What a remarkable idea! In fact, maybe we put too much stock in the natural landscape. Man is the lord over all his surrounding and has the innate responsibility of conquering and subduing the earth and all things upon the face of it.
That's why we can justify killing whales, deer, elephants, birds and other living creatures. Man must assert his dominance or run the risk of being overtaken by all these wild things - and that includes trees.After all, we have considerably more trees in the world than we have signs, and we should do everything possible to abolish the rampant spread of these tenacious leafy creatures, or our billboards will be forced onto the endangered species list or even worse, disappear from the face of the earth forever.
In light of this noble cause, I believe the sign companies would do well to adopt a bit of poetry as a motto to support their artistic proposal. I offer the following piece lifted from an old-time favorite written by Joyce Kilmer (please forgive me Mr. Kilmer). It seems that there are a few progressive souls that believe Kilmer's original poem has become obsolete in this dawning of the 21st century.
I think that I shall never see
A sign less lovely than a tree.
A sign whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's wilting breast;
A sign that looks at God all day,
And lifts her plywood arms to pray.
A sign that may in summer wear
A nest of starlings in her hair;
Upon whose bosom gray snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with acid rain.
Trees only require sun, rain and time,
But it takes a man to make a sign.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," and according to Rebecca Boyle, spokeswoman for Reagan Outdoor Advertising, billboards can be beautiful works of art. And according to Reagan and their assorted outdoor advertisers "Existing foliage within 650 feet of a billboard could be trimmed, removed or relocated" to accommodate these works of art.
Let's consider for a moment the words "trimmed, removed or relocated." Will any billboard company relocate a tree - ha! ha! ha! That leaves us with trimming or removing. If they have the option, would they trim a tree only to find that in three more years they must trim it again? That leaves us with removing - which is a nice way of saying they will chain-saw any tree within 650 feet of a sign. Interpreted, that means that there will not be any trees left on or around the freeways.
Since we are close to that already, it shouldn't take much to eradicate the few remaining green monsters from our highway environment.
So folks, take your snapshots and get out your journals so you can record for your 21st century posterity what I-15 looked like with a few trees on it. It's time to quit resisting progress and step aside for the entrepreneurs of the next century - let's hear it for signs!