Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's a massacre

I am absolutely sick to my stomach. I hear the chain saws roaring outside and every tree I hear crash to the ground makes me physically ill.

We've known this was coming and there isn't a damn thing we can do about it. Nothing. Don't you love how the government can come in and give companies permission to wreak havoc on your life and destroy your property?

The TransCanadian Keystone Pipeline is coming through our property. Oh, sure, it's been touted as supposedly going to help keep oil prices down, yadda yadda yadda. It's supposed to be a "green project."

Someone please explain to me how removing all these trees on the back of my property is a "green project?" Sure seems a whole lot more like a "Scorched earth" project to me.

You can see where the monsters with the chainsaws have started. A row of downed trees lies at the far back edge.

There's a creek back there, too and the trees prevent a bad erosion problem from being even worse. What's going to happen when there is NOTHING back there to slow the flow of water? I have a feeling we're going to see a lot more flooded paddocks and end up losing a lot more land to a flooding creek. They are not planning to shore up the creek banks after they rip out my trees. It will just be mud. Naked, vulnerable, eroding mud. Yay us.

These trees too are on the chopping list. They provide shade and a windbreak for my horses during the summer. They will be gone. Hundreds of trees, big beautiful oaks, black walnut, elm and a variety of blooming trees will be gone.

Is somehow a "green project?" We will lose every last bit of windbreak we have. Guess which direction all the wind comes from? The horses are very well-protected from the wind by these trees. My riding area (behind Gabe's paddock) is protected from the wind so I can ride even when the wind is crazy and not be affected by the wind.

We won't be reimbursed for the lost trees. If we want to replant after the pipeline comes through it's on us. I can honestly say losing all these trees may seriously affect my desire to live here. The abundance of trees is one of the reasons I love this place so much. We are "cut off" from the rest of the world because of the trees. I can sit and watch the squirrels and the birds and other wildlife we have living there...where will they go?

And we have no choice in the matter. You can't fight the government. A city around here tried to fight the pipeline because it was planned to go through the lake the city uses as a water source. Guess who lost that fight? Guess where the pipeline will go? Straight through the lake. If the city lost, I know we'd have a snowflake's chance in hell.

Yay for government. I guess the boys with the big pockets always get what they want, don't they? And us little folks are left in the mud, literally.


  1. All I have to say is that sucks! So sorry you have to put up with others ruining your home. Trees are very important to me too.

  2. I am sick to my stomach with you and for you too! Man..The one thing we do have in Oregon is watchdog organizations that practically fundraise -for you- if something occurs like that...mention "wetland" and it is stalemate for years!
    I hope there is something you can do before it is all gone..isn't there a rare bird that nests there..or something?


  3. NuzzMuzz...I love my trees and it absolutely kills me to see them coming down. As soon as the pipeline goes in we are replanting what we can and planting even MORE trees all around the property. Lots of evergreen types for windbreak, too.

    KK...Funny that you mention rare birds...they had a helicopter out here a few times skimming the treeline looking for eagle nests. It wasn't until AFTER they did their survey that I thought about finding a replica nest and planting it in one of the trees! That would have delayed things.

    The one thing I am proud of are my horses. Even helicopters coming in low over their heads, people tromping through the woods with chainsaws and four wheelers where there has never been any kind of traffic didn't cause them to flick an ear. They watched, but didn't freak. Good ponies!

  4. It's so incredibly assinine that they are doing that. It's braindead, actually. How much extra money and time and energy are they wasting cutting down those trees when there is an F-ing CORNFIELD RIGHT THERE??!! How many feet over did they need to go to only have to dig up DIRT? It's just mind-numbingly ignorant that they'd do that.
    Of course, to them, "green" means dollars, not environment. They probably get a bonus for tree-slugging.

  5. Oh I'm so sorry. That kind of beauocracy strong-arming makes me so mad. I would grieve the loss of those trees too. They are a huge asset to your property for so many reasons. Sometimes you just can't figure those guys out. If they had any brains at all, they'd surely be dangerous. I would think that they should have to reimburse you for the cost of the trees at least. Have you checked into that? The worst part of the situation seems to me is your lack of any "say" in the matter. You make your payments, pay your taxes - but you never really have any control over "your" land. Again, I'm very sorry.

  6. Incredible! Agree with Amy - what's wrong with the field next to it? Those windbreaks are so important! Its taken years to establish. I'd be like you & wanting to move... We had a similar thing happen when a farmer cleared out all the trees in a fenceline running along a creek. It was a great trail training area that we enjoyed. Now its just mud & muck....

  7. I am so sorry...that sucks BIG time :( **hugs***
    We are waiting to see if the field next to us will be built on in the next few years..efectivly merging us with the village...not what we signed on for when we moved in :(
    But hey....Im sure the council and planning ppl enjoy their freebies from the building companies...its no fun being the small guy .

  8. Awful! Why did they choose there along the wooded creek when there is all of that flat naked land right next to it? Makes very little sense... and they built 'through' a lake? Are these planners on 'crack'? I cant't imagine how it must feel to have YOUR property raped.

  9. I followed that link, and after reading their environmental policy ("At TransCanada, environmental responsibility is more than just talk.") I sent the "ethics" people an email expressing my concern at their idiocy. Don't worry, I didn't leave your address, and I was rather polite, all things considered. Doubt anyone will actually read it, but oh well. It felt good to tell them my opinion. Want me to forward you a copy of what I wrote?

  10. Cing spots...they paid for an easement and we pretty much had no choice in the matter. We were told we could fight it if we wanted but it would end up costing us a lot more than what they would pay for the easement, we'd lose anyway, and have to pay for THEIR attorney fees too. They would not pay for the loss of timber though, we tried. I even tried to get them to agree to providing us with a sapling for every tree they took down so we could replant them on our property. They wouldn't agree and I guarantee what we got for the easement won't even come close to buying saplings to replace the murdered trees.

    Amy and's ridiculous. All they had to do was move the pipeline 30 feet NORTH and none of the trees would have to die. However, when we asked them about that they said it would cost far too much to go back through and have the whole project re-surveyed and they had already paid for easements on other properties. Here's the kicker: the pipeline will actually be buried in the field behind my trees. New federal homeland security laws require all utilities to have a 50 foot clearance along them so they can be monitored for terrorist activity and vehicles can be driven along them. The trees have to be taken down to meet that federal requirement.

    Kelly...Thank you. It does really bite being the little guy. We pay our taxes, we are good stewards of our land, and in the end, I don't think it will really matter because if the government decides a big company has more right to it than we do, we're out of luck.
    I hope they find some rare bug or bird on that property next to you and the whole thing is held up for YEARS! sucks, big time. The lake thing really boggles, me, too. What if that pipeline gets a crack? What if we get another earthquake like we did in the spring and it cracks? That whole city will have a contaminated water source and that lake feeds into many smaller creeks that all feed into the Mississippi River. Contamination central. It's all stupid planning, in my opinion.

    Amy...yes, please, forward it to me!

  11. Oh no. Losing the trees is more than aesthetics - like you said - it will have an ongoing affect on the creek and the soil. I am totally bummed over stuff like that.

  12. It makes me sick and mad at the same time, and reminds me of our own government project, the Trans-Texas Corridor. This is a MAJOR highway project that cuts smack in the middle of nothing but rural land. The people have overwhelmingly voted against it, but Big Brother thinks they know what's best. Nevermind that the government is supposed to represent and protect the interests of the people.

    I feel your sadness, anger, and frustration. I wish I had an encouraging word to impart, but I don't. They'll do whatever they want, people and their lifestyles be damned. Eminent domain is just another term for stealing in the name of public good.

  13. Oh, I am so sorry! That really is heartbreaking. We have a large copper mine going in about 5 miles down the road from us and they will be destroying the beautiful mountain in the process. Sad.