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SLNT Defends Tree Cutting Exercise, Cites ‘Expert Advice’

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Following the notification sent out on March 10, 2023, informing the General Public and tour operators that a number of conservation works were to be undertaken at the Pigeon Island National Landmark which necessitated cutting and pruning of a number of trees, the Saint Lucia National Trust wishes to further advise that tree-cutting on our sites is guided by expert advice and is a necessity for specific conservation purposes, including turtle conservation, preservation of historic structures and visitor safety.

As part of the slope stablisation component of the Ecosystem Based Approach (EbA) project, funded by the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF), in 2021 and 2022, the Trust, in conjunction with the Forestry Department, undertook assessments of the trees within the Landmark.

Several of the trees were identified as dead, diseased, dangerously weak or dangerously positioned and a hazard to patrons and therefore, the recommendation was that these trees be removed and replaced with other shrubs or trees that better suit the Landmark.

As well, the Forestry Department, recommended that many of the trees within the Landmark needed to be pruned, as a matter of urgency to ensure the safety of patrons and to improve the overall health of the trees.

The assessment also identified several trees in close proximity to, or growing on, the historic structures: These have a highly damaging effect on the already precarious historic structures and as such, these trees must also be removed for the safety of patrons and the conservation of our unique built heritage.

The Casuarina, or Australian pine, is a non-native species of tree introduced to Saint Lucia and Pigeon Island in the 1970’s.

The roots of the Casuarina pine are known to create dense mats which prevent marine turtles from nesting.

Trust staff have observed that this is indeed the case at the Landmark, with a considerable number of unsuccessful nesting attempts -primarily by endangered green and critically endangered hawksbill turtles- discovered on-site.

The Casuarina is also known to create sterile, acidic soils, that inhibits growth of other
plants which effects the incubation environment and ultimately, hatchling sex ratios and hatchling success, particularly of the hawksbill turtle.

Therefore, as a conservation measure in keeping with recommendations from the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), several Casuarina pine trees were removed from Beach No. 3.

Further, in order to create a wider beach for turtle nesting and reduce death and
injury of turtle hatchlings by vehicles, the coastal access road at the Landmark will be relocated further inland.

As part of the EbA project, the Trust has procured two thousand trees from the Forestry Department which will replace dead and diseased trees and non-native species.

These shall include species such as Fat Poke, which is known to hold soil as well as reduce fire-hazard -a known risk at the Landmark- with the overall aim of creating a safer and healthier natural space.

We welcome enquiries to info@slunatrust.org or to 452 5005 should anyone wish to clarify details on this or other activities they notice and have concerns about on Trust properties.

SOURCE: Saint Lucia National Trust

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14 COMMENTS

  1. For real, I have personally witnessed pigeon island female entrance staff kicking a turtle off the beach right there forcing the turtle back. Into the sea right behind entrance payment booth!!! This is such BS, those trees were fine it’s a Blazin’ shame for this destruction of such magnificent trees with significant soil holding properties non the less- when that entire road to PI is man made and tress roots are its glue to hold it together! I don’t believe this was for turtle conservation at all in the least bit! A lot of money suddenly being spent at PI with security and guard house ect. Woiiiiiiii a phockin shame all these trees were takin out, this is doin worse for St. Lucia …Care for Counrty: Plant more trees other than phockin fat poke smph woi….smh

  2. What am I reading there? whose advice? what is their qualification? what is their interest and agenda? who are the dunce at st lucia national trust? if the trees are diseased as you all say; they die on their own. These people are insane! suited to the area? how the fork the people advising know that the trees are not suited to the area? they are growing aren’t they? so that is enough to tell me they are suited! what is wrong with st lucia national NO TRUST???

  3. These Australian pine trees were also growing in the prison. In fact they had already destroyed the colonial building that the Trust forced our nitwit pm to apologize for its demolition. Over to you uninformed red-eyed Crow and Anonymous.

  4. We need an “extinction rebellion ” on the St lucia National Trust! In fact, I will give their name to this overseas environmental group, let them come down to st lucia for protest!!! planting fat poke! in place of trees!!! so to the person who saw the staff at Pigeon island kick the turtle, why didn’t you say something and report her?

  5. I did she said sand was too hard there for turtles nesting… to dig….. yh notin’ too do wit killing 22 huge magnificent trees….

  6. I wonder what the SLNT would have said if it was Chastanet cutting them trees for Jazz. Just imagine. The Trust is destroying St Lucia.

  7. I thought a national trust was supposed to be trusted with preservation and not destruction. Looks like the St Lucia national Distrust if you ask me. What a disgrace! The board should resign like they do in a proper running country! This St Lucia national Distrust is all about mistrust!

  8. AMAZING!!

    The SLNT (the arm of an international organisation) is being “vilified” from political handouts. Every country has, and MUST HAVE, a National Trust, an Attorney General, an Ombudsman, a Chamber of Commerce, Research Centers, Tourism Authorities, etc. They are not just some arbitrary arm established to commit mayhem. We need to be a civilised society.

    What is the purpose of a National Trust?
    To protect and care for places so people and nature can thrive. Many millions share the belief that nature, beauty and history are for everyone. A National Trust looks after the nation’s coastline, historic sites, countryside and green spaces, ensuring everyone benefits.

    To the posters: say what you know, and know what you say … educate yourselves on what is expected of your country, so you can CALL OUT the irresponsible, and CALL OUT politicians for their stupidity regarding the patronage of YOUR country.

  9. Further … a comprehensive reason was given for cutting the trees at PINL. Any agriculturalist, or botanist would agree. Even in my neighbourhood – a gorgeous Samaan had to be cut down because its roots were already causing havoc with residential buildings.

    Just because the SLNT is involved – they are finger pointed for wrong doing!! Amazing how petty politics can destroy the trust (no pun intended) of an entity!!

  10. This LAB rat in the comment section should shut up! All over people in whatever organisations take advantage of their positions of power and trust. This is where corruption rules. You give stupid example of some tree. So What? The tree does what it is supposed too! Grow roots! I hope when big hurricane winds and flooding hit you all in the residential area u all don’t complain to your similarly corrupt government. Your national trust is a disgrace that should be disbanded for their questionable actions on whose behalf we do not know! The trees have been there last 50 years all of a sudden it’s a problem! Does the stupid fatpoke shrubs provide shelter for others from the Sun? You are just like the St Lucia national Mistrust. Tainted to the core!

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