Tree Butchering

God did not prepare me for what I saw as I walked to my once beautiful country road in Ho’olehua this morning. All the Koa trees cut down, strewn across the road like dead soldiers lined up in a trench. 

I had agreed, against my will, to let them trim the roads because they felt in case of emergency, some of the overhanging branches might be low. But what constitutes what they considered trimming? Butchering is a better word for what the county did. I am in shock and will be in shock till I die having to drive on my road, every day, 365 days a year and remember what the county left me. 

My sweet country road feeling – gone. 

Well, a project supervisor said he had permission from the landowners to cut the trees. I called one of the landowners and she said she didn’t agree to butchering. 

So, the supervisor came back and said you can call the police if you want, but we are going to keep cutting. I immediately tried calling one of the landowners and blocked the road until we decided what should be done. 

The police came – who were no help – and the project supervisor came. They threatened me to move my truck or get arrested. Well stab me one more time, really. So, I said I am not moving, and I have witnesses and their word that no more trees are to be cut down today. 

Well, one of the landowners went to check on their work and came back and said, no more cutting of trees today. 

So, I moved my truck only after I had his word and witnesses. 

But none of that matters, it’s gone. I see them looking at me limbless, wasteful time spent on cutting trees for no good enough reason. Just because something is legal does not make it right. 

Scarlett Ritte


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