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Why were trees cut at park?

February 27, 2012
Daily Press


When I was a youngster in the late 40's and early 50's, I spent day after day with my friends among the towering pine trees in Pioneer Trail Park.

Most of the trees (white and Norway pines) were already 80 or 90 years old. We picnicked among the various annual gatherings from churches and the paper mill. We picked pine cones to sell. We chased squirrels and chipmunks. The place stands foremost in my memories, so at 77, I still walk there as often as I can.

My latest walk broke my heart. There they lay before me - at least 25 of Pioneer Trail Park's finest 150-year-old Norway pines. Apparently this was done to forge a new area among the other beautiful trees for more trailer units.

The great trees are cut into 16-foot and 8-foot logs and ready for market. The pines should bring a few bucks for park operations.

Rory Mattson, new park manager and executive director of the local Soil Conservation District, is bent on making the trailer portion of Pioneer Trail Park financially lucrative. So it is not difficult to figure out what happened with the trees.

Mattson, somehow, has managed a lot of improvements at Pioneer Trail Park. Where he got the finances to do that is a mystery to me, but I still give him credit, in spite of the fact that I believe it is totally wrong for Delta County to have a trailer park which competes with local people who are trying to make a living in the trailer park business.

How can Mattson justify jumping on landowners for moving a little dirt on their land through his conservation district job and, yet, rape Pioneer Trail Park by cutting down so many healthy, wonderful 150-year-old pine trees. There was no announcement for this cutting, so the public never got to express themselves before the cutting. Sickening. Sickening.

Dr. Bill Finlan

Wells Township



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