Outdoor Advertisement Vegetation Removal Changes
Our Position: oppose
Bill Number: H49 = S150
Sponsor: Rep. Nelson Cole / Sen. Clark Jenkins
Legislative Session: 2008
This bill increases the tree clearing zone in front of billboards from 250 to 375 feet and increases permit fees and penalties, directing those funds to replanting of trees.
The increased fees and penalties were imported wholesale in a later edition of this industry bill from H1793, introduced by Rep. Paul Luebke, in an attempt to make their own legislation less offensive.
Increased tree cutting along highway rights of way is, on its face, plenty problematic. More visible billboards are distracting to drivers and an affront to the states investment in highway beautification. This year, the billboard industry had to contend with a new public relations issue: news reports of illegal tree cutting over the last year, totaling nearly $1 million in damage. The industry had returned to the legislature with its hand out for additional concessions, but has not made a commitment to police itself and crack down on illegal cutting.
Contact your legislator regarding this issue.
Sierra Club Stanback Intern Serra Aktan at (919) 833-8467 for more information.