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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:

Invasive pest is especially bad for hemlocks this spring.

People tell me all the time about how much they appreciate the unique way hemlock trees contribute to the beauty, privacy, and value of our individual properties and our neighborhoods; cover our mountains with lush forests that support thousands of jobs related to tourism and recreation and produce millions of dollars in revenue; provide food and habitat for many birds and animals, shade for native plants, and cool temperatures for trout streams; help maintain the biodiversity of the ecosystem and protect the air and water quality we depend on; and create special places that restore our bodies and refresh our spirits.

But there’s bad news – the hemlocks are in serious danger, especially this year.  After the extremely mild winter we’ve just had, the invasive insect pest called Hemlock Woolly Adelgid that’s attacking the trees has showed up earlier with fatter egg sacs than we’ve ever see before.  And this robust population of pests is poised to do more and faster damage than ever before.  A massive loss of hemlocks would be a disaster on the scale of the American Chestnut, so it’s time for action to save one of our most majestic and iconic evergreen trees.

The good news – property owners can treat and save as many of their own trees as they choose.  It’s safe, easy enough for most people to do themselves, highly effective, and surprisingly economical, especially compared to the cost of losing the trees.  And volunteers can help save the hemlocks in our national forests and state lands too.

If you want to learn how to help, please plan to attend a special training event April 1 in Canton, presented by Save Georgia’s Hemlocks.  Registration is required.  For information or registration, please call 706-429-8010 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Respectfully submitted,

Donna Shearer

Chairman, Save Georgia’s Hemlocks


Dear Editor:

Contrary to Mr. Williamson’s claim that I have not done my research, I am well aware of some neighboring counties that have a senior exemption. they also have the commercial base that allows that exemption, which we do not. The fact that you quote Dekalb County as a source seems to prove my point that indeed property taxes, specifically the school portion, matters greatly! 


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