KRC opposes the proposed pilot program because we oppose the goal that the pilot is attempting to demonstrate ? that destruction of public timber stands is appropriate in order to assure billboard visibility.
Since the resolution was filed Ive made a point of looking at the roadside tree stands, and as you go home this weekend I would urge you to do so. There are some fairly extensive standards of healthy trees along our highways that could be lost if the state policy were to change.
I ask that you not support the proposed pilot program since it takes us down a road to a policy that we believe is unsound. People dont visit our state to view our billboards. They visit to take in the beauty of our state, and it would be a far different landscape with those trees removed in order to support the imposition of some commercial message from a billboard.
I would ask you to vote against the resolution, but if you determine to move it out of the committee, I would ask the sponsor to consider limiting the number of pilot sites to one or two urban and rural sites. I would ask also that the language in the resolution suggesting that not cutting public trees could constitute a taking of the billboards, since the billboard owners have no legitimate right to expect that they can control public rights-of-way in order to assure the visibility of the signs, and the suggestion of the resolution that to deny them this ability constitutes a taking is a real stretch.