Joe Short, Fulton County commissioner, said the removal of trees near the Fulton County airport started Saturday, Nov. 20.
For more than 20 years, the trees have been a threat to pilots and passengers using the airport. Aircraft landing at the airport are forced to fly through turbulent air caused by prevailing westerly winds blowing through the trees.
The trees were cited as a factor in a 2003 fatal airplane crash at the airport.
For decades, county offi cials first negotiated with the landowners, and later, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, to have the trees removed.
At one point, Fulton County officials were caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place, with the Federal Aviation Administration telling county offi cials to remove the trees, and the OEPA preventing them from doing so.
The effort to take down the trees involved wetlands, a search for Indian artifacts, and at one point, the endangered Indiana brown bat.
In 2007, Short said he could have the trees down in 30 days.
Earlier this year, he said, “I just never said when the 30-day clock started.”