Monday, April 5, 2010

Letters - April 5

Monday, April 5, 2010 - Commercial Appeal

Old Forest needs protection

I can only echo the tone and content of your April 2 letters regarding the Memphis Zoo's encroachment into the unique Old Forest area. My son (a Memphian), my 4-year-old grandson and I visited the zoo on March 29. I'd heard and read about it, but was somewhat aghast at how big an area of the Old Forest the zoo corraled with the new Teton Trek and Northwest Passage venues.

For those of us who realize how unique the Old Forest is, to witness its actual conversion was hurtful. While I am not a sign-toting tree hugger, and have harvested trees on my own forestland, I believe time will tell the truth. The truth to me is that the Old Forest is unique, and worth more as a natural resource than the zoo expansion.

I will not be surprised to find that within five years many of the remaining trees within the new development zone will die or become stressed to the point they must be removed. Trees are sometimes gigantic living things, but fragile. Disturb their feet where they have nursed the earth for 150-plus years, and they will die.

The zoo expansion will receive praise despite the forest's losses, but this has set a dangerous precedent aimed against the remaining Overton Forest. Therefore, I will be promoting and supporting the legislation to protect the Old Forest. The zoo can encroach on the golf course.

David Smith
Somerville, Tenn.