Urge the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee to Fund Scenic Byways and Protect Publicly Owned Trees
The House's draft of the highway bill is now coming together and is expected to be released in early June. We need to act NOW to ensure that it includes funding for scenic byways and protections for trees.
Tell the House T & I Committee to Fund the National Scenic Byways Program
The highway bill should also provide funding for the National Scenic Byways Program. After sitting dormant for nearly a decade, the program was revived in 2019. However, its dedicated funding stream lapsed in 2012. A five-year, $325 million investment in this important program would fund infrastructure projects, creating new jobs and jump-starting tourism in communities across the country.
To maximize the impact of the Byways program, the surface transportation bill should also include funding to create a Byways Quality Assistance Program. This program would help state Departments of Transportation with landscape design, planning, training, and tourism asset development.
Tell the House T & I Committee to End Tree Cutting for Billboard Visibility
There is currently no federal prohibition of vegetation removal or tree cutting on public rights-of-way for the purpose of enhancing the view of billboards. As a result, advertising companies are allowed to remove or cut publicly owned trees and vegetation. Beyond destroying healthy trees, this irresponsible action mars scenic roadways, contributes to soil erosion, and damages property values by removing noise and pollution barriers, exposing homes directly to highway traffic.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee omitted these critical issues in its version of the bill, which has been approved. If the House T & I Committee fails to include these programs in its version of the bill, these programs may spend another five years without federal support.
If you believe in the importance of protecting trees and promoting byways, it is critical that you add your name and email address to this form and it will be delivered to your representative, who serves on this committee.
You can also personalize your letter for even more impact.
Thank you for taking action to protect our publicly owned trees from destruction by billboard companies and to encourage funding for the National Scenic Byways Program.
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We are grateful for your support.
-The Team at Scenic America