I am stunned by Mr. Candelaria’s view (in the Sept. 8 Observer) that trees are an unnecessary and extravagant luxury along Rio Rancho’s second-busiest road.

Since trees exchange carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide for oxygen; what better place for them? One large tree provides a day’s oxygen for four people.

They also provide shade for pedestrians and a haven for birds that keep insects in check.

While they do require more water the first two years to establish their roots, they add moisture to our very dry air.

Perhaps Mr. Candelaria moved here after the City of Rio Rancho conducted about two years of public hearings for including residents’ input into the re-design of the boulevard? And so he would also not know how many trees were removed to expand the road?

I applaud his efforts to conserve water, but do not believe that we need to live in a wasteland.

Judiciously chosen trees and shrubs require little water and benefit the atmosphere as well as providing some calming sense of nature in a city. While I’m glad he will keep his eyes on the road as he drives along Southern Boulevard, I hope he will not continue to question the beauty of trees and their many benefits to our physical and emotional health.

Mitzi H. Condit

Rio Rancho