Lawmakers Applaud House Passage of Tree Removal Bill

May 11, 2017

I am pleased that an environment-friendly bill providing clarity on regulations governing the removal of trees on municipal properties passed the House of Representatives. This measure prohibits activities such as cutting, painting or marking trees, shrubs, rocks or any other natural objects on municipal property unless appropriate authorization is obtained in addition to posting notices of work to be performed in the area.

This is a an important piece of legislation, not only for the sake of protecting the environment, but because it allows residents the courtesy of knowing ahead of time what is happening in their surrounding areas as it relates to removing or cutting trees. Trees in public access areas are prized commodity in big cities like ours. We need to do our part to protect them and treat them with the consideration they deserve.

The bill carries the same penalties as in existing law to those who violate any of the provisions committed on public ways and grounds. In addition to restoring the land to its prior condition, fines can go up to $5,000 depending on the violation such as illegally removing, pruning or defacing a tree for land restoration and other costs. Other offenses can be classified as class C misdemeanors and include up to three months in prison.