Thursday, May 5, 2016

Due Process for a Tree

The world is a safer place for one tall, skinny, pine tree, thanks to a contingent of tree lovers that laughed in the face of logic.  A spindly pine tree standing in isolation in a postage stamp backyard is now an official landmark in San Francisco.
City leaders unanimously voted this week to grant official status for the pine tree after neighborhood residents went to bat for it.  The property owner wanted to cut the timber down, claiming it was dangerous and too large for such a small plot of land.  SF Gate quoted Eric Mar, a member of the Board of Supervisors, after the vote. "It's a good example of a community standing up to protect the environment."   Yes, indeed it is.  It goes to show what communities joining together can do. For instance, imagine if they put as much love and action into closing down the local abortion clinic.  But I digress. Back to the tree.
There’s disagreement as to the tree’s age—somewhere in the range of 70 – 100 years old. Although it’s a lone tower of bark and needles, some neighbors consider it an important piece of the landscape.  One biology professor also suggested that it probably is a resting spot for raptors and other birds on their way to the Golden Gate Bridge.  You laugh?  It would not be so funny if it were you that was looking for a place to rest your wings en route to the Golden Gate Bridge.
An attorney who specializes in law involving trees (now there’s a major for you) that represents the homeowner, called the tree ordinary and explained that it poses problems for the home's infrastructure. The attorney claimed: "This is the wrong tree in the wrong place."
It all began last year when an attentive couple must have smelled sawdust in the air and became alarmed. A neighbor had just cut down 3 of his trees.  Would he keep going and chop down the big old pine tree?
Like anyone fearing murderous intentions of a neighbor, the couple got a restraining order to protect old spindly.  They also began the process to grant the tree landmark status over the owner's objections.  The Urban Forestry Council declined to nominate the tree last October. But in March, after enough fellow tree nuts—(not the kind that squirrels eat) testified as to the value of old spindly, the council decided unanimously: Oh, well, okay, I guess.
So now, anyone wanting to do away with old spindly could face criminal and civil penalties. Vanessa Ruotolo, half of the couple who got the restraining order for the tree, was quoted as saying: "We're thankful that the tree was given its due process."
I love trees. I really do.  In the town where I live, there’s a road that was diverted to keep a big old tree standing.   But I have several problems with this story. First off, the property owner had valid reasons for wanting to cut it down.  Secondly, it’s not an historic tree. Thirdly, people need to establish a hierarchy of life.  I would bet money that the people who fought for that tree, do not put the same energy into fighting for the unborn. 
Animal Rights groups are overwhelmingly pro-abortion.  The Animal Liberation Front website actually has several articles posted explaining why being pro-abortion does not conflict with being an animal rights activist.  Trees are a step down from animals in the classification of living things.  I am confident that the people who protest chopping down trees are just as radically pro-abortion. And that is what bothers me the most about this story.  If the lovers of trees loved all life, including unborn humans, I would chalk this up as oversentimental neighbors.  Instead, we are witnessing a disconnect, where trees and animals are valued more than babies.  You already knew that before you read this story, but I wanted to write it anyways. So if you’ve made it to the end, lets all pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for tree huggers to become baby huggers.
For more inspiration, check out Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories From Everyday Families  Follow Patti at Twitter and like her Facebook pages at Dear God Books,  Big Hearted Families and  Catholic News & Inspiration on Facebook.  Sign up at the right column to receive articles in your inbox.  God bless you!

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