The mission of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta requires that we maintain a high level of security. This statutory obligation is clearly set forth in Section 11(q) of the Federal Reserve Act, which expressly empowers Federal Reserve Bank law enforcement officers to protect and safeguard the premises, grounds, property, and personnel of the Reserve Bank to ensure that the Bank's mission can be fulfilled. Some trees on our property were interfering with our law enforcement officers' ability to provide this security, so they needed to be removed.
In developing a final plan for removing the trees, we listened to the feedback we received from the Atlanta Tree Conservation Commission and incorporated that feedback into our plan by matching the number of replacement trees with the number of trees we needed to remove. There is no net loss in the number of trees on our property.
We cannot ignore security and safety concerns, including those associated with the trees' canopies that were interfering with our ability to provide security, so we moved forward expeditiously with the revised plan in line with our statutory obligations. We communicated our revised plan and intent to move forward with it by letter (dated January 3, 2020) to the city before we began our work.
The alternative to our security plan would have been to restrict all public access to our property. However, in the interest of being a good neighbor and meeting our longstanding commitment to corporate citizenship, we chose not to take that route.
We understand the importance of environmental stewardship and have taken good care of our property since we arrived in Midtown in 2001. However, we must also take very seriously the safety and security of our property, people, and visitors, including those who enjoy the plaza.