Illegal Cutting Of Trees

A bane of civilization is ignorant savages with an agenda of self-importance destroying the environment so that they feel they are on a mission and all can see it. I met Margot Cunningham who explained to me that she wanted all the trees of Albany Hill destroyed (except for a little forest of obviously very ancient oaks in a corner). Margot wants to replace the wooden hill by a “coastal prairie”. Her sister makes paintings about it, and gloats that it’s a bit delicate to destroy all this ecosystem, so one has to do it, little piece by little piece, same way as one boils a frog.

Coastal North-West California, and in particular the San Francisco Bay Area originated several species of trees unique in the world: Sequoia Sempervirens, Monterey Pine, Monterey Cypress, Brewster Pine, and a type of Juniper found only in the East Bay Hills. Unsurprisingly, several centuries ago, several of these trees grew there. I pointed out to her that well paid vandals recently destroyed a number of endangered species of trees on the hill. Margot Cunningham told me coolly she was the one who ordered the endangered trees cut. Shockingly, all these trees are on private property (including some I am a co-owner of), and owners gave no authorization. 

Monarchs are MIGRATING butterflies, which can fly thousands of kilometers. It’s a very deep scientific mystery. The Western species is CRITICALLY endangered with only a few thousands left. I have actually witnessed scenes similar to the one above, on the very hill on which the City Albany poison oak zealots insist to destroy trees.

Right in the middle of the lockdown, then, one more giant tree got cut. Apparently the City of Albany considers it essential to destroy the ecology of Albany Hill (). Or is that rather common situation of non-essential workers wasting taxpayer money on an anti-ecological task? The perverse plan is to cut trees one by one, in the hope that there will not be an outcry. A few days ago, still, some of the critically endangered Western Monarch butterflies were living in that tree, but here comes the ecologist with a chainsaw.  Reason? The giant Blue Gum Eucalyptus from Tasmania is not native, they say, and they swell their chest with the rightful indignation racist tend to exhibit against those who don’t belong in their opinion. A troubling case of lack of self-examination, in a country where 98% of the population has nothing to do with the “Natives”. 

However the eucalyptuses are critical for a number of species: squirrels, hummingbirds  and endangered birds of prey live in the trees. The Blue Gums, one of the world’s tallest trees is functionally equivalent to trees which used to be there: it makes rain out of the fog, just as the Monterey pines, cypresses and sequoias do.   

There are as little as 20,000 Western monarchs left, in the world, and a sizable portion of the population lives among the eucalyptuses of that particular hill. Studies have shown that the remarkable monarch, a large migrating butterfly, prefers Blue Gum to native species. 

I would agree to replace some of the Blue Gums with Native Monterey pines, cypresses and sequoias. But this is not the plan of Margot Cunningham. She has made in her mind a fantasy that grass should only be found and all trees cut. She dares says this, after Donald Trump, president of the United States, announced that the government of the U.S. would commit to the Trillion Trees Initiative: one trillion trees planted would counteract ten years of increased CO2. The USA right now plants 2.2 billion trees a year, the highest rate of any country in the world. 

Worse Margot told me that, on land I co-own, only Poison Oak should be found, and she would make it so. Now, Poison Oak, although Native, is the ultimate pest. First it profits from human activity, and is orders of magnitude more frequent than it used to be before the ancestors of Margot Cuningham showed up: Native Americans justly didn’t like it, and took strict measures against it.  Poison Oak creates dermatitis which can kill, especially if it gets in the lungs. Poison Oak is also extremely flammable. Should the Albany Hill Poison Oak burns, as happened in the past, the smoke could kill (firefighters have been killed by Poison Oak).

So why is this happening? People want to feel special and important. Most are not.     

Patrice Ayme


P/S: Letter sent to the City of Albany Park Commission:

Another large tree was cut on Albany Hill. The healthy tree threatened nobody and was far from any path. It sheltered Western Monarch butterflies, a critically endangered species. There are less than 20,000 (twenty thousands) of these migrant butterflies left in the world and many find refuge in the forest of large trees of Albany Hill. The cut tree was also on the border of the forest, next to a large mass of poison oak which will now further extend into the decaying tree corpse.

An employee of the city, Margot Cunningham, told me she wanted only poison oak on Albany Hill, that was her mission in life. This passion for ecological destruction goes against species preservation, including rare and endangered animals and tree species presently found on Albany Hill. 

Moreover, the policy of destruction of the existing ecosystem reduces Albany Hill from a three dimensional biological medium, to a two dimensional surface covered with poison. There is a risk to this strategy: poison oak smoke kills, so, as Margot Cunningham gets her fancy, she puts thousands of human lives at risk. The legal responsibility of the City of Albany is also engaged, as it is thereby told that this policy puts lives at risk. 

Another problem is that humanity needs to absorb CO2 with large growing trees: one trillion trees would revert ten years of CO2 production. This is why the US Federal government joined the one trillion trees initiative, and why the US is presently planting 2.2 billion trees a year. For the City of Albany to have an official, taxpayer paid policy of replacing a forest by poisonous shrubs goes against all of this. 

Last point: most of Albany Hill is privately owned. Owners were not consulted before Ms. Cunningham embarked on her poorly informed crusade of cutting endangered trees and, or, trees providing critical habitat to endangered animals, on their properties. This includes a critically endangered snake (which was observed as recently as last week on Albany Hill).

[See NYT Protecting the Monarchs, 7 May 2020. By Alexis Okeowo and ]


2 Responses to “Illegal Cutting Of Trees”

  1. Gmax Says:

    Not afraid to be sued by the Margot terminator? Did you vet this with a lawyer?


  2. ronaldscheckelhoff Says:

    Good luck with stopping the tree cutting. Hundreds of years of nature can be destroyed in ten minutes with no thoughts or concerns by troops of automaton humans and their wicked tools of destruction.

    Around here (North Carolina) they DO treat the trees pretty well. We have many examples of sidewalks that have a trajectories which follow much more circuituous paths in order to swing around large trees. Many cities would automatically take the straight line path along the road, when building sidewalks, and cut everything that’s found to be inconveniently “in the way” .


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