Re: Movinmg forward with the best info you have in decisionmaking.
From: normangauss (
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2005 00:42:44 -0800 (PST)
The trouble with some decisions is that their impact may not be fully
realized until considerable time has passed.  We elected not to hire a
landscape maintenance contractor.  Now our irrigation system is broken down
and we are totally unprepared for the hot dry summer that is due in about
two months.  We elected not to have pre-emergent herbicide applied last
year, and now we have a humongous weed problem.  We designed our landscape
for minimal water, and now people want to put in water-loving trees, whose
existence in this semi-arid region will become tenuous, but we wont know for
sure until a year or two has passed.

When we moved in, the developer spent many tens of thousands of dollars
planting drought-tolerant trees and shrubs and installing a drip irrigation
system specifically designed for it.  The expectation was that eventually we
could reduce the need to water, saving a lot of money on our water bill, and
hopefully even wean our trees and shrubs away from artificial water.

Now we have people who want to transplant trees to other locations and
install water loving trees, thus disrupting our water-saving quest and
postponing our goal of eventually shutting down the irrigation system.
Trees are being dug up and moved, thus altering the design of our landscape
architect.   We are giving people the go-ahead and we will not know the
long-lasting effects of these decisions until the trees are mature.  Some
will have died, and some will have become sickly.  Decisions we make today
cannot be changed because when we finally realize any mistakes that might
have been made, it is impossible to turn back the clock and start over.

Until we are able to assess the likely long-term consequences of our
actions, we cannot be confident that anything we do today we will eventually
regret.  The fact that new trees and shrubs are being installed disrupts the
original plan of a unified landscape whose elements reach maturity all at
the same time.  If mature trees sit next to new trees, watering the
landscape becomes a nightmare and we will never reach our goal of shutting
down the irrigation system.   Our water bills will continue to be very high
for many years to come.

Norm Gauss

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