With the Dallas City Council being sworn in today, the Morning News published an editorial arguing that our elected officials need to focus on the basics: cops, streets, permitting, and code enforcement.
That is not basic enough. The city of Dallas needs to get more basic. Before we fill all the potholes and get our traffic lights working, we need to focus on the squirrels. Specifically, the city needs to kill them all.
A little context: on the right in the photo above, you see a picture I took of the trunk of a 20-foot red leaf maple that we planted in our front yard four years ago. With the insane heat wave we are suffering, I went out this weekend to water my beloved maple and saw that the bark had been removed all the way around the young tree’s trunk. This is called girdling. A tree can’t survive it.
In a panic, I texted pictures of the girdling and of other bark damage higher up in the tree to two arborists who’ve helped us take care of our trees over the 24 years we’ve lived in our East Dallas house. Someone from Arborilogical Services and someone from TreeTechTX (a new outfit staffed by a bunch of former Preservation Tree folks) both identified the damage as the result of squirrels eating the bark.
I don’t know if we had a bad crop of acorns this year or if the heat is driving the squirrels to do this. And I don’t care. The simple fact is that the squirrels must be eradicated.
I will leave the details to the experts. Should we put a bounty on the squirrels and allow citizens to be paid for every carcass they bring to a special squirrel-carcass collection center? Should the Dallas Police Department’s SWAT unit be deployed each night to shoot all the squirrels while the city sleeps, using night-vision goggles and sniper rifles? Should the city use the lessons it has learned from the ransomware attack and take over the squirrels’ computer network, refusing to relinquish control until the squirrels agree to relocate, en masse, to Oklahoma? Every option should be on the table.
If Mayor Eric Johnson truly has Big Dallas Energy, this should be his first priority.