COMMENTARY: The other side of the Guanacaste Tree story

By on March 11, 2017

 

Social Commentary

Social Commentary

CONTRIBUTED. Saturday, March 11, 2017. There is always, as they say, two sides to a story.

Today when a post about the felling of the Guanacaste tree in Bullet Tree Falls village went up on Patrick Jones‘ Facebook page, people started commenting, many without the slightest clue about what transpired.

Granted the writer who originally published the piece, that is Mr. Jones, did say that the post was based on what some residents had reported to him, fact is that it was only one side of the story.

Now, without prejudice to the sentiments of the people who genuinely believe that the tree should not have been taken down, let me point out something: the decision to cut down the Guanacaste tree was not made unilaterally by one person.

And where did that story about the bees come from? But I digress.

The decision to chop the tree down was taken only after sound advice was obtained from the relevant authorities. In this case, the Forestry Department.

TREE4What many of the people posting comments don’t realize, or in some cases refuse to understand, is that the leader of the village, the Chairman, was duly informed that a branch of the said tree had broken off, I believe on Friday, and in the process of falling to the ground, brought down electrical and cable lines.

The chairman did the responsible thing.

He first informed Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) of the situation and also alerted the Cable Company.

Thirdly, the Forest Department was informed and personnel from that government entity were brought in to do an assessment of the situation and offer advice on the next course of action.

Not one, but two forestry officers, after inspecting the tree, determined that the core of the Guanacaste tree, which had stood at that location for decades, was rotten to the core.

This, according to the forestry officers, posed a threat to the surrounding neighborhood due to the rotten state of the core, which could cause the tree to topple over at any time and injuries could be caused to people living in the area.

tree1As a responsible leader of his community, and wanting only the best for his people, the Chairman of Bullet Tree Falls village Tai Wu and his council, made the decision to remove the tree.

They acted in full compliance with regulations and in compliance with the advice given by the Forestry Department.

I am confident that if there was any way that this Guanacaste tree could have been saved, those steps would have been taken.

I am similarly convinced that had the advice of the forestry department personnel been ignored just to keep the tree standing and it had fallen and hurt someone or worse, that the outcry from the very same people who are bemoaning the loss of the tree would have been quite the opposite.

It is a catch-22, but since the discourse has already started, how about we consider both sides of the story in the discussion?

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