Home > Uncategorized > Whopper of the Day: Clearcutting Trees is OK – The Stumps Prevent Erosion

Whopper of the Day: Clearcutting Trees is OK – The Stumps Prevent Erosion

Mayor: “Tree Cutting Massacre”

Where is Governor Christie’s outrage about out of control Authorities?

One would think that the Turnpike Authority, after having been caught red handed in lies about the clearcutting along the Garden State Parkway, would be humble and show some remorse in light of the widespread outrage that those lies and clearcutting have created.

One would be wrong.

The Atlantic City Press  broke and has stayed on top of this story. Today they report another huge whopper from the Turnpike Authority.

Mayors say parkway tree cutting hurts towns through noise, erosion, decreased property values


The massive tree clearing along the Garden State Parkway has angered motorists and residents, led a state senator to call for hearings and generated numerous letters to local newspapers.

Mayors from municipalities along the parkway say the tree cutting will hurt property values, raise noise levels and lead to erosion of private property.

“This has completely ruined the drainage system. Runoff is going to go right into homeowners’ backyards, and it will be their problem and the city’s problem,” Port Republic Mayor Gary Giberson said, adding that he is looking into legal means that could be taken to address the issue. “This was a terribly engineered design that we’ve been left to deal with.”

Ah, but the Turnpike Authority sees it differently.

Not only do they arrogantly dimiss legitimate environmental, economic, and landscape design concerns as “aesthetic”, they resort to the absurd claim that clearcutting trees and leaving the stumps prevents erosion!

Turnpike Authority spokesman Tom Feeney said any conversation about property values has to take into account the “economic and safety benefits the shore counties will enjoy as a result of the work.”

Feeney said the agency believes any concerns about runoff are unfounded because the tree stumps and underbrush that remain will prevent it. Other concerns about aesthetics must be balanced against the need for the project, he said.

What does it take to get fired at the Turnpike Authority?

And our friends over at DEP are not much more credible than the Turnpike Authority.

As previously reported by the AC Press, DEP knew about the proposed clearcutting years before it happened and did nothing to block it or enforce the State’s environmental and reforestry laws.

There are letters between the Turnpike Authority and the DEP going back several years in which the Turnpike Authority describes the tree removal on the Parkway as part of the widening project.

Again, one would think that after having been caught asleep at the switch (or worse), DEP would be aggressive and make up for prior lax oversight.

Again, one would be wrong.

The Turnpike Authority, however, has said the project may be eligible for exemption because the state’s Division of Parks and Forestry has said the cut trees could classify as a firebreak for the Pinelands.

State Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Hajna said it is the state’s goal to see that any replanted trees end up as close to the construction site as possible, but trees could be replanted anywhere across the state while still fulfilling the requirements. The DEP has not determined the exact costs or reforestation requirements, in part because it is still working to determine how many trees have been razed, he said.

“The Turnpike Authority has dropped off important information, including a series of grids showing where work took place, that will help us arrive at those estimates,” Hajna said.

And so again, just what does it take to get fired at DEP?

And where is Governor Christie’s outrage about out of control Authorities?

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  1. April 10th, 2011 at 13:12 | #1

    As anyone working at DEP can tell you, highways have the “right” of way! The Dept. of Transportation never follows the environmental rules that everyone else is held to (or is supposed to be held to) and DEP allows them to get away with it. The attitude is that nothing will happen anyway so why bother to try to enforce the rules against DOT? They routinely “dispose” of contaminated groundwater by discharging it onto the ground and ignore notifying anyone when they encounter soil contamination. And now Christie wants to give them more money! Just what NJ needs: more roads!

  2. Peg Barrett
    November 21st, 2012 at 23:18 | #2

    I couldn’t believe what I saw this week. The beautiful parkway is about to become another ugly turnpike. Why? I am so disilliusioned with politicians and authority. They are destructive. Someone please start a petitioner to end this mindless destruction of our roadway.

  1. April 14th, 2011 at 08:59 | #1
  2. June 20th, 2011 at 17:50 | #2
  3. July 28th, 2011 at 09:20 | #3
  4. August 19th, 2011 at 11:51 | #4
  5. January 14th, 2012 at 18:03 | #5
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