Naked City

Where's Julia Butterfly?

Naked City
Photo By Shannon Young

Austin's modern history of crimes against trees wends its way through the Treaty Oak arborcide of the late Eighties back to the mass murder of the late Sixties, when UT Regent Chair Frank Erwin routed a group of students out of a grove of oaks and cypresses he wanted bulldozed to make room for the expansion of Memorial Stadium. Erwin won and the trees lost in 1969. They lost again Saturday in East Woods Park, according to Austin writer Robyn Montana Turner.

It wasn't the late and beloved Erwin, but Austin Parks and Recreation, which on Sept. 31 cut down a 150-year-old tree. By Tuesday, the East Woods Neighborhood Association had four PARD officials meeting over the stump, explaining why the tree was taken out with no prior notice to the neighborhood association. Turner, who lives near the park, complained that the decision to fell the tree was made by Parks & Rec. engineer Channy Soeur, rather than an arborist. A private arborist Turner had called out to look at the tree earlier informed her it was healthy, probably in need of water, and not likely to fall. And that it was 150 years old.

At the Tuesday evening meeting in the park, members of the neighborhood association's executive board asked PARD to consult them before they cut down any more trees, to allow an arborist to provide a second opinion, and to maintain some line of communication with a representative of the neighborhood association. "They told us no," Turner said. "They even threatened the arborist I used, and said he could be held liable for giving me an opinion ... All we want is some notice. This neighborhood was known as Austin's Deep Woods. These are trees that J. Frank Dobie played in." The park is adjacent to the Dobie House north of the UT Law School.

Got something to say on the subject? Send a letter to the editor.

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    S.O.S vows to fight Stratus deal on Edwards Aquifer land, TARAL supports pro-choice candidates and raises money.

    Naked City

    In the contest for 390th District Judge, both Karrie Key and Julie Kocurek have big-name support.

    Naked City

    Williamson County and Travis County's bond proposals deal almost exclusively with building more lanes for car traffic.
  • Naked City

    Gary Bradley fires back in the ongoing battle over who will control ranchland claimed by Hatsy Heep Shaffer, but it will be a while, if ever, before the Circle C developer can implement his development plans for the land.

    Naked City

    Three bonds proposals up on the city ballot Nov. 7 may strike a sense of deja vu in longtime Austinites.

    Naked City

    After months of litigation over who owns what portion of the Sand Beach Reserve on Town Lake, Lumbermen's Development Corp. has offered the city a deal. Also: the council discusses a settlement with Stratus properties over development on their land over the aquifer, and the city amends the camping ordinance.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Louis Dubose
Leave No Child Behind
Leave No Child Behind
Education policy in George Bush's America

Oct. 3, 2003

Dan Morales v. Harry Potter
Dan Morales v. Harry Potter
Candidate's '202' filing carries a bitter tobacco aftertaste

March 8, 2002

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle