As a long-time Sullivan’s Island residents, my wife and I raised our children here and are grateful for the natural beauty that surrounds us. We are strongly in favor of preserving the Maritime Forest in the accreted public land that is protected by the Lowcountry Open Land Trust. My preference would be to allow the forest to grow and develop naturally without any tree cutting, however out of consideration for our fellow Island residents who live adjacent to the Accreted Land, I support the Town Council’s efforts to reach a compromise that would allow some limited cutting in a “Transition Zone” adjacent to the Maritime Forest.
Now that there is discussion of allowing a Transition Zone, a minority of residents are pushing for more and more cutting, and this discussion is occurring before any decision has been made about preservation of the rest of the forest beyond the Transition Zone. I wish to point out that, in the last election for Mayor and Town Council, the Mayor Pro Tem and all the other members of Council up for election who had voted in favor of a larger Transition Zone were defeated by large margins, and Pat O’Neil, who had strongly opposed the move to create a larger fixed Transition Zone, was elected Mayor by a greater than 2:1 margin. Let’s remember that the island residents have spoken loud and clear about the importance of preserving the Maritime Forest.