CALI COUPLE FINED $600,000 FOR KILLING TREES, ESPECIALLY 180-YEAR-OLD OAK
I like trees. But who doesn’t? Trees can make all the difference in a city, town, even your front or back yard. Sometimes you can just cut down a tree, or even a large number of trees. But in some places, trees are a very protected commodity. And if it’s an old tree, that goes double, even triple. But this was a very hard and costly lesson for one Cali couple to learn. Toni and Peter Thompson wanted to build a new house on a plot of land in Sonoma, California. But just because they owned the land, it didn’t mean they could just do whatever they wanted. So that’s right, they uprooted a bunch of trees and cut down some others. But one of them was a 180-year-old oak tree, costing them $600,000!
THEY WANTED TO TRANSPLANT THE TREES, BUT THEY DESTROYED THE LANDSCAPE AND KILLED THE TREES
So sure, they weren’t total tools in terms of their motives. They wanted to relocate these trees next to their new house. But the problem? Sometimes trees don’t like you to move them. So sometimes you screw it up, damage them, and they die. So as you can guess, that’s what happened here. Plus, they also damaged all the surrounding area around the uprooted trees. But all that land and all those trees were under the state of California’s protection. So if you want to get fined a crazy amount, like $600,000 do what the Thompsons did.
THEY EVEN CARVED A DIRT ROAD, DESTROYING EVEN MORE OF THE LANDSCAPE
So the local trust’s stewardship director, Bob Neale, told local media about the Thompson’s shocking and disgusting behavior. He said, “It was really the most willful, egregious violation of a conservation easement I’ve ever seen.” The surrounding area where the trees were used to be a blanket of perfect, native plants. But now, it’s all mounds of loose dirt. They even scraped some of it down to the bedrock. They also carved a dirt road for a third of a mile through the landscape, destroying even more. So when the Thompsons offered at least a dozen different bullshit excuses, the court was none too happy. They just weren’t honest in any way in court.
So when you go to build your dream home, be sure to follow the basic laws of the land. Disgraceful. You may own the land. But the state of Cali will protect it, even from you. Well, and this stupid couple.