be a valuable connector for the city going forward, is to take care of this tree instead of several other ones in its place,” said Mark Ross with Portland Parks and Recreation.
The city, in turn, said it will plant seven giant sequoias, along with dozens of other trees, on the other side of the bridge as part of the North Portland Greenway project.
It also said all the wood from the giant sequoia will be re-purposed and used in a nature play area in Westmoreland Park.
If the project stays on schedule, the tree will be cut down on Thursday.

A comment posted to the article:
Hayak's Dilemma: when intellectuals succeed in overthrowing Liberty the "greater good" is open to debate. Once the default is no longer Liberty it is unclear which utopian scheme has precedence. Inevitably paralysis and chaos give rise to a despotism.

All the reasons you cannot cut a tree on your property mean nothing when the government wants to do it.

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