BONNERS FERRY — Thursday, it wasn’t a matter of whether a controversial tree house would remain, but of how many loads it would take to clear it completely from the property.
City officials wanted the tree house gone because of fears it could damage the water levee if it falls — risking federal funding for future levee repairs.
The city told landowners Tremain Albright and Adarah Dancer the tree house would have to be removed after a recent land survey indicates that part of the levee where the cottonwood tree and the structure were located did not belong to them.
Albright was given until July 15 to remove anything he wanted from the tree house and set a tentative date for the structure’s removal for Aug. 1. The tree house removal was delayed because of high river levels.
While against their wishes, Dancer told the contractor and crew hired to remove the tree house and cut down the trees that she and her partner respected that fact that they were just doing their jobs.
In the statement, released shortly before the removal, she told the crew that most of them knew “these three beautiful majestic healthy cottonwood trees are being cut down for whatever reason man has decided it is important. It is not of their doing. They are just being trees doing their ‘tree thing’ and they have created a natural sanctuary of peace for us that money cannot buy.
“We thank them for their many decades of service, especially for the one they have given us, personally. Although it is against our choice, Tremain and I thank you for giving thought and respect to the job you are about to do.”
Albright and Dancer were unavailable for comment on the day the tree house was torn down.
An official statement from the city of Bonners Ferry about the tree house’s demolition was slated to be issued Friday, Aug. 24.