Saguaros cut down in Marana for golf tournament, video shows

The Arizona Dept. of Agriculture is investigating after video showed a construction crew cutting down a pair of saguaros with chainsaws at a golf course north of Tucson.

The work was done ahead of the LIV Golf tournament set to take place in Marana on March 17.

According to state law, removing a saguaro is against the law.

The agency says a permit was not issued, and the licensing department says they did not receive notice of intent associated with the removals from the Gallery Golf Club at Dove Mountain.

Marana resident Jerry Parker says he saw the iconic saguaros taken down firsthand. 

"I was just taken back, I couldn't believe it happened," Parker said.

The video is upsetting neighbors in the community. 

"To see them cut down for a basically a three-day golf tournament and those guys after three days are going to pack up their things and be gone, and these saguaros will be in a dumpster somewhere," said resident Michael Smith. "I didn't like that and I hope the people in this community don't put up with it." 

"There was no sense talking to the workers, they were trying to avoid me for sure, but it wasn't the workers," said Jerry Parker. "They were doing the job that someone told them to do. So the question is who and why." 

The Gallery Golf Club responded with the following statement.

Our maintenance practices are designed to protect the natural beauty of our desert landscape. In this instance, despite an original plan to safely relocate two Saguaros on our property, it was determined that they were unstable, which led to the decision to remove them. Along with the community and our Membership, we will always be committed to protecting our beautiful environment.