A little more digging and this isn’t as horribly bad as it seems. Actress/singer Bette Midler has been fined by the Board of Land and Natural Resources on the island of Kauai in Hawaii for felling 230 trees without a permit. The $6,500 bill also included fines for the construction of a graded road in a conservation area.
Midler has paid the fines but strongly denies any wrongdoing, saying the trees that were removed were non-native and invasive. From the article,
“‘The whole idea with cutting the trees down was with the idea of improving the lot with native species” instead of the nonnative, invasive species that had grown there,’ Midler’s attorney said. ‘It’s unfortunate that a mistake was made.’ The National Tropical Botanical Garden, which maintains three gardens on Kauai, will design a replanting plan that consists of appropriate native plants. A botanist hired by Midler after the fact said 120 Java plum trees, 100 octopus trees and 10 to 20 Madagascar olive trees that were cut down were all nonnative species. Some native trees also were removed from the property, the botanist said.”
So, this all seems pretty innocent. Plus, Bette has gone the extra mile in paying the fines and hiring a botanist to plant native species throughout. Seems like a win/win. Hit the jump for more.