Letters to the Editor

Trim trees at airport; don't clear-cut them

    As a child, I remember how my father would finish mowing the lawn, come into the house, and half jokingly say, "I am going to pour cement over the entire yard, paint it green and never mow the lawn again."

It seems that members of Beaufort County Council and Hilton Head Island Town Council have the same attitude when it comes to clear-cutting the trees at Hilton Head Island Airport.

Let me say as clearly as possible: No one that I know is against trimming the trees to ensure the safety of the planes landing and taking off at the airport. That is the reasonable, prudent action to take.

To proceed with clear-cutting the trees simply because the money is available from the Federal Aviation Administration is unwise. If I remember correctly, the trees at that end of the airport were last trimmed in 1995 or 1996 for a cost of about $200,000. Couldn't $50,000 a year be set aside to trim again in five years?

If I were an "eco-tourist" arriving by airplane and saw that 1,400 trees were no longer adding to the environmental scene, my first impression would be that I had been scammed.

Trim the trees, yes: clear-cut, no.

Mary E. Smetek

Hilton Head Island