Billboard Controversy

By: Paige Lambrecht
By: Paige Lambrecht

Members of the group "Citizens for a Scenic Wisconsin" are heading to the state capitol Wednesday to speak at a public hearing. They say two bills making their way through the state Senate and Assembly threaten our state's natural beauty.

One bill would allow for the removal of trees that obstruct the view of billboards, the other would let the signs stay up indefinitely as long as they were maintained.

Opponents of the bill say many people visit Wisconsin for its untouched beauty and this is a step in the wrong direction.

"We want to follow Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont and Maine that have no billboards. They have great growth, they have great tourism. I talked to tourists and they want to see the scenic landscape preserved along the highway,” says Cornel Hausler of Citizens for a Scenic Wisconsin.

But legislators who support the bills say they're not trying to build more billboards. Their legislation simply makes sure that existing signs are maintained. Supporters also point to a stipulation in the legislation that requires business owners who cut down trees blocking their billboards to replace

Those trees with some other kind of vegetation, but "Citizens for a Scenic Wisconsin" say that's not good enough.

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