NC House Bill 496 was quietly passed in the NC House this past May, and now sits in our Senate, and it is a truly terrible bill. I have seen little coverage of it, and I fear there is very little awareness of it. I was alerted by my fantastic arborists at Leaf and Limb a few months ago, and sadly it passed the House in a 72 to 43 vote.
There is already so little oversight that municipalities can exercise to preserve their canopy, and this bill will make it almost impossible. H.B. 496 will require county and municipal governments to get General Assembly approval to adopt ordinances regulating the removal of trees from private property within their jurisdictions. The very fact this bill was introduced and passed by the House with a fairly wide margin is proof that the NC General Assembly is anti-tree preservation.
Call, email, and snail-mail your NC Senators and urge them to vote no on this bill, in particular those who lean to the right! Being a Conservative can also apply to conserving natural resources.
Efforts will be best focused outside of district 16: I reached out to Senator Wiley Nickel and he assured me he is voting no on HB 496:
Read the bill yourself: https://www.ncleg.gov/BillLookUp/2021/HB%20496
Read more and get involved!