Northwest NEWS

February 28, 2000

Editorial

Although deforestation is painful, we are only caretakers of the land we own

   In a recent letter to the editor, a Hollywood Hill resident decried the felling of his neighbor's trees, an action ostensibly undertaken for profit by the landowner. I am in strong opposition to that reader's views.

   I live on a heavily-treed property, and while my neighbors have cleared a majority of their trees from their property, I have elected not only to preserve mine, but also to nurture them. Several sizable trees are within striking range of the house I built, but I left them standing and I accept the risks involved. I just happen to like trees.

   The day I am told that I no longer have the right to cut my trees is the day they all hit the dirt. I own the land I own. I bought it. I pay taxes on it, and it is mine. Your outraged reader owns the land he owns, and that is the limit of his control. You do not own your neighbor's trees, their bushes, their rocks, or their homes.

   We are all responsible for our own borders, and we are caretakers of the land we own and the things that live on that land with us. I do not like the choices my neighbors have made, and the deforestation of my state is painful to watch, but the eradication of personal and property rights is by far harder to bear.

Roberts V. Brown, Duvall