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To be able to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis, we also need to preserve our trees, one of our most powerful carbon sinks provided by nature. To ensure that our descendants can survive and thrive, we need to ensure that we will be leaving behind a greener future for them, and that means protecting our tree canopy. 

House Bill 496, a harmful anti-tree bill, was passed by the North Carolina State House of Representatives and is now in the Senate. This bill would require local governments to get approval from the state legislature before adopting any tree protection ordinances that protect trees on private property. 

This would seriously restrict our ability to maintain the lush and vibrant neighborhoods that are so characteristic of Central North Carolina. As someone who cares for the environment and the world we will leave behind to our future generations, I am strongly opposed to HB 496 and the impact it will have on our tree canopy in North Carolina. 

The legislature should be supporting local governments’ ability to protect trees, not taking it away. This harmful bill is now being considered by the Senate; ask your Senator to vote “no” on HB 496.

Matthew Schreiber is a 2019 NC State alum.