Michigan School District May Sell Trees To Raise Cash

DeWITT (AP) – A mid-Michigan school district is considering offer up some big trees it owns near school offices to help plug a $43,000 budget hole.

The idea to fell the trees, including some that could be 200 years old, will be a topic at the DeWitt Public Schools budget hearing on Monday, the Lansing State Journal reported. The trees, which are among those located in a nature area, already are marked for removal by a forester.

Superintendent John Deiter said he saw cutting down some of the trees as a “conservation approach” that will “benefit the overall health of the area,” but noted the budget deficit played a role.

“Our budget definitely is a factor in our decision,” Deiter said. The district, he said, wants to make “wise use of natural resources to benefit the most people for the longest time.”

The idea hasn’t been well-received by some.

“These trees are absolutely unique in the state of Michigan,” retired teacher Larry Arbanas told the board earlier this week. “Please reconsider cutting them down for the price of a school bus.”

Phil Harner, also a retired teacher, said the area where the trees stand is integral to the district’s hands-on science classes and cautioned that cutting some trees may change the woods.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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