Aspen Utah’s new state tree?

Aspen road

From HJNews.com: Two Utah State University officials and a group of school children were successful in convincing a legislative committee to forward a recommendation to the full Legislature asking that the quaking aspen be designated as the state tree.

Paul Rogers, an adjunct professor in USU’s department of wildland resources and director of USU’s Aspen Alliance; Jody Gale, Extension agent for Sevier County and the southern area of the state; and Utah school children presented to the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee on Tuesday in Salt Lake City.

“When people see that beautiful aspen tree that waves by you as you go by, that alone is probably a good enough statement to make it our state tree,” said Rogers.

Currently, Utah’s state tree is the Colorado blue spruce, which is also the state tree of Colorado.

The proposal for a new state tree came from a fourth-grade class in Sevier County last year. Then in October, state Sen. Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, said he would push for legislation on the matter, saying that it doesn’t make sense to have a state tree with the word “Colorado” in it since the two states compete in tourism and other areas.

Gov. Gary Herbert — who was lobbied by the students to change the state tree to the aspen — is open to the idea should the Legislature pass the bill, according to his staff.

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