OPINION: Scorched Earth

The building boom since World War II has raised its own kind of scar on the U.S. landscape: the freshly bulldozed plain overgrown with contractors' shacks and self-conscious new homes, but bare of almost all its original vegetation. Only a few trees escape the bulldozers of the new "development" architects, and they are usually covered with handy red signs reading: "This way to the model home."

Conservation experts and tree lovers have looked on grimly, but generally in silence. But last week, after a lady in St. Louis complained about the loss of 100 bulldozed elms near her property,...

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