Dear Editor,
In response to last week’s article “Chopped, lopped and dropped” I just want to say thank you to the Tennessee Department of Transportation for maintaining the road right of ways.
By cutting back brush and trees from the road it allows me to see that deer a little bit sooner before it jumps out in front of me. It opens up the line of sight for people turning onto the roadway.
It makes room to push snow off the road in the winter. I have not been through the Backbone Rock area since they did the work there but I thought they did a great job around Watauga Lake.
As far as TDOT creating an aesthetic monstrosity goes, come next spring with the new growth you won’t even be able to tell with the exception of you will be able to see around that next corner or observe the wildlife getting ready to dart in front of you.
Thank you TDOT for making my commute that much safer.

Sincerely,
Jen Skarsaune

Editor’s note:
Thank you, Jen, for your letter. I couldn’t agree with you more. We all appreciate the hard work TDOT is doing and, of course, the safety of our roadways should be on the top of the list. There is no doubt we all benefit from the project mentioned in the article. However, on a side note, I wanted to emphasize that Katie Lamb’s story was not about the necessity of clearing vegetation along our roadways but the unsightly debris, left behind giving the impression of a job incomplete. We are proud of our beautiful trees that line our roads and cover the surrounding hills and mountains. It is what draws so many visitors to the region. We hope that our story will contribute to and draws further attention to our desire to maintain the natural beauty that we all have the privilege of freely enjoy.
Thank you again for your excellent letter