May 7, 2013 — Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's plan to remove a 150-year old oak tree along the Highway 26 bypass. Like you, I questioned the necessity of cutting down this historical tree, and I sent a letter to WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb asking him to consider other options before moving forward with the tree removal. My office had also been in contact with WisDOT staff to see if alternatives were available. However, with no advance notice and despite growing local concern, WisDOT removed the tree last Friday, May 3.
I am disappointed that WisDOT acted so quickly and ignored public concern. I plan to follow up with Sec. Gottlieb to learn why this decision was made so hastily.