Developers 1, sticker bushes 0

The scenario:  Activists were pressuring the city council to strengthen its tree preservation ordinance.  Their proposed new rules would force land developers to preserve large stands of brushy trees or pay hefty penalties for removal, making some tracts virtually undevelopable because the penalties for removing these “nuisance trees” would be excessive. 

The solution: Invite elected officials, their key staff and media to a first-hand tour of affected properties.  Show them, up close and personal, that many of the “trees” the new ordinance would protect were really just sticker bushes – the kind any homeowner would want removed.

Result: City council members almost unanimously came to a new understanding of how the proposed new rules on tree protection would render large tracts useless.  The daily newspaper chimed in with an editorial saying the new rules went too far.  The council rejected the stricter regulations.  

We love trees, by the way.  Sticker bushes, not so much.