I Think That I Shall Never See a Billboard as Lovely as a Tree

As we knew it would, the billboard industry once again is lobbying the Georgia legislature to pass a bill that will allow clear-cutting of public trees that block views of billboards on private property.  To probably no ones surprise, the Georgia Senate has given those lobbyists what they want.  Now,  it’s up to the House to again protect our public trees from the billboard company’s saws.

I have nothing against billboards,  especially if they are entertaining – almost none are – but,  I don’t think they should take precedence over the trees that beautify our highways and supply us with oxygen.   Because business lobbyists usually get what they want from the legislature,  it takes a huge public effort to counter their influence.  That’s what happened last year and now it needs to happen again.  Contact your state representative and let him or her know that you don’t want our public trees cut so that billboard company’s can make more money.

Also contact Vance Smith of Pine Mountain whether he is your district’s representative or not, because he is the chair of the House Transportation Committee that is considering the bill.  Let him know that you prefer trees over billboards, especially trees that are owned by the taxpayers of Georgia.   His email address is anvance.smith@house.ga.gov and his telephone number is  404.656.7153.

Trees Columbus Inc. provides these talking points.

  I urge you to vote NO on SB 164, a bill that will give billboard companies the ability to cut trees along Georgia rights of way.

  • As a taxpayer, I help provide for the roadways and the trees along rights of way. A new survey by American Viewpoint finds more than 70% of Georgia voters oppose the State of Georgia allowing billboard companies to cut down trees on public property so that motorists can see billboards located on nearby private property.
  • These trees make travel in Georgia more pleasant for Georgians and visitors alike, thus enhancing tourism and its related economic benefits. The trees that will be cut now provide cooling, create oxygen, consume carbon dioxide, protect against erosion and reduce sediment in our streams.
  • I ask that, instead of giving preference to special interests, you vote in favor of the public interest by voting NO on SB 164
Contact  members of the subcommittee at these addresses and phone numbers:

Representative Tom McCall – Chair  – 404.656.5115 – tommccall@bellsouth.net

Representative Tommy Benton – Vice Chair – 404.656.0177 – tommy.benton@house.ga.gov

Representative David Ralston – 404.656.0213 -dralston@etcmail.com

Representative QuincyMurphy – 404.656.0265 – quincy.murphy@house.ga.gov

Representative Barry Loudermilk – 404.656.0152 – barry@barryloudermilk.com

Representative Mark Hamilton – 404.656.0188 – mark.hamilton@house.ga.gov
Please forward this web address, dicksworld.wordpress.com,  to your friends so we can get as many calls and emails to our Georgia state representatives as possible.  (Not to mention how much it will help increase hits to my site!)

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6 Responses to “I Think That I Shall Never See a Billboard as Lovely as a Tree”

  1. K Baker Says:

    I believe that Representative Ralston’s email address should be dralston1@etcmail.com. Thank you for posting on this important issue.

  2. Anna McLendon Says:

    Either you are unaware or you are deliberately trying to mislead your readers. Billboard companies have the right to cut these trees now. As for esthetics and the trees, I hear your argument, but every day I see cars, houses, clothes, hair-dos, tattoos, etc, that aren’t particularly pleasing to me, but I respect the owner’s right to do what they please with their personal choices. And, don’t get me started on tree cutting. Have you ever tallied the number that get whacked down daily for housing, office building, roads, firewood, other development? The number that billboard companies want to cut pales in comparison. Additionally, they are replacing with visually pleasant flowers and shrubs and lowering their billboard structures so that they don’t overshadow the trees as you drive down the highways of our state. I think this is a terrific compromise.

  3. Donna Says:

    I believe in freedom of speech. But lets allow people to make up their own minds. Just because you do not find billboards entertaining or useful, Please do not discredit the millions of people that pass these boards each day and find them helpful and entertaining! I am one of them!!! And I also plant trees, just not in front of billboards!

  4. ray moyers Says:

    A few of comments to your email:
    1. I think that there are plenty of trees to supply us with oxygen if a few hundred of them are removed. But, just to be safe, the trees are being replaced with other trees and vegetation that will replenish the oxygen.
    2. Jobs and business should definitely take precedence in these economic times over some ROW trees that have grown unmaintained for 35 years. No taxpayer money was spent to plant any of the trees in question.
    3. The billboard industry pays taxes, too. Far more than the environmental groups who oppose the bill.
    4. Insofar as special interest groups, I’m sure that the environmental lobby is just as wide reaching as anyone’s.

  5. Rob Davis Says:

    You probably don’t know how many businesses in the state of Georgia depend on billboards to stay alive and separate themselves from their competition. A few trees taken down blocking their message and replacing those trees with new ones is a win-win for the businesses, the tree lovers, the outdoor companies and the more importantly the state of Georgia with the revenues/taxes made by the businesses and the outdoor companies. Please see the light.

  6. John Mulholland Says:

    We aren’t hurting with the number of trees in Georgia by any means. The up keep on the trees is not very eye appealing. Isn’t that the main reason to keep the trees? The billboard companies are saving us tax payers money by maintaining the trees. And no one has even mentioned that clearing trees for better visibility while driving will save lives and a hefty lawsuit or two. Plus I get bored looking at the same trees all the way down to Florida.

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