The motivation to spend $1 million on Odlin Park has always been a bit of a mystery, but it is especially mysterious why we are cutting down trees to put in more campsites. Moreover, concern arose today that the County is going to be cutting down old growth trees tomorrow. We don't know if that's true, but here's what we do know.
Over a dozen old growth trees have been tagged with ribbons at the site (see more photos below). We are not certain whether these are "do not cut" markers or "cut" markers. However, even if they are "do not cut" markers, reports are that at least two old growth trees will be logged tomorrow anyway. The trees in question are about 4.5 feet in diameter (and 14 feet in circumference). They're big ... probably 500 years old by some estimates ... and from at least one stump in the area, it looks like one old growth tree has already been taken down. Admittedly, the removed tree had rot on the interior, but we wouldn't be surprised if all the old growth in this area had some interior rot.
So why are we building more campsites? Why are we building campsites among old growth trees? Why are we building campsites next to trees that have rot and may be a hazard? Why the heck are we doing any of this? If one old growth tree has to come down because of rot, mightn't they all have to come down ... at least eventually ... especially if they're next to a bunch of campers? It seems like every time the County takes down trees, the result is less desirable than if they had just left things alone ... like the resulting odious Eastsound mosquito factory ... or the pathetic wetland mitigation along Fisherman Bay Road resulting from the $2+ million road improvement a couple of years ago.
As mentioned, reports are that at least some of the Odlin old growth trees are scheduled to come down tomorrow (Monday, March 25), and at least one Lopezian was concerned enough to even put up his own sign on one of the vulnerable trees. If you are concerned about this, write your Council person. If you are concerned about this, write to Dona Wuthnow who is the project manager for the Odlin redesign. If you are concerned about this, show up at the park early tomorrow morning. If you are concerned about it, do something ... now!
Word is that the County is eager to get this project completed so they can get paying campers into the new campsites as soon as possible. The County wants revenue (as usual). They want the new campsites ready for this season. We think the County's got its priorities wrong. The County needs to involve Lopezians regarding the decisions about the trees, the park, and about the wisdom of putting more campsites in the selected location in the first place.