Cut trees anger property owners

1297813168809_ORIGINALAndy Koopal frowned as he looked down at the freshly cut metre-wide tree trunk, recalling the majestic oak that it once supported.

“That tree was over 150 years old,” he said. “It was a perfect healthy tree. There was no need for it.”

He said the tree – likely a sapling when Canada became a country – was one of eight old growth oaks that border his 10 hectares of farmland on Concession 6 in Wellandport, near Side Road 42.

When the Fort Erie resident drove into Wainfleet recently, he said he was shocked to see that all of the trees were cut down and removed.

“I came by here Saturday. Then I saw the damage they did,” he said.

Along with Koopal’s trees, likely hundreds more were cut throughout rural west Niagara to make room for transmission lines feeding into new industrial wind turbines being built near by Niagara Region Wind Farm, said Wainfleet’s engineering manager Richard Nan.

The company is building a 230 Megawatt industrial wind farm, with wind turbines located in Wainfleet, West Lincoln and Lincoln.

Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs said Koopal is one of several residents who have contacted the town concerned about the tree cutting.

Jeffs said the loss of trees “has really changed the landscape out that way.”

“People out there have been calling us and saying they don’t like it and they’re concerned especially with the removal of the trees,” she said. “I know we had some residents call a few weeks back because they’d taken down a whole whack of trees. It’s been ongoing.”

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