Letter to the Editor

Too many trees

Friday, September 24, 2004

Dear Editor,

As seasons change, the store slows, giving time to listen to the local wisdom. A man was loudly bashing farmers for taking too much groundwater. Oh, he also included local factories and golf courses.

A small, frail, older lady said, "You're swatting the wrong flies."

The old man asked her, "who is getting all our groundwater?"

Without blinking and looking eye-to-eye, she said "Trees -- (she paused) when I was a young girl before the flood of '35, it was easy to see from town to town as the river was near treeless. Now days, there's a forest most of a mile wide, along much of the river, from the Colorado line to Cambridge.

"Some of those cottonwood trees are three feet across and 60 feet high. I figure there must be a million trees down on the river, each sucking 10 gallons a day from the river and groundwater. If you want more water -- cleaner groundwater -- get rid of the trees."

When she was done, everyone admitted, including me, that we had not thought of it. The man finished his word, then said, if she'd run for office, he might start voting again.

William D. Donze,


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