Sunday, July 13, 2014


Ravenna Park

Roger Scruton, Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously about the Planet (London: Atlantic Books, 2012), p. 94:
[S]tate bureaucracies become a danger to the environment as soon as they acquire the role of controlling rather than containing what is done. A nice illustration is provided by the story of Ravenna Park in Seattle. This was established in 1887 by Mr and Mrs William W. Beck, who bought several parcels of land on the outskirts of the city, in order to preserve and provide access to the giant fir trees growing there — some 400 feet high and 20 feet in diameter. They built a pavilion for concerts and nature lectures, and charged a 25¢ entrance fee to the park, which would be visited by around 10,000 people every day. In 1911 the city, in response to conservationist pressure, bought the park under a compulsory purchase order for $135,663. Almost at once the giant trees began disappearing, cut down and sold by park employees, sometimes with a bureaucratic rubber stamp that condemned a particular tree as a 'threat to public safety'. By 1925 none of the trees remained.
Hat tip: Eric Thomson.


<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?