Is there forest under the blacktop?

Remember the old philosophical question, if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear, does it make a noise?

Well, here is my question to ponder:

The Sisters Trail Alliance is planning a 15-mile, 10-foot-wide blacktop “trail” to connect CrossRoads and Black Butte Ranch. Seems the U.S. Forest Service has federal grant money to employ people and do “projects.” But here’s the question: if a blacktop trail 15 miles long and 10 feet wide (approximately 30 acres covered with blacktop) is built, is there still a national forest under the blacktop?

Or little flowers, or little shrubs or little insects or little trees or little critter homes? Or maybe even the “quicksand” that we have observed in the spring runoff, caused by the blacktop dams on the trail?

What about the added heat created from the sun shining on the blacktop? When I was a child, we used to see who was brave enough to run barefoot over sun-heated blacktop.

Are there plans for repair and upkeep of a blacktop trail through the forest? We live about two city blocks from the Sisters Trail Alliance trail. Our blacktop driveway is five years old and cracking, as well as buckling from tree roots.

Be careful what you wish for!

Marian Lee


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