Posted on November 29, 2011 at 11:15 PM
Tuesday, Nov 29 at 11:25 PM
HORSESHOE BAY -- Most of the cedar trees in the resort community of Horseshoe Bay about an hour west of Austin are now on the chopping block.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the Horseshoe Bay City Council voted unanimously to start working on a plan to remove most of the cedars within the city limits.
Councilman Jeff Robinson, who first brought the idea to the tabl, says the idea is to curb the growing wildfire danger in drought conditions. The other reason is to conserve water because Robinson says research shows that cedar trees use 33 gallons of water each day as opposed to oak trees which use about 19 gallons of water a day.
“This is a good first step. We just feel like it is money well spent by our city to ensure that we don't end up with a Spicewood or a Steiner Ranch wildfire,” said Robinson, moments after the vote.
Councilman Robinson amended his motion for cedar removal by taking out the word “all." Instead, he wants to leave mature cedar trees. Wildlife experts are expected to assist Horseshoe Bay in coming up with a definition on what “mature cedar trees” will mean.
Not everyone in Horseshoe Bay is thrilled about the cedar tree removal idea.
A couple of people stood up to address the council expressing their displeasure with the idea like Aline Dickey.
“It's beautiful the way it is. We moved to the Texas Hill Country and that's why we moved here because it was so pretty,” said Dickey.
The City of Horseshoe Bay will have to have approval from land owners before venturing on to private property to remove cedars.
The estimated cost for cedar tree removal in Horseshoe Bay is anywhere from $30-50,000 per year.