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Cutting to the Core of Property Rights

September 20, 2002

Re "Tempest in the Treetops," Sept. 17: As a conservative, I appreciate the concern for property rights, including the ability to do (within reason) what you want to with the property you own. However, the preservation of an area's natural beauty is an issue that affects everyone and does not fall neatly within the boundaries of property lines.

The eucalyptus may burn ferociously; it may be a maintenance nuisance; it may be nonnative. But after 150 years, it has become an integral part of the heritage, the look, the feel, the image and the idyllic beauty of California.

Recently, a row of huge eucalyptuses in Etiwanda was needlessly cut down to make room for a 4-foot-high wall around a housing development, turning a very nice neighborhood into yet another ugly, nondescript road--a noisy one now that the trees don't cut the noise from the nearby freeway. If we continue to let our most beautiful trees be cut down to make room for poorly planned development and egregious homeowner "pruning," then we deserve the quasi-slum strip-mall landscape that continues to expand on the blighted California landscape.

Chris Ross

Redlands

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