Opinion: Stillwater County needlessly butchering trees

There is a Grinch stealing trees (and Christmas) from us in Stillwater County.

He passes incognito as “county road supervisor.” The good boys and girls of the county pay their taxes and his paycheck, but he is grumpy and grouchy if they ask him not to cut all their trees down along their roads. He bellows “Maintenance!” and “Safety!” and will not compromise his single-minded mission to clear-cut every tree in every right of way in our county.

You are a mean one, Mr. Grinch!

The demolition began at the corner of Fiddler Creek Road and West Rosebud Road. Folks who drive that road many times a week are aghast at the miserable scene of wreckage on what once was an awe-inspiring drive.

Letters to the county commissioners go unanswered, or, if contact is made, the buck is passed back to the Grinch, who also goes by the name of Mark Shreiner. Stillwater County road funds are sorely needed on real projects, such as leveling out the washboard surface that shakes apart the rural school bus full of children, making it skid perilously on its way.

Clearing away the rock slide on Stillwater River Road, which has been closed since June, would also be a grand use of road tax dollars.

No opportunity has been given for public comment on this issue and residents have been assured there will not be one. Shame on you, Stillwater County commissioners; only coal in your stockings this year.

In sheer desperation, residents and property owners have set aside their holiday shopping, wrapping and baking to circulate a petition, which to date has 30-plus addresses and phone numbers—should the commissioners ever have a change of heart and want some local input.

The numbers aren’t huge yet, but there is power in a true heart. The petition now has a home at the Fishtail General Store, enabling signers to get in some shopping and wrapping, as well as free coffee. They can even cheat and go home with fresh baked cookies or a pie.

Finding some middle ground is surely the way. Leave the trees that are not in the path of the snowplow and mower. They grace our lives with their beauty both summer and winter, and they supply free oxygen and hope on a lonely road. Now, we painfully mourn their jagged stumps and chipped boughs lying in the dirty slush.

You are a mean one, Mr. Grinch!

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