The National Park Service has a curious way of protecting history. The Service cut down four “witness trees” from the Gettysburg battlefield. The white oak trees were between 160 and 229 years old and were present at the battle. They were supposed to be protected, but the NPS appears to chop now and ask questions later on matters of history. The NPS policy appears to be to cut down and let God sort them out.
The service has been thinning the forest at the battlefield to allow smaller trees to grow. All three trees were within a couple of hundred yards of each other. The NPS and its defenders do not appear particularly concerned over the act of gross recklessness: “well, when you cut down hundreds of trees, you’re bound to make some mistakes and cut down some witness trees.” The problem is that Congress left it to the NPS to protect these historic areas. Clearly, that trust has been misplaced at Gettysburg. The supervisor of this site should be questioned by Congress on why the NPS does not take minimal steps to identify historic trees before whacking down hundreds of trees with abandon.
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