On May 5, we learned that the amazing old-growth forest at Crown Hill North Woods will not be razed for the VA’s columbaria project.
And too often, the courts defer to agencies under the legal doctrine of presumption of administrative expertise. In their wide discretion, judges conveniently say that they are loathe to substitute their judgement for that of the officials who are presumed to be expert.
Just as the inscriptions on the grave markers are a reminder of, and tribute to, our forbearers, the woods are a legacy of the past, linking generations. Woods of this size and quality are not found in many places in central Indiana.
Their bottom line is that this wild, multi-layered, old-growth forest will be replaced with manicured lawn, concrete, and pavement.
Yesterday, Federal District Judge Jane Stinson denied our request for a preliminary injunction to stay contractors for the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from clearing the Crown Hill North Woods while the merits of our lawsuit against the VA for violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) are argued.
Forests matter, and people are willing to speak out to protect them. In the words of a second grader at the School for Community Learning: the trees there have a life.