To the Editor:
This letter of disgust and despair has been stewing since last May, when the site of the proposed nursing home in Edgartown on the Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road was clear-cut seemingly overnight. Recently, an article praising trees (MV Times, “Climate Change Connections: Trees,” Jan. 25), and an article in the Gazette on Jan. 19 reporting on perhaps a forward motion on that butchered Edgartown property, has prompted me to ask: Why did the people involved with that project begin it so terribly? Why were they allowed to? They wiped out a generation of birds and animals who just needed a couple of more weeks of life to be able to leave their nests and burrows to try to survive in this beleaguered world. That site has sat barren and sterile for nine months so far — an inauspicious, shamefully wasteful beginning to what appears to be a poorly planned project.
Another island east of us, England, has laws in place to protect against such travesties of human destruction of natural places. Building projects there, large or small, requiring the removal or trimming of trees and hedges cannot be started until the bats, birds, and bees are finished raising their young. Of course, England leads Europe as the country that has lost the most bird species, and experienced nearly 100 percent collapse of its bee population. It’s a shocking legacy they are trying to improve upon.
We are headed in that direction. Our ways of building and remodeling are too destructive, and too out of sync with natural rhythms. We cut down, spray, burn, pave, etc., where once nature prevailed. We are the hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, and executioners of the natural world — we inflict that loss on our wild neighbors in our sprawl.
We are an island. We need to build less, and better. We need rules in place to help us conserve what we haven’t quite lost completely.
Oak trees are the workhorses of the natural world. They provide more food and shelter to more insects, birds, and animals than any other tree. They, and the rest of our natural Island, deserve our respect and protection.