Sunday, January 31, 2010

Columnist sees unwelcome parallels between local tree protection efforts and federal health care bill; Boulder, CO

Greenlee: Control freaks? - Boulder Daily Camera:
A number of local citizens qualify as devoted 'tree huggers.' There`s nothing wrong with a fondness for trees although the moniker implies something beyond simply enjoying our deciduous and non-deciduous companions.
Like so many other things in Boulder there`s a propensity to go far beyond enjoying something and instead wanting to control, possess, and legislate preferred behavior even when it comes to things like trees. According to a recent city staff memo, trees 'have environmental, social, and economic benefits' as defined in both the Comprehensive Plan and an over-ambitious Climate Action Plan. It appears a new health care plan for trees is in the works that will likely involve providing universal arbor care with a public option and a network of required caregivers who will likely impose a single-payer system passing all bills along to taxpayers. Sound familiar?
Some of our leafy companions may even qualify as being 'historic landmarks.' But first, according to a 40-page memo to Boulder`s Planning Board and City Council, a comprehensive inventory of city trees needs to be undertaken. This includes performing a comprehensive tree canopy survey, developing a new Geographical Information System Database along with a Database Management Program administered by a new Information Resources Working Group. Unfortunately the costs associated with implementing these new ventures were not provided in the memo.

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