LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Dune destruction

Apr 3, 2012


On Aug. 31, 2010, trees were illegally cut down in Gov. Lot 1. For those of you who may not be familiar with this location, it is the area north of Emmet Court and east of some property lines on South Harbor Drive. This is city-owned park land and is also dune land. The value of the trees that were leveled and damaged were estimated at $10,000-plus. That does not include the price that we taxpayers paid to obtain the dollar value of the damage.

The person responsible for this atrocity got away with simply paying the city $1,000, which was paid off by monthly payments of $100.

I am appalled by the way this was handled by the city of Grand Haven. How someone who was responsible for the $10,000-plus destruction that took place on city park land — dune land, especially — got away with simply paying $1,000 is outrageous.

This was never brought to the attention of our city attorney, per my conversation with Sam Janson, assistant to the city manager. This crime (felony offense?) should have been handled by the Ottawa County Prosecutor's Office.

This information is on file at City Hall at the city manager's office.

— Cynthia Fricano, Grand Haven


R Cameron

I have lived on S Harbor Dr. for over 45 years, and have never seen the destruction that the deer are doing to the native plants and trees. It is not the fault of the deer they are very over populated and starving. We are going to have to either start feeding them or thin them out. We were up on the hill a couple of weeks ago, and you can not imagine how bare the dune is becoming. The underbrush is just about all gone, and the trees are chewed five to six feet up. We saw over 14 deer in one herd in that little area between the hills. I hate to see animals suffer like that, there is just not enough room for all of them. Without the ferns and other under brush the dunes will revert back to moving dunes as the wind and rain will move them, half of the trees have the roots exposed already. We better do some thing soon, because when they are gone they are gone.


You clearly missed the entire point of this LTE! Although deer were briefly mentioned the whole point was what a human got away with! Don’t you care about the human aspect of Dune destruction? Duh! And oh don’t worry about starving deer they are a healthy lot, they will move on to other food sources out of the area as needed.... as nature intended.


Have to agree with "Taylor" R Cameron, you completely missed the point of the LTE. It appears you took to many meds. and Cynthia Fricano didn't take enough. Cynthia, what nonsense you spew when you claim people cause more destruction to the dunes than wildlife. People don't destroy the dunes! Mother nature cause more temporary damage than anyone else. Illegal tree cutting?? Trees leveled and damaged?? What are you talking about! The City of GH agreed to pay for the removal of some trees on City property which they have a right to do. Its called running the City....and if you haven't notice in the last 30 years, quite well I might add. The most renewable resource on planet earth is trees and we humans do a pretty good job at forest management. Go drive through the Mainistee, Huron, and Hiawatha National Forest and see what a fantastic job "people" have done to keep these forest healthy and vibrant by using man-made techniques for good forest management called "clear cutting" "logging" "dead wood clearing"(cutting down trees). In addition, we humans can barely use the dunes except, for walking and how much damage can that do? Learn how to love your fellow man and forget how to hate.


dyankee - I am aware of the trees the letter's author is referring to. This was not city mandated clear cutting - in fact unless the city mandates breaking the law - it was nothing close. These were trees the homeowner on 5 Mile Hill had cut down to better his view of Lake MI. Increasing his property values at the same time. I would suggest going down to City Hall and reading the report - and then you may feel like someone down there needs drugs as well.
R Cameron - the deer are healthy. The herd(s) you saw gather during the winter and early spring. This is called yarding. The 14 are actually 3 families. There have been the same number of deer there for many years.


I was walking near Mulligan's Hollow two days ago, a group of children were rolling down the sand dune that leads to Five Mile Hill, they were draggin so much sand down that their clothes and shoes had to be full of sand. No it's not the wildlife causing the destruction, it's people and the deer especially get the blame. I think the deer are your dear children and other people who do not know better. Wish the city would post signs on these dunes, but then someone would have to monitor them or it wouldn't do any good. I think Ms Fricano is right about the trees and sounds like she is trying to bring attention to something that was not done correctly. Good for you Ms. Fricano.


If we are so concern about the dunes being destroyed why do we shoot fireworks off the Dewy hill every year... Or why does the City of Grand Haven or the State Park get away without a DEQ permit pushing sand around off the streets and dumping it back into Lake Michigan...These permits take months and sometimes years to get... but I forgot home owners only need to get these permits or pay a hefty fine... I would like to see a copy of the permits needed... I would think this is chemical based sand mound and is not good for the ecco system or the fish in Lake Michigan...


@Lakota05, If the home owners cut these trees down because they were now blocking their view then, more power to them. When these home owners paid high dollars for these homes it was never agreed upon that they would lose their view. Furthermore, the heavy property taxes that these home owners are paying to the City of GH certainly did not go down because their view is now blocked. These home owners did pay restitution to the City however, it's simply not enough in the eyes of C. Fricano. Suggestions of these evil home owners increasing the value of their homes by murdering these trees, as well creates a slanderist tone against these home owners that is distasteful. What is wrong with increasing your home's value? @Springtime, your suggestion of children destroy the dune on the back side of 5 Mile Hill because the sand was filling their shoes as they playfully rolled down the hill is idiotic. This is exactly what kids of today should be doing instead of sitting in front of a TV playing video games like mindless zombies. Newspaperlawyer said it best....every year front end loaders push millions of yards of sand around the beach area yet, you want to drive signs in the ground ordering kids to stay of this hil because you are destroying the sand dunes, when in fact, it would only be the playful spirit of children you would hurt. Nice job Ebenezer.


dyankee - I am sure the homeowner on 5 mile hill will be thrilled to know you think he is over 100 years old - which the trees were. They were there before him and I would be willing to bet would have been there after. You seem to be dodging the issue the damage taking a tree like that down off a dune does - for all concerned - the dune, the wildlife and the humans.

Leave YOUR TV once in a while and head anywhere outside of GH and you will see signage protecting areas like the dunes.


Boy dyankee, you really missed the point all together, the deer are being blamed for the dune damage and it is the people tearing them down and blaming the deer. Some people think they can should be able to cut down trees that do not belong to them and get away with it and in the case stated to begin with, that is exactly what happened. Maybe you wouldn't care if someone came onto your property and cut down trees so they could have a better view but I kind of doubt it. Sorry you found my message idiotic, guess what I think of yours!!!!


Lakota05 & Springtime, age of the trees or if they were there first is irrelevant to this discussion. Over the years the trees grew to the point of blocking the view of home owner(s) hence, the reason for the removal. The problem with your Sierra club mindset, is that you think trees, flowers, sand dunes, beach grass, and wild flowers(or deer for that matter) have equal or higher importance than human life. They don't. So, it is nearly impossible to have a rational conversation with someone that believes trees can be murdered or the dunes are now recked because a few trees were taken out. The dunes will be just fine without these trees....NO damage will occur because these trees we removed. Plant life, undergrowth, and new trees will take their place and will now actually bennifit because the dominant trees are removed. Its called renewal. I'm supportive of the City to charge/fine the home owner(s) for cutting down trees on City property without permission, but I'm annoyed by Cynthia Fricano wanting to fine these home owners into bankruptcy or throw them in jail because they were trying to pursue their happiness. As a contrast to the little importance of this LTE and Cynthia's outrage, this country allows over 1.5 million unborn children to be destroyed each year and I cannot find one sign on Federal, State, City, or Sand Dune property to stop this innocent slaughter of human life, but you cut down one tree, harvest one deer, or fill your shoes up with dune sand and all hell breaks loose from people just like Cynthia Fricano and alike. Breathtaking, actually.


your omniscience is truly inspiring. does god call you for advice? i'm betting yes.


Did the research, don’t waste your time people, doesn’t even live in GH


@Taylor, what difference does it make if the author of this LTE lives in GH or not? She still is entitled to her own opinion. I thought liberal thinkers were supposed to be oh so tolerant of others, inclusive, diverse, and compassionate. It's ok to disagree with someone's opinen and still be friends, you should try it sometime....see, you're doing it again because you thought I spelled opinion wrong.


OMG! I was talking about you dumbyankee not Ms.Fricano. GO argue somewhere else like where you live, leave GH alone.


@Taylor, I'm aware of whom you were talking about, but I wanted to showcase just how tolerant, people like you are when faced with the truth and illustrate your vile hatered for someone you disagree with. In addition, to your admition of your "research". Be careful out there.


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