Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Proding the Sheriff of Nottingham

I'll readily concede it, I'm an unabashed treehugger. So, when I see stories like the one reported in Monday's Capital where some grade-A idiot "ringed" and killed 20 mature beech trees in Sherwood Forest, it really chaps my hide.

The suspicion is that the person who killed the trees, which are on community property and in the critical area, was trying to achieve a better water view. The "value" of the trees has been determined to be $30,000, and the maximum fine for killing trees in the critical area is $10,000. Even if the perpetrator is caught and assessed a $40,000 fine, the gain in property value would probably render the crime "worth it."

Given that this seems to be an increasingly common occurrence in water-oriented communities, perhaps we should start designing the punishment to more adequately fit the crime.

So, let's fine the culprit, but let's then use the fine monies to erect a billboard and/or a stand of densely-leaved native plantings to interrupt the view to the water even more completely than the pre-"vandalism" days. Perhaps that will give these larcenous lumberjacks pause.



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