Thank you, Rebecca Snowdale, for your recent letter to Eugene Weekly (1/18) concerning the removal of the female ginkgo biloba tree on the University of Oregon campus.
Unfortunately, the current university administration appears to have lost any understanding of the value of trees on campus, choosing instead to adopt the worldview of former President Ronald Reagan when it comes to trees as living, breathing entities with invaluable contributions to life on our planet.
In early August 2017, the university removed 22 beautiful trees near the Johnson Hall Administration Building in order to make room for the construction of Tykeson Hall. One spokesperson, Martina Oxoby, stated that “[w]hile the campus realizes the ‘great loss’ of these trees, we take comfort that none of the trees to be removed are ‘one-of-a-kind trees.’ There are other trees of the same species on campus and none of the trees to be removed have ‘outstanding historical value.’”
This statement reminds me of what Reagan said when visiting a grove of redwood trees: “If you’ve seen one redwood tree, you’ve seen them all. You know, a tree is a tree; how many more do you need to look at?”
For an institution that is purporting to be a ‘research-oriented’ university, someone needs to take to heart the massive amounts of research already published about the invaluable contributions that trees provide to the health of our planet and the creatures that reside here.
Coyote Connelly, Eugene