Advocates hope for more tree protection in Biloxi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Advocates hope for more tree protection in Biloxi

After months of discussions, and even more talks at Tuesday's meeting, Biloxi City Council members unanimously voted to table the establishment of a tree committee. (Photo source: WLOX) After months of discussions, and even more talks at Tuesday's meeting, Biloxi City Council members unanimously voted to table the establishment of a tree committee. (Photo source: WLOX)
"The trees are what make us who we are," said Sheri Munter, a member of the unofficial group of tree protection advocates. (Photo source: WLOX) "The trees are what make us who we are," said Sheri Munter, a member of the unofficial group of tree protection advocates. (Photo source: WLOX)
Her group collectively thought the city of Biloxi had been far too lax when it came to cutting down its trees for new developments. (Photo source: WLOX) Her group collectively thought the city of Biloxi had been far too lax when it came to cutting down its trees for new developments. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

After months of discussions, and even more talks at Tuesday's meeting, Biloxi City Council members unanimously voted to table the establishment of a tree committee.

Councilman Felix Gines said he voted to table it because the current wording did not allow the tree committee members to vote on moving forward with developments. For council members, it's been difficult figuring out how to create a tree committee that has a voice in protecting Biloxi's trees without hindering development.

Citizens in favor of the tree committee said they think tabling the vote was appropriate for now. Some of them have formed an unofficial group in hopes of having their voices heard.

"The trees are what make us who we are," said Sheri Munter, a member of the unofficial group of tree protection advocates.

She said when the group started a year and a half ago, the members had one goal in mind.

"There's got to be a better way to be doing this," said Munter.

Her group collectively thought the city of Biloxi had been far too lax when it came to cutting down its trees for new developments. She said many tourists come to Biloxi partly for the trees.

The attraction of the trees is one of the reasons why Kenny Wilhoite and his wife occasionally visit from Chattanooga, TN.

"This many in one area is certainly something to see and we always enjoy coming down and going through the historic sites, and the trees are certainly part of it," said Wilhoite.

In Wilhoite's opinion, a tree committee managed by and associated with government is not the way to go.

"City, state, local, federal, makes no difference to me. So, while on paper it sounds good. Who knows?" said Wilhoite.

According to another member of the unofficial tree committee, the city is headed in the right direction.

"What the leadership has done is they have listened to us and they have embraced this," said Judy Abide.

Abide thinks that developers should be attracted to building in Biloxi because of the natural beauty the area offers.

"And it's something that people want to drive by and see the beach, the trees, the scenery. It's all part of who we are," said Abide.

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