No Charges in Tree Removal Investigation

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A grand jury in Leon County has declined to charge anyone in an investigation of the removal of thousands of trees along Interstate 10 in northwest Florida.

The investigation began after more than 2,000 trees were cut down on state-owned land in 2009 by Bill Salter Outdoor Advertising.

A conservation group had claimed Republican state Sen. Greg Evers of Baker improperly used his influence with transportation department officials to allow the Salter company to remove the trees without meeting regulatory requirements.

The Salter company did not return a telephone call seeking comment.


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  • by JC on Jan 17, 2012 at 10:07 AM
    Of course no one will be charged, THEY are a big fat "bigwig". Had it been little John "Q" public, then they would have thrown the book at them. Where is the justice here???????????
  • by Frank on Jan 17, 2012 at 08:01 AM
    Unless charges are filed against abortionists, no charges should be ever filed in a case like this.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 17, 2012 at 07:40 AM
    Robin..... another liberal destroyed by facts and logic
  • by cut and replant Location: fl on Jan 16, 2012 at 12:36 PM
    i know it is ok to cut timber but i am thinking the money went into the wrong pockets.
  • by Robin Goodfellow on Jan 16, 2012 at 11:04 AM
    To anonymous@5:26 - WRONG - I said trees SEQUESTER carbon, NOT just carbon dioxide. Cutting down "old trees" releases that carbon - much of it in the form of CO2 and methane. Oh, and grass does NOT tie up as much CO2 as ANY tree will. You must get your "facts" from Fox "News". And just what makes you state that I'm a liberal??? Should I guess that you're one of those phony "conservatives" that loves the neo-republicans, masters of corporate welfare, defilers of the environment - all for the sake of the all mighty dollar? All you climate hoax types - better go out and get your tin foil hats ready too - they're all coming to get YOU!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 16, 2012 at 11:42 AM in reply to Robin Goodfellow
      Then I was right Robin......if a tree dies and releases carbon or if a tree is cut down and releases carbon, then cutting down trees does not hurt the environment because all trees die. (thanks for proving my point). You showed your liberal spots when you stated "This leads to our current state of undeniable "global warming" - and is most likely being caused by human activities, such as burning fossil fuels and cutting down trees without replacement." Liberals believe a theory without looking at all the repudiating evidence. Anyone who bashes FOX News is also showing their liberal spots. If the shoe fits wear it. Yes grass does tie up as much carbon so you must get your paranoid filled delusional from MSNBC.
      • reply
        by tom on Jan 16, 2012 at 11:54 AM in reply to
        You two got me thinking so I googled it and found that the reason the soil is so dark in the grasslands is because of all the carbon the grass permanently put under ground. Many scientists are now coming to the conclusion that trees can bind carbon for a while and then just release it back into the atmosphere during the Fall leave drop or when the tree is cut or dies. Grass on the other hand release some of the carbon back into the atmosphere, but much of it stays permanently underground. Grass appears to be a better permanent solution and trees provide a great temporary solution.
      • reply
        by Robin Goodfellow on Jan 17, 2012 at 07:20 AM in reply to
        Not really, anon - both grass and trees sequester carbon and - get this - grass dies, too! Carbon tied up in trees is more accurately measured than that in soils (it's much more variable; read some more on this, Tom) - and nothing stays "permanently" underground. I'll give you one thing - if one cuts down trees and then uses them as lumber to build a long-lasting structure - and then plants new trees in their place, it's a win-win for carbon sequestration. But to cut down trees and then burn them - that's a no-no. What was the fate of the trees that started this thread? As for your statements about my "liberal spots", I can categorically state that I am a TRUE conservative, not one of the phony modern ones mostly represented by the "new" Republican party "conservatives" - like those staunch conservatives Reagan and GW Bush. Fox "News" makes their money broadcasting lies that idiots want to hear because it "supports" the lies by which they lead their lives (e.g., the recent pure BS about Obama's "Wonderland" party at the White House. Why not ask the military vets whose children attended that party - that was thrown for them). I don't watch MSNBC except for Dylan Ratigan. NOTE - many "environmentalists" are true conservatives - and capitalists. Derisive labeling of these people as "liberals" is just another trick of the greed-mongers who want everything cheaply and don't want to pay the real costs.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jan 19, 2012 at 06:55 PM in reply to Robin Goodfellow
          Robin robin robin....long winded trying to confuse the facts....you were wrong....cutting trees does not hurt the environment and grass binds carbon also and grass keeps much of the carbon underground forever. hahahahaha
  • by Bolillo Location: Wakulla on Jan 16, 2012 at 06:31 AM
    2,000 trees. Now we're down to 5,890,657,432 trees for the deer to hide in as we drive by.
  • by Winning on Jan 16, 2012 at 06:16 AM
    So these tree huggers are upset that someone may have made a living off these trees while their brothers in the Division of Forestry kill tens of thousands with controlled burns. Idiots. Here's an idea, create some jobs, allow people tax payers who own the forest two weeks prior to the scorched earth to dig up small Oak trees to plan in their yard. Oh my the Treemanity!
    • reply
      by M on Jan 17, 2012 at 04:06 AM in reply to Winning
      You're the idiot if you don't understand the purpose of a controlled burn.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jan 17, 2012 at 08:57 PM in reply to M
        And he does not.
  • by wonder where the money goes? Location: fl on Jan 15, 2012 at 05:34 PM
    they have also cut that many or more on i75 in florida in 2011. someone is getting paid. maby we should investigate.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 15, 2012 at 07:03 AM
    about like cutting down corn........ grow some more
  • by Anonymous on Jan 15, 2012 at 06:49 AM
    The article doesn't give much information. Did the trees have any monetary value or were they scrub trees with little if any value, monetarily or otherwise? I have several old pines, 2 to 3 feet in diameter, in my front yard that are probably worth quite a bit of money, on the other hand I have several hundred trees, 1 to 3 inchs in diameter, in my back yard that are worthless. Just a guess, but I'd think the grand jury asked the same question, thus coming to the conclusion that they did.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 15, 2012 at 07:47 AM in reply to
      Just a guess -- trees big enough to block signs have value, assuming they are pine. Sample specs on tree length pulp -- 25 ' long, 3" at the little end. Most of the pine I see on I-10 is merchantable, much of it chip-n-saw, even some better than that. Very nice payday for somebody, assuming stumpage was not paid. Calculate loss to the state, again _assuming_ stumpage was NOT paid, as $11/ton, minimum. My guess would be that stumpage was paid, but as you say, that is not clear.
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