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Leave the Trees

While the mayor is spending time planting trees along with Re-Tree Buffalo and other similar agencies, it’s probably not a good idea to cut down trees on city-owned property on a quaint little street.
In fact, it will bring a lawsuit and fines, as one citizen found out after taking down a 13-inch Norway maple and two 9-inch Norway maples, with no history of complaints, in front of 118, 120 and 126 Cottage Street.
Mayor Byron Brown said, “It’s ironic that on Tuesday of this week I joined second grade students, their teachers and school administrators in planting a new tree, symbolizing our city’s continuing reforestation effort following the 2006 October Surprise Storm. And later that same day I was informed that three trees that stood here – on city-owned property – were illegally removed by a property owner. This action is intolerable, indefensible and we intend to prosecute these offenses to the fullest extent of the law.”
Ironic indeed. Whatever it cost to take the trees down, the property owner can tack on a city fine of $1,500, possible jail time, or both, to the overall amount. In addition, a lawsuit was filed in New York State Supreme Court seeking the replacement cost of the illegally removed trees, each of which could be in the thousands.
A look at the city budget‘s allotment for reforestation efforts will show that there is a serious push on the city’s part to counter the effects of the devastation area trees suffered in the October Storm of 2006. Brown set aside $1 million in 2007-2008 and increased that amount with an additional $750,000 for 2008-2009.
If anyone in your neighborhood has a similar mind to take down some greenery, city hall wants to know about it. A release from city hall quotes Corporation Counsel Lukasiewicz as saying, “All city residents should be aware that Section 467-4 of the City Code provides a reward for not less than $100 nor more than $1000 for any information leading to the apprehension and conviction of any person violating this Chapter relating to the abuse and mutilation of trees, shrubs and plants.”
The removal of city trees is especially troublesome in the wake of an April 16 award from the National Arbor Day Foundation, in which the City of Buffalo and Re-Tree Western New York were named as joint recipients of the Foundation’s 2008 Project Award that recognizes outstanding work in tree planting, conservation and environmental stewardship.
Anyone with information on any individual or individuals harming city-owned trees, shrubs or plants can call the Mayor’s Call and Resolution Center at 851-4890. The information will be confidential.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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