Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bette Midler = Tree killer

Bette Midler has illegally cut down more than 230 trees close to her home on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

Midler may have to pay up to $6,500 in fines on the orders of the state's Board of Land and Natural Resources for having the trees felled.

She also stands accused of building a graded road without permits required for the land zoned for conservation use. Midler's attorney Max W. J. Graham says the star didn't realize permits were needed to remove the trees on the vacant land, but confirmed she will pay the fines and follow a replanting program.

Graham said, "The whole idea with cutting the trees down was with the idea of improving the lot with native species. It's unfortunate that a mistake was made."


fayewang said...

I have no respect for her anymore

Anonymous said...

Glad she got rid of non-native plants to plant Hawaii native plants instead. Go Bette!

balaigne said...

I am a fan no more. The trees belong there. They have been there a lot longer than Bette they are navtive in my opinion. She did not know she needed a permit?? where in this country can you go and clear the land without a permit??
She is an idiot and so is her lawyer. Sure she wanted to plant navtive. Just a good line to cover up. Why couldn't she just pay to move them????

Anonymous said...

It seems people don't much much about what is permitted and what isn't in the State of Hawaii, and I'm not talking about just Bette Midler here... In Hawaii anyone can cut down as many of the trees on land they own as they want without a permit, as long as it is zoned properly, which means pretty much anything other than zoned for conservation (which very little land in Hawaii is). Bette Midler's land was zoned conservation which meant the need for the special permit. So, she either didn't know that her land was zoned conservation (unlikely, but interestingly enough, not necessarily unheard of with the way land is sometimes divided in Hawaii) or she didn't realize she couldn't cut the trees without the permit, which is also unlikely. But looking at her record of "greeness" and general will to do good for the environment, I'd have to say her intentions were good and in fact the results, in the opinion of most people involved in the forestry industry in Hawaii, were even better. to get rid of the non-native invasive species and replace with native species is on the biggest projects being undertaken by private and public landowners alike.

I would also imagine that from a business standpoint of the cost to getting her project completed, I bet the fine was a lot cheaper to pay than to go through the efforts to get the permit. right or wrong... that's the reality of it. But I would like to say that anyone who wants to favor in for or against something like this should check their facts and know the law before they make abritrary comments. it is amusing that you cannot cut down a non-native tree on conservation land, but you could potentially plant many aggressive and invasive species as much as one wanted that would ultimately be a bigger threat to the environment than anything else. It's the laws that need to be changed... Hawaii doesn't have good forestry laws in place and the zoning is a whole 'nuther issue. that conservation zoning could have been placed long before those plum and olive trees were there. maybe the plum and olive trees forced out the native species which was why the zoning was originally put in place to begin with? I don't really know and I doubt many do without doing a lot of research. that's the whole point... a story about a star who claims to be green gets in trouble for cutting down trees- now that's news! did you know CUT all the rice stalks down after the harvest and then BURN them! Oh my goodness- that's should be outlawed. guess what, it grows back! just like trees! trees grow. they just take longer to do it! whether or not her intentions were good or not, a native forest in place of a non-native is generally a good thing and maybe she got busted and made up that story after the fact- so what- the end result is a better Hawaii than before she did what she did, except for the fact some of those trees may have been saved by moving them- but then again who knows... and who really knows if we are better off with or without them. maybe they were all sick and dying... maybe... again, facts people....