Clearcutting Bills Threaten Texas Trees


It is important for Sierrans to take action to resist the Legislature’s war on trees. Texas Senators have filed 3 bills that could effectively abolish San Antonio’s Tree Preservation Ordinance, and every other such ordinance in the state.

If any one of these bills is passed, it will enable mass clearcutting of trees (even giant heritage oaks) for new strip malls and subdivisions:

  • SB 782 by Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) – Prohibits cities from regulating tree clearing but allows assessing mitigation fees to be used for planting new trees.
  • SB 898 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) – Prohibits cities from regulating tree clearing or assessing mitigation fees.
  • SB 1082  by Konni Burton (R-Fort Worth) – Prohibits cities from regulating tree clearing or assessing mitigation fees.

Note the similarity of the bills. This is unusual and a sign that multiple bills were filed to increase their chances of passage. San Antonio’s trees are in grave danger.

Clearcut land for subdivision

Trees clearcut for housing subdivision over Edwards Aquifer recharge zone

How you can help

  1. It is important to get large numbers of pro-tree people to the committee hearings. We need to speak in opposition to these bills or at least register against them. Please call me at (210) 494-2088 or email if you would like a ride to a hearing.
  2. Contact the members of the Senate Committees hearing these bills. The bill history pages linked above will list the committees and hearing dates once they are assigned. I recommend setting up email alerts at MyTLO (TX Legislature Online).
  3. You may also want to contact your state Senator and Representative in opposition to these bills.

by Richard Alles, Forests/Trees contact