As we begin to enjoy the beauty of spring and watch nature unfold its colors around us, the residents of Bellvue still can’t ignore the blight that was recently created at the gateway to our area.
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For as many years as I can remember, the stately cottonwood and catalpa trees next to the road near Watson Lake welcomed us and our visitors as we made our way into Bellvue. Recently the Larimer County Road and Bridge Department made a decision to cut the five large trees down, leaving an open sore in their place.
While I understand the trees were in the county’s right of way and they had legal right to make the decision, it also appears some of the information on which the decision was based was faulty. County representatives insist the trees were dead and they were concerned there was a danger of them falling on the road. However, not only did the trees all have leaves last summer, I had a conversation with the tree removal company and was told that only two of the trees were threatened.
The damage is done and our gorgeous trees are gone. But there is an issue that runs deeper than the roots of these trees and that is the lack of communication between the residents and the county government that is designed to respond to citizens. It would have been very helpful to have a community discussion before the decision was made. That would not only have prepared us for what was to come, it may have helped generate some alternative ideas. For the future, I would implore the county to make an effort to involve citizens in changes that will impact them for a long time to come. We miss our trees.