Crabapple culling is environmentally irresponsible | AspenTimes.com
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Crabapple culling is environmentally irresponsible

Dear Editor:

In response to the city’s decision to spray crabapple trees to chemically halt the production of the fruit – please don’t! What gives the city the right to make this decision? Also, please let us know what chemical the city intends to use – why is that information omitted? Let’s spray a chemical on you to halt your body from reproducing.

As a “green” community, how can you justify introducing a spray that interferes with a tree’s natural process of growth and renewal? Do you have any idea of the possible side effects the chemical may have – not only on the long-term health of the tree but on the bees, pets, birds, insects, or anything or anyone else that may come in contact with a “treated” tree?

What a horrible idea of introducing another chemical into our ecological environment, food chain and ground-water system. All in an effort to “save money” vs. picking the fruit, which would be the natural and easiest thing to do. I come from Michigan, which every fall harvests acres and acres and acres of apples and yes, even smaller fruits like cherries. In fact, Michigan even has a city called the cherry capital. They even make machines that harvest fruit.

Please compare the cost of picking the fruit against the 24/7-plus weeks of on-call and response efforts of the Aspen police, sheriff and community safety officers. Did the city pay the Colorado Department of Wildlife to be here to monitor, trap and relocate our “problem” bears as well? What about the moral cost of the 20-plus bears that were unfortunate enough to be characterized as “problem” bears and euthanized – some leaving cubs behind. Not to mention the sh*t show the ensues when a bear gets “trapped” in a tree or separated from their young. I watched the bears eat the fruit in the trees on North Garmisch Street last fall, which was admittedly neat to see – but the traffic, kids, families, passers-by and tourists that inevitably came was horrifying. I watched as people attempted to get as close as possible with their cameras to have a picture they could show to their friends – it even made national news.

If the bears are so attracted to our trees’ naturally occurring bounty, then why isn’t the fruit harvested and taken to the backcountry? Won’t, by your definition, the bears follow the food source? It may even help the bears should our spring weather prevent the adequate growth of fruits and berries in the backcountry, as it did last spring – which in fact “pushed” the bears into the city.

Aside from all of this, we humans residing in Aspen continue to forget that we are, in fact, in their territory.

When do we act responsibly, open up our pocketbooks and make a decision that doesn’t harm the environment and the beings that live in it? We could actually help alleviate a “problem” in the process.

Steve Rose

Aspen


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