The Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee has approved a proposal to change Utah’s state tree from the Colorado blue spruce to the Quaking Aspen.
SB 41, which is sponsored by Senator Ralph Okerlund (Republican – Monroe), unanimously passed out of committee with a favorable recommendation Tuesday afternoon.
Schoolchildren from Monroe were on hand to testify in favor of the bill. Utah State Forester Brian Cottam believes that changing the state tree would give him and his staff “management guidance” on how to deal with the decline of aspen forests in Utah.
The Blue Spruce has been the state tree since 1933. The legislation to officially designate the Blue Spruce as the state tree was reportedly adopted in record time. According to an article published in the Deseret News on February 20, 1933, the bill was “introduced with the urgent request that it be passed before the Colorado legislature could pass a similar bill making the blue spruce that state’s official tree.”