Their Stated Objectives can be acheived without cutting down a single poplar.  Why are they still proceeding?

The reasons offered by these 3 public agencies that the poplars will be cut are easily debunked. ​ First they said that they couldn't underground the powerlines because it would kill the trees, and that the boatyard couldn't expand without cutting these iconic trees down. Now, they say that the powerlines can be undergrounded without killing the trees..and the boatyard can easily expand without cutting down the trees (see UPDATES page)  Their original stated objectives can all be met without using a chainsaw.  So why are they still proceeding to cut down the trees? 

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The poplars are NOT an even-aged stand.

The poplars have been neglected.

These trees are trimmed...probably by Safeway.

 

And More Deception

We Value Honesty & Community Involvement.  Does the Port, PUD and City?

They say the PUD can't trench anywhere near the poplars...cuz it would kill them...

These vaults are mere feet from healthy poplars by Safeway Gas station

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They say a ditch to bury the existing powerlines would kill the trees...

Here's a relatively "new" ditch, over 2' deep, 11' from the healthy poplars...

 
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Two very large electrical vaults, 4, 7 & 8 feet from the base of a tree, and a water line with hydrant...

...and sidewalk on the other side!  Ditches and disturbances abound.

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What is the real reason?

Although these agencies say the catalyst for this project was an incident in late June when limbs touched the powerline, this email was discovered under FOIA which reveals that this project had started approximately in April of 2020:


This is from an August 2, 2021 email, regarding a rendering the PUD commissioned to show the removal of the trees, expansion of the boatyard, and addition of sidewalk:


Hi (name removed)

…Background:

The Port of PT came to the PUD about 16 months ago to discuss the idea of removing the poplar trees along Sims Way on Port property. The Port and the PUD feel it is in the best interest of each entity to remove the poplar trees along Sims Way on Port property. The last Port meeting there was a 3-0 vote approving the removal of the poplar trees, now we are getting ready to communicate to the public what we intend to do. PUD would like Studio STL to put together a rendering of what driving down Sims Way may look like without the poplar trees in place….

The PUD says this was the Port's idea; the Port says this was the PUD's idea...we don't know who started what.

 
Image by Laghav Mohan

And More... Deception

They say that there is no wildlife in the poplars, and that they can replant with trees that provide "greater durability, longer life, less water uptake, greater CO2 sequestration, less lateral root intrusion, and better habitat for the wildlife”...

The City could not provide us with a list of these other trees.


This from ChelseaGreen.com:  

Poplars are some of the fastest-growing trees in the world. They can tolerate the worst conditions and are heavily favored by wildlife. In places where land has been degraded or is falling apart, the poplars can rebuild. They produce tremendous amounts of biomass, feed unbelievable numbers of insects, birds, and mammals, and suck tons of carbon out of the sky like gigantic outstretched vacuums.

 

They say the poplars are an imminent danger of falling or hitting the power line.  

January 3-6, Hwy 101 was closed due to native trees falling and hitting power lines, an event described as "catastrophic."  Both Mason and JeffCo PUD severely impacted.

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Hwy 101 Closed

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Hwy 101 Closed

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Sims Way?  Open.

Our road and power company workers are appreciated.

No one likes to see this happen.

All trees can fall or drop a limb.  But the poplars do not appear to be as dangerous as they have said.

 

They say Birds and wildlife don't use the poplars

We're not kidding.

At a moment in October 2021 over 50 American Bushtits flashed through the poplars

The poplars are an established ecosystem these agencies want to remove in an instant.  Gone.  Small birds need cover from predators as well as food.  The poplars provide this for them.

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Woodpecker Nest

This woodpecker must not have known that this poplar is not a native tree...or that City staff said birds don't like poplars cuz of their upright habit...(Nov 9 Zoom Meeting).  There are at LEAST 3 Woodpecker nests in the south side trees alone.

 

...and even MORE deception

Help Set the Record Straight

They propose to cut poplars on both sides...then put out a concept showing poplars remaining on Kah Tai side!

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They say the poplars must go cuz they aren't native...then their concept plan shows a non-native tree...

All the street trees in city's 1997 street tree list are NON-NATIVE, and most are non-native in a list they provided with City of Seattle's name at the top...
Water Street trees?  ALL non-native!

The Parks Board says the poplars must go cuz they aren't native, then recommends 3 replacement trees--all non-native: Monterey Cypress, California Ash, and Live Oak!!!

They say they want all natives in Kah Tai then plant the non-native Monterey Cypress.  

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The City uploaded this photo to its webpage, showing a 95" DIAMETER poplar that fell by San Juan in Nov., claiming that this could happen to the trees along Sims Way. The avg diameter of Sims Way poplars is 18"!!

Compare the tree above to a Sims Way tree.  All poplars in both locations are neglected.  Proper tree care would likely preclude events like this from happening.

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Maybe the City should follow its own policy:  "The City manages the Urban Forest in the right of way with the goals of tree preservation and forest health. Care and pruning under supervision of a certified arborist can help save trees that would otherwise be removed."