Redmond Parks should show that tree cutting is needed for public safety | Letter

Redmond Parks is planning to cut down 31 cottonwood trees in Idylwood Park by early spring. This action is in response to two limbs that fell last summer, resulting in injury to one person.

I fully understand that there is a safety issue here that Parks needs to address, but Parks has not done an adequate job in justifying their decision or engaging park users in making it. These trees provide valuable bald eagle habitat and are a vital part of the park’s character.

The only documentation Parks has to justify their decision is a short “assessment” spreadsheet with very minimal information. From an explanation of this spreadsheet to me by Parks staff, it appears they simply decided to remove any cottonwood tree that was in an area frequented by park users.

These trees have been at Idylwood Park for decades with no previous falling-limb incidents. There are literally thousands of cottonwood trees in parks around the region. Hundreds of people use the Marymoor dog park under the canopy of large cottonwood trees on a typical summer day. Why aren’t they being cut down if cottonwood trees are such a big danger? Did Parks consult with staff from other parks in the area about risk of falling cottonwood limbs? I was told “no.”

Large trees are a major part of our environment in western Washington, and falling trees and limbs from all tree species are an inherent danger of living in our region. A large Douglas fir tree fell on our house about 10 years ago and crushed the roof over our dining room, but I didn’t expect every Douglas fir in the neighborhood to be cut down. Neither should Parks cut nearly all the cottonwood trees in Idylwood because a couple of limbs fell last summer.

If they are going to cut this many trees, Redmond Parks needs to be held accountable by conducting, documenting and making available to the public a thorough analysis that justifies such an action. Public safety is important but we need to keep perspective. We can’t mitigate every risk, and we also need to consider the habitat and aesthetic value these trees provide to our community. I urge you to tell Mayor Marchione and the Redmond City Council to put any tree cutting at Idylwood Park on hold until Parks adequately shows that this scale of tree cutting is necessary for public safety.

David Chapin

Redmond

More in Letters to the Editor

A frightening reality | Letter

One can only conclude that President Donald Trump’s reality is his and… Continue reading

Big Oil’s ‘Kool-Aid’ | Letter

Voters drank Big Oil’s “Kool-Aid” on Nov. 6 and rejected Initiative 1631.… Continue reading

The next generation | Letter

Did you know that 50 percent of all lifetime causes of mental… Continue reading

Cost of I-1631 will be passed on to consumers | Letter

This is in response to the guest column on Oct. 12 by… Continue reading

Give the gift of a future | Letter

Give your friends and family the best gift you could give them:… Continue reading

Kavanaugh should be rejected / Letters

I find Republican caviling at the Brett Kavanaugh hearings baffling. For just… Continue reading

Trump should stand up for public lands / Letter

When Donald Trump was elected president, sportsmen had high hopes that the… Continue reading

Offer your input at city council budget hearing on Oct. 16 / Letters

With all the local government spending to end homelessness, why is there… Continue reading

Funding sources for Downtown Park | Letter

n the environment that we are living in, all too often truth… Continue reading

Sammamish River Trail deserves attention | Letter

I have to add my agreement to the letter last month from… Continue reading

Prison reform needed | Letter

I want freedom for criminalized people of color in private prisons. Washington… Continue reading

Why was Downtown Park so costly? | Letter

The opening of the Downtown Park this past weekend adds a new… Continue reading