Unfortunately, this editorial in the Sacramento Bee appears to equate the recent and previous cutting of trees to improve homeowner views, to the destruction caused by illegal camping, which is not even in the same ballpark; as just one event—the trestle burning and resultant devastation, (1) which was probably caused by an illegal camper (2) though the federally indicted suspect was allowed to plea bargain to a lesser offense (3) , and the general prevalence of Parkway fires probably caused by illegal homeless campers, as one homeless camper stated (4)—overshadows all of the tree cutting in scale and habitat loss.
That being said, we heartily agree that those responsible for cutting trees down in front of their houses to improve their view of the river should be fined accordingly.
An excerpt from the editorial.
“The American River Parkway – stretching from the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers to Folsom Lake – is threatened by people acting as if the parkway is their private property and not a public asset.
“While people decry habitat destruction caused by illegal camping by the homeless, the parkway has long suffered from illegal tree and brush cutting by residents who live in multimillion-dollar homes on the bluffs above the river.
“Those trees and other vegetation provide habitat for wildlife, including shade for salmon. They are part of the natural beauty and complex ecology of the parkway – and they screen houses from the view of visitors in the parkway. They help make the parkway a prized natural, scenic, recreational and ecological resource.
“That's why it is important to investigate and prosecute those who vandalize the parkway by slashing trees. At a minimum, they should face fines and the cost of restoring the habitat.”