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ACTION ALERT: Legislative Proposal Would Eliminate Municipal Tree Ordinance Authority

April 30, 2014

Please contact your State Representatives and Senators and let them know that you oppose legislation restricting municipalities' ability to enact tree ordinances. Draft legislation released this morning would prevent counties and municipalities from regulating "the removal, replacement, and preservation of trees on private property within its jurisdiction." The League's interpretation of this language is that it would eliminate statewide cities' authority to enact tree ordinances, including those involving the protection of trees during construction, the protection of historic and "heritage" trees from removal, and the protection of trees in municipal rights of way.

The draft legislation (linked here) was presented for the first time this morning to the Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission. The League was not made aware of the proposal and did not see the proposed language before it was presented to the committee. The committee voted to recommend the proposal to the 2014 General Assembly without any discussion.
Now that the committee has voted to recommend this draft legislation, it is eligible for introduction during the 2014 Short Session. The proposed bill would still need to pass both the House and Senate and go through the Governor before becoming law. Please take this opportunity to reach out to your legislators and let them know of the importance of tree ordinances in your city or town. If you have any questions, please contact League Legislative & Regulatory Issues Manager Erin Wynia.

Posted on April 30, 2014 by Erin Wynia