The company removed the trees at no cost to the city and, in addition, paid the city $11,000 for the timber, Moore said. He said the money will go into site stabilization measures and to cover the cost of having the city’s consultant, Gary Gouldrup, closely watch the operation.
“The problem is it’s hard to see the hemlock tree infestation with the untrained eye,” said Councilor Thomas Sullivan, a member of the city’s forest management committee and a longtime member of the Winnekenni Foundation. “Half the trees were dead and the others were dying.”
Sullivan said the city acted too late to try to get rid of the woolly adelgids by introducing another type of bug that feeds on them and that the city can’t treat the trees with chemicals because the area is too close to Kenoza Lake, which is a city water supply.
Brent Baeslack, a local environmental activist, longtime member of the city’s Conservation Commission and self-professed tree lover, echoed that sentiment.
“Things at Winnekenni are going to turn out all right,” Baeslack said. “Aesthetics are fine. But the health of the forest and its future is what matters most.”
Councilor Michael McGonalge said everyone wants what is best for the park, but that councilors have to rely on the advice of the city’s experts.
“If I go to the doctor or nurse and they give me a plan to get better, I have to follow it,” he said. “Shame on us for letting it get this far, but we have to rely on the professionals to fix it.”
— Shawn Regan
Police arrest last man wanted in gun assault
Police said they have rounded up a group of young men who tried unsuccessfully to shoot another man in the Mount Washington neighborhood — an area targeted by officers because of its street crime.