(DEWITT, Mich.) -- The superintendent of a cash-strapped Michigan school district is defending a proposal to cut down giant trees on its grounds to help fill an $800,000 budget deficit, a move that is rankling some residents.
Some community members have called for the protection of the trees, some of which may be 200 years old, saying the trees in the DeWitt Nature Center should not be cut down for money.
Dewitt, Mich., Superintendent John Deiter said the proposal, which would net a profit of $43,000, is not just about money, saying some of the trees that may be cut are dead or dying.
"Nobody called me last year when we were cutting positions," Deiter said of the public's attention to the trees.
He said the school district is hoping not to cut any more jobs after continuous budget cuts from the state. The school district, which is located nine miles north of Lansing in the Upper Peninsula, laid off 12 teachers last year.
Deiter said the forest's trail, which may be about three-quarters of a mile long, and the forest itself will remain.
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