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Tree hugging – not just an Austin thing

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Last week, after members of the Texas House of Representatives voted passage of House Bill 7, a mild alternative to Gov. Greg Abbott’s anti-tree-protection bill, HB 70, the latter quickly had 36 co-sponsors. But HB 70 is still sitting in the House Committee on Urban Affairs. Senate Bill 14, its Senate companion, won final approval from the Senate and was sent to the House. Tree huggers from around the state want to make sure that Abbott is not the only voice whispering in legislators’ ears. Defend Texas Trees, TreeFolks, Sun Radio and Texans for Local Tree Protection are holding a Music Tribute for Texas Trees this evening at Hill’s Cafe, 4700 S. Congress Ave., from 6 to 10 p.m. “to celebrate our steadfast and longest standing community members, our urban trees.” The event is free and open to the public. Performers will include Eliza Gilkyson, Butch Hancock, Jaimee Harris and friends. Defend Texas Trees is a coalition of organizations including the American Society of Landscape Architects; the Bexar Audubon Society; the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance; Tyler Trees Committee; the cities of Mansfield, Tyler and West Lake Hills; Blackland Prairies; the International Society of Arboriculture Texas Chapter; Irving Impact; the League of Women Voters of Texas; Friends of White Rock Lake and numerous others. In addition to the musical celebration, Texas tree advocates will host a reading of Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” under the historic oak trees at the Capitol on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. One memorable line from the book is, “I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.” Members of the coalition to defend trees and cities’ right to enact tree protection ordinances plan to deliver copies of “The Lorax” to key legislators as they lobby against Abbott’s preferred legislation on Wednesday. For more information from the tree advocates, see treeact.org.

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