Cut birch trees angers Coastal Trail lovers

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Birch trees in front of ex-governor Bill Sheffield's home next to the Coastal Trail were cut to provide a better view of Mount Susitna across Knik Arm, resulting in hard feelings and at least one complaint to the police.

About two dozen trees were cut down in front of Sheffield's $731,000, six-bedroom home that sits just inland of the trail.

''I think it's real unfortunate,'' said Steve Hutchings, when the stumps were pointed out to him as he jogged along the trial Wednesday. He said the person responsible ought to be ashamed.

Sheffield said he couldn't understand what the fuss was about.

''I don't know why it's shameful; it just gives you a better view of the water,'' said Sheffield.

He said he asked the city for permission before the trees were cut. Jim Posey, who oversees city parks, said he determined it was OK for Sheffield to cut the trees after visiting the site, talking to his staff and looking at a map.

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