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30. Trees Are a Threat
The mountain town of Canton is at an
of 6,000 feet. It is surrounded by thick
and pine trees. Because of six years of
, these plants are a major fire hazard. Thousands
trees and tons of underbrush are going to
removed over the next five years at a
cost of $3 million. The brush will be
first, then the trees will be toppled and
. A cleared nonflammable area will then safely surround
town of 4,000.
Residents look forward to the
, because it will help their town survive a
inferno. “But there are two problems,” said one
. “All the extra trucks are going to make
pretty bad. Once the area is cleared, we
to make sure dirt bikers don’t try to
the cleared area their personal playground.”
burned 4,000 acres and destroyed 11 homes in
Hamilton. The fire was raging toward Canton, but
sudden rainstorm put it out. Residents know that
won’t get lucky twice, so they are looking
to this massive clearing operation.
Ninety percent of
cutting and clearing will be paid with federal
. Unfortunately, if the trees are on private property,
must be paid for by the residents themselves.
can range as high as $1,000 to cut
remove one tree. Officials say that residents can
for state and federal loans if necessary.
good does that do me?” asked Thelma, a
-year-old widow. “I’m living on social security. I’ve got
trees on my property. The government’s not going
loan me money when they know there’s no
I can pay it back. So what am
supposed to do? These planners with all their
ideas ought to think of the little people.”