Port Townsend community fights for iconic trees facing removal

130 towering cottonwood trees have greeted people entering the city for generations.

PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. – Towering over the entrance of Port Townsend, they greet all who come.

130 cottonwood trees have served as the gateway to Port Townsend for as long as anyone can remember, but their days are probably numbered.

The trees are native to northern Italy.

No one is quite sure how they all got here or who planted them for the last 60 or so years.

But those who love her know one thing.

“They’re just beautiful,” said Andrea Hegland of Port Townsend, who leads a community group dedicated to saving the trees. “You are unique. There really is no other community that you drive into and see these majestic trees lining the streets.”

The trees come into contact with high-voltage power lines – they fry leaves – but worse – they actually transmit electricity through their roots and into the neighboring boatyard.

“We had a complaint from a shipyard attendant that he felt tingling in his body,” says Eron Berg, Executive Director of the Port of Townsend. “Our environmental officer went out to investigate and he got the same thing. His hair snapped and snapped. We called PUD to investigate.”

Some wonder why not just prune the trees to keep them off the power lines. However, there is more to the story than that.

The neighboring boatyard provides 20% of all of Jefferson County’s economic activity.

It’s quite busy and the port would like to expand it to bring in even more money.

That would mean burying the power lines, but still cutting down the trees.

“Each boat in the shipyard represents a range of jobs for the community,” Berg said. “There’s no way we can save the trees, put the power underground, and expand the boatyard to the port property line where it meets the state highway.”

Hegland recognizes the importance of jobs and the shipyard,

But for her, it’s about what the people of Port Townsend really value.

“These are the trees of the community. They belong to all of us,” she says.

As it stands now, the trees could fall as early as this fall or early next year.

Hegland’s group is working to raise money to take their fight to court.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/community/port-townsend-iconic-trees-facing-removal/281-6ceaed6c-e630-4251-9e29-4d900b3e17a9 Port Townsend community fights for iconic trees facing removal

Alley Einstein

USTimesPost.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@ustimespost.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button